The internet worships cats in a way that rivals the ancient Egyptians. In 2014 alone, more than 2 million cat videos were added to YouTube with 26 billion views collectively. That’s a lot of people watching cat videos! People seem to love it.
Now, a study out of Indiana University proves that watching cat videos boosts your overall energy and improves your mood. The study was lead by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick and involved nearly 7,000 people being surveyed about their cat video viewing experience and how they felt.
The study was published in the latest issue of Computers in Human Behavior.
“Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today,” Myrick said. “If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore.
“We all have watched a cat video online, but there is really little empirical work done on why so many of us do this, or what effects it might have on us,” added Myrick, who owns a pug but no cats. “As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon.”
Participants in Myrick’s study said they had more energy and felt better after watching cat videos online. They often had fewer negative thoughts like stress, sadness, and anxiety. Many said they viewed cat videos at work and during study time and that the joy they got from watching the videos outweighed the guilt from procrastinating.
About 25% of cat videos were directly sought out by the subjects. The remainder were ones they stumbled upon. All in all, the response is pretty positive.
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” Myrick said.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives