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The Science behind Loving Cute Cat Videos

Posted June 18, 2015 in A Pet's Life

Woman laughing at computer with cat

Ever wonder why we get so giddy after watching an adorable cat video online? Well, according to the Indiana University Bloomington Newsroom, we’re closer to an answer. Jessica Gall Myrick, an Indiana University Media School researcher, is responsible for the most recent research.

There has been no shortage of viral cat videos. Some cats have even become famous like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Aside from being one of the internet’s most well known pastimes,  the new research shows that watching cute and funny cat videos not only boosts your energy and positive emotions, it also decreases your negative emotions.

The study
Myrick’s research was based on a survey she explains, “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. As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon1."

The study surveyed about 7,000 people on the topic of cat videos and how the videos affected their moods. While only 36% of the participants said they were “cat people,” 60% said they were fans of both cats and dogs.

The results
People said they felt more energetic and more positive after watching cat-related media than before. They also said it decreased negative emotions, such as anxiety, sadness and annoyance. The happiness they felt from watching the videos surpassed any guilt they felt about wasting time.

“Even if they are watching the cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people to take on tough tasks afterward,” said Myrick1.

Want to boost your energy and positivity? Click here to watch some adorable cat videos! >>

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Resources:

  1. "Not-so-guilty Pleasure: Viewing Cat Videos Boosts Energy and Positive Emotions, IU Study Finds." IU Bloomington Newsroom. Indiana University, n.d. Web. 18 June 2015.

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.

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The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.