From Grumpy Cat to Lil Bub – the internet is in love with cats and now we have a new science-based reason to explain why that’s totally okay.
We’ve all found ourselves looking at cute cat videos at one point and time, topping up our daily doses of warm and fuzzies.
In fact, cat videos have more views per video than any other category of YouTube content.
And as it turns out, watching those little fur balls is actually good for your general physiological health and well-being according new research.
A new study by an Indiana University Media School has found that viewing cat videos boosts energy and positive emotions.
The study, by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick, surveyed almost 7,000 people about their viewing of cat videos and how it affects their moods.
“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.”
Internet data show there were more than 2 million cat videos posted on YouTube in 2014, with almost 26 billion views.
Myrick said the results of the study were so positive that it’s suggests that cat videos could be used for a form of low-cost pet therapy.
“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.
Participants in Myrick’s study reported:
- They were more energetic and felt more positive after watching cat-related online media than before.
- They had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching cat-related online media than before.
- They often view Internet cats at work or during studying.
- The pleasure they got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating.
- Cat owners and people with certain personality traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch cat videos.
- About 25 percent of the cat videos they watched were ones they sought out; the rest were ones they happened upon.
- They were familiar with many so-called “celebrity cats”
Do you watch cat videos at work? Own up in the comments below!