Research Shows Watching Cat Videos Online Makes You Happy


Let’s have it officially announced: watching videos of cats will make you happy. If you love lolcats, icanhazcheezburger, Garfield, grumpy cat and other cat videos, smile now because all those hours you’ve watched and spent online may not be a waste of time at all. According to recent research published in the Journal of Computers in Human Behavior, watching cat videos online can help relieve stress and boost energy. How did they quantify and arrive to this conclusion? Over 7000 participants were tested for personality and behavioral changes with cat-related videos. It also explored our emotional states and motivation on why people like to watch cat videos.

Cats, in their own way, can be fascinating and graceful animals that’s full of personality. We often share funny pictures of cats depicting how they plan to rule the world with their cuteness and fluffiness. And the internet world loved it. If you search the word “cat” at Youtube, you’ll get over 45 million results and the most viewed video is perhaps is the Nyan Cat video with over 130 million views! And that was uploaded 4 years ago. Not just that, if you look further on the filtered results, you’ll find several compilations of funny cat videos with several million views that will surely tickle your funny bone even at least during your boring lunch break.

The researchers released questionnaires to participants, using snowball technique. They utilized social networks like Facebook to spread out the questionnaire. And with the help of Lil’ Bub Facebook page, they gathered thousands of participants. The survey was just a short one, would take about ten minutes of your time. It gathered questions about the participant’s pet ownership history in the past and present, and their level of shyness. It also asked people if they think they like cats more over dogs. Questions like this helped the researchers gauge what type of personalities do cat and dog people have.

Surprisingly, when one would think it would be a majority of cat people who would watch cat videos, the study revealed that only about a third of the number of survey participants described themselves as a “cat person”. It showed that about 60 percent of the participants admitted that they both love cats and dogs.

What else did the study reveal? Results showed that those who have pet cats in the past or present, are more likely to love cat videos. Dr. jessica Myrick, the author of the said research also pointed out the link between feelings of guilt, procrastination, happiness and enjoyment while watching cat videos. Although people might feel guilty because of procrastination in watching online cat videos, the emotional benefits against stress might still help people later on at work.

Perhaps the scientific community before didn’t think that watching cat videos is a serious topic and that it’s all a waste of time. It’s true that it usually eats up our time, watching several minutes of videos and laughing in front of the screen oblivious of the world behind us. Some funny compilations at youtube can last for about 30 minutes! Enough to keep us laughing or at least smiling while we sit in a bus through commute or while eating a snack.

There are previous studies that indicate how pets can make us happy and heart-healthy. One study published by the researchers in University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute, showed data on how people who have pet cats have less risks to heart problems. It was a ten-year study and their results revealed that having a cat can cut your risk of heart attack by a third. There are also studies that point out how cat purrs can decrease or regulate their owner’s blood pressure.

I remembered when I first stumbled upon ICanHazCheezBurger Lolcats section years ago, I found myself going through each picture and page backwards after work, during commute, until I reached the oldest post. I’m not sure how long that took, perhaps days or weeks, but it helped me relax and release the stress from all the day’s work and worries. And when I found out about Maru’s videos, each one made me laugh and smile, and I shared it to my friends and family. I won’t be surprised if one complained how a waste of time and why I’m sending a video of a fluffy cat running towards a small box, trying to fit himself it in the most comfortable and possible way. But it will surprise me if I found out that one of my friends didn’t even smile or laugh while watching even at least the first part of the video.

Internet Celebrity Cats

There are also a lot of celebrity cats that have emerged out of internet stardom, and yes, we’re talking about other cats than Garfield, and real non-fictional pet cats. For the uninitiated, here’s a good list on where to start. If you can’t find anything that can tickle you even for a minute, try searching online. There are several funny cat videos and pictures that show funny faces, captions and different cat behaviors.

First, how can you not find Maru adorable? This Scottish Fold cat who lives in Japan has garnered a great following. One of his videos has been viewed more than 20 million times! What’s his most lovable personality? His fetish for boxes! He would sit or get inside any box, large ones and even the smallest ones.

We’re sure Grumpy Cat does not approve of this happy news about online cat videos, but the internet just loves his grumpy face. His real name as given by his human owner is Tardar Sauce, but he became more popular as the one and only Grumpy Cat. He even has his own movie, released last 2014, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.

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