A study published in the scientific journal 'Behavioural Processes' in 2011 indicates that cats do indeed tend to have a preference for women. This favoritism may be because women tend to show more affection to cats, which influences the bond cats have with their human caretakers.
This study indicates that the stereotype of the aloof, uncaring cat is mostly baseless, proving that cats form strong bonds with the humans they live with, including men. However, bonds of affection between females and their cats, particularly outgoing human females with young cats of either gender, are strong, and cats are typically better able to manipulate women into giving them treats and physical affection.
This research also showed that cats have great social memories when it comes to human interaction, and a cat may remember that a specific human played with it and will be more willing to show that person affection later as a result. Though the gender of the human in question did have a notable effect, the cat's gender did not matter, with both male and female cats shown to form strong social bonds with their human families. Though the study did affirm the idea that women and cats often have special connections, the study did note that cats can also bond strongly with male owners as well.