Nearly half of Americans buy into negative stereotypes about "crazy cat ladies," according to a recent PetSmart Charities survey, but "The Big Bang Theory" actress Mayim Bialik wants to change that.
Bialik, a longtime cat lover and adoption advocate, has teamed up with PetSmart Charities to encourage cat lovers to out themselves and share how they defy the cat lady label.
"Adopting not only saves the life of a deserving pet, but it changes the lives of those who choose to adopt, as well," she said in a news release.
Through July 3, cat parents can submit a selfie with their adopted cat using the hashtag #MeowOUT on Twitter, Instagram or the contest landing page. On Aug. 3, Bialik will select her five favorite photos, and the winners and their feline friends will be featured on PetSmart Charities’ promotional materials.
"Mayim embodies a new kind of cat person — one that is chic, smart and proud to share her love of cats," said Julie White, senior director of programs, PetSmart Charities.
Cat lovers like Bialik are helping to change perceptions of cat people, and with 71 percent of survey respondents saying stigmas about cat owners are outdated, it seems change is in the air.
Redefining what it means to be a cat person is beneficial for cats too. Fifty-six percent of respondents say they believe more people would adopt a cat if stereotypes about their owners were removed, and with 1.4 million cats euthanized in U.S. shelters annually, changing perceptions could truly save lives.
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