What Does Kittenfishing Mean? All You Need to Know!

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Kittenfishing is related to catfishing. The term refers to changing minor attributes about your appearance or life to make you appear more pleasing on dating sites instead of claiming to be a different person, as in catfishing.

In a study from Hinge, 38% of men and 24% of women reported being kittenfished. Interestingly, only 2% of men and 1% of women say they kittenfished someone else.

Read ahead to learn more about kittenfishing and how to protect yourself from being kittenfished.

🔑Key Takeaways: 
  • Kittenfishing is a dating trend involving subtle online misrepresentation to enhance one’s dating prospects.
  • Catfishing involves creating a fictional persona, while kittenfishing involves tweaking details like photos and information to appear better.
  • Look out for signs like inconsistencies in their stories, reluctance to share details, and presenting themselves as flawless. 
  • To avoid becoming a victim of kittenfishing, have open conversations and consider background checks using services like BeenVerified or Spokeo.
  • Being genuine and truthful is the foundation of a healthy relationship, and looking for these qualities in potential partners is important.

What is Kittenfishing?

Kittenfishing is a more subtle form of catfishing. It can be as simple as utilizing heavily edited profile photos or fibbing about your age on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, and other online sites.

In 2017, the dating app Hinge created the term “kittenfishing.” It is meant to be a baby version of catfishing, with a kitten being a young cat. When someone is kittenfishing, they are not assuming a full-fledged false identity as with catfishing.

There are a bunch of explanations for why people kittenfish. A report about kittenfishing noted that online dating is competitive, and flaws are easy to hide in the virtual world.

More extreme cases of kittenfishing may include using old photos to show themselves as younger or more pleasing or exaggerating the truth about their work, income, personality, lifestyle, etc.

Kittenfishers attempt to optimize the probability of a first date because they think they can win people over with their personality, charm, and sense of humor.

Kittenfishing with the presence of photo and video filters and the lack of a strict verification process when you create an account online.

⌛️ In a nutshell: 
Kittenfishing is a subtler form of deception in online dating. Unlike catfishing, where individuals assume entirely false identities, kittenfishing involves presenting a modified or exaggerated version of oneself on platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, and others.

Kittenfishing vs. Catfishing

The difference between kittenfishing and catfishing is their intensity.

Catfishing is a deceptive activity in which a person makes a fictional persona or phony identity on social networking sites. On the other hand, kittenfishing means making up other details online to make you appear better.

Either way, both practices are being condemned because they are both a form of deception that many tend to believe.

Signs That You Are Being Kittenfished

You will probably only know if you are being kittenfished once you meet for your first date. According to a psychologist, Ana Jovanovic, there are a few signs to check to discover beforehand.

Here are some of the signs you should watch out for:

  1. Inconsistencies in what a person is telling you.

You may notice contradictory points in their narratives or see them fail to answer a relatively easy question about a topic they are passionate about. 

No matter how exemplary a person is, there will be tendencies for that person to be inconsistent with his statement. Be vigilant, especially with basic information, such as his birthday, age, etc.

  1. Lack of details once you become inquisitive. 

They may avoid telling you specifics about their job, experience, and background – because the specifics may reveal the truth.

People understand that there is information one wants to keep for security and privacy, but not necessarily to those who you want to date. You may consider it a red flag if that person keeps specific information from you.

  1. Idealistic self-presentation. 

If the person you’re talking to seems to have no flaws, there’s a high chance they’re probably too good to be true.

People say you must show your best foot forward in dating, but it shouldn’t have to be up to a point where you need to lie. Watch out if the person you’re talking to feels too good to be real. Always verify their identity first to avoid being a victim of kittenfishing. 

How To Avoid Being A Victim Of Kittenfishing?

Unfortunately, while kittenfishing is deemed less severe as a dating app offense than catfishing, it can still be detrimental and manipulative. You will feel tricked and deceived when going on a date with somebody who has been telling lies. 

While it may be harmless, it could be a negative indication of things to come. Lying may become the default if you further your relationship with somebody who has kittenfished you.

Here are ways to avoid being a victim:

  1. Have an open conversation.

Initiate an open conversation to discuss your insecurities and problems. You can open up to them about certain things you are dealing with first. Then they can trust you to tell you something about themselves. 

  1. Video Call before the date.

Before going on that first date, make sure you have video-called them once or a few times. Not only are you trying to know what they look like, but you are also getting familiar with them when you eventually meet them. 

  1. Check Out Their Socials.

Lastly, you can request to follow them on their social media platforms. From a picture or two, you can see what they look like and verify the information on their dating profile regarding their physical attributes. 

  1. Do a Background Check.

The number of online dating apps and dating sites is infinite. From Tinder to Hinge to many others, there are choices for people looking for love or a casual hookup.

Using a background check service can assist you in identifying who these bad actors are and whether or not someone is who they claim they are.

One effective Background Check Site is BeenVerified. This service offers a great resource for those who want to verify another person’s identity. 

To use BeenVerified, you can follow the steps below: 

  1. Go to BeenVerified.
  2. Enter the name and tap the green ‘search’ button.
  3. Wait for the results and click “I agree.” 

You can review the results and see if the person you’re talking to is lying about who they really are. 

Bottom Line

Some people feel they need to lie or remove details to improve their dating odds. It may seem harmless, but the consequences could be better. The foundation of that relationship will be built on lies. 

That said, if you are getting to know someone on dating sites, you should look out for the signs of kittenfishing in dating. If you can spot them, you can decide to keep talking to the person. 

On the other hand, the next time you make a dating profile, ensure you are doing something different than kittenfishing potential dates. Whoever is considering dating, you want to get to know the genuine you.

It’s important always to be honest with potential partners. In the end, if they truly like you, they will accept who you are.


Why Do I Get Kittenfished?

Usually, people get kittenfished because some view their profile, find them attractive, and think there is a standard to be met before they are considered.

What is an example of kittenfishing?

Kittenfishing includes adjusting your height or age or only sharing pictures where you hide certain features you may not be confident with. Bald men, for example, may wear hats in all their snaps.

What is paperclipping in dating?

Paperclipping in dating means a situation where somebody you have dated sends you a message after a while, then vanishes again.

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