But the YouGov poll has revealed that hamsters or guinea pigs will do the least harm to a man or woman's romantic prospects - if they really wish to have a pet.
Only 10 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men would run a mile if they knew their potential love interest owned a hamster, the Daily Mail reported.
The poll took into consideration 513 people on their dating preferences for craigslist.com, a listings and dating website.
They found that the dating advantage of owning a hamster or guinea-pig compared to, for example, cats or dogs, is considerable - especially so for women.
Nearly three times as many men (28 per cent) would 'feel less inclined to date' someone who they learnt was a dog-owner as the number (10 per cent) who would feel the same about a hamster or guinea-pig-owner.
More than half of single women (53 per cent) would feel less inclined towards dating someone who they learnt had an eight-legged friend.
Almost as many women would cool at the idea of dating someone who owned a snake (46 per cent), a rat (44 per cent) or even a ferret (34 per cent).
"Single folks who want to own a pet, but deter the fewest potential dates, should opt for a hamster or guinea-pig," said Jim Buckmaster, CEO of craigslist.
Of course, to stand the best chance of finding a partner it might be worth ditching pets altogether.
Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of those questioned said animals would determine their decision to whether or not to date someone.