Good news! Science has confirmed what we already thought: watching cat videos is good for you!
A study of 7,000 people, conducted by researcher Jessica Gall Myrick, found that watching cat videos boosts energy and positive emotions. The study found that the participants felt less anxious and sad after watching cat-related videos.
Cat Videos: An Internet Sensation
Cat videos have an undeniable grasp on social media. How did we get here?
Cats as Historic Artistic Inspiration!
Throughout history, cats have been adored as a source of artistic inspiration. The Egyptians are perhaps the most famous for their feline fascinations. Cats were symbols of grace and protection, often associated with the lion-headed goddess Bastet, who represented home, fertility, and childbirth. Luxurious murals, statues, and jewelry featuring cats have been unearthed from Egyptian tombs, showcasing their profound respect for these creatures.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, the perception of cats underwent a dramatic shift. Often associated with witchcraft and superstition, cats were sometimes depicted in a negative light in illuminated manuscripts and paintings. However, this didn't deter artists from using them as subjects, intrigued by their form and fluidity.
The Renaissance saw a renewed interest in the natural world and daily life. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci produced numerous sketches of cats, capturing their varied postures and expressions.
The Birth of the World Wide Web: Cat Pictures Galore
As the World Wide Web began to grow in the 1990s and early 2000s, people naturally started sharing pictures of their beloved felines. Websites and forums dedicated to cats became prevalent, with users posting and sharing their favorite cat photos.
The Rise of YouTube: The Golden Era of Cat Videos
YouTube's launch in 2005 revolutionized how we consume content. It wasn't long before cat videos became a staple on the platform. One of the earliest viral cat videos was "Keyboard Cat," featuring a cat "playing" a keyboard. Uploaded in 2007, it heralded the beginning of countless other viral cat videos.
From "Nyan Cat" to "Grumpy Cat," the feline stars became sensations almost overnight. Their videos collected millions, sometimes even billions, of views, solidifying their status as the reigning champions of the internet.
Social Media Takes Over: The Age of Cat Influencers
As platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook grew in popularity, so did the prevalence of cat content. Cat influencers, like Nala Cat and Lil Bub, emerged, boasting millions of followers and securing brand endorsements. Short, bite-sized videos became the trend, perfectly suited for cats' fleeting yet funny moments.
The Cultural Impact
Why do we love cat videos so much? Some psychologists suggest that watching cat videos provides a quick mood boost, offering a temporary respite from the stresses of daily life. Cats' unpredictable and curious nature often leads to funny and endearing situations, making for perfect shareable content.
Moreover, cats, unlike many other companion animals, perfectly embody the Web's spirit of independence and irony. Their seemingly aloof demeanor paired with their unexpected bursts of affection or silliness makes for a complex and captivating subject.
Emily Huh, editor in chief of one of the Web's first cat-meme sharing sites, cheezburger.com, has a theory as to why the internet catapulted cats’ virality:
“In regards to why cats are more popular than dogs on the Internet, I think it's because cat owners don't have a cat park or a place where they can congregate in person to talk about their cats like how dog owners have a dog park to talk about their dogs. The Internet has provided a place for cat owners and fans of cats to talk about their own cats, comment on how hilarious, cute, or evil their cat is and swap stories, pictures, and videos."
As technology evolves, so does the way we consume content. With the advent of virtual reality and augmented reality, we can only imagine what the future holds for cat content. Maybe we'll soon find ourselves in immersive cat worlds.
Regardless of the medium, one thing remains clear: our love for cats, whether on-screen or off, is timeless. And as long as there's an internet, there will always be cat videos, ready to bring a smile to our faces.
All Cats Deserve a Loving Home!
Cute and funny cat videos have undeniably captured our hearts. But the reality for millions of cats is much darker.
The stray overpopulation crisis means that hundreds of millions of cats roam the streets without access to the security and love of a stable home.
That’s why 600 Million Dogs is working tirelessly to prevent the biggest cause of companion animal suffering: overpopulation. Our nonprofit science-centered mission is to significantly reduce animal suffering on a global scale by developing a safe, edible, one-dose, permanent-lasting birth control Cookie for stray dogs and cats.
Together, we can create a world where every cat has the chance to be playful, and know the feeling of care and safety from a loving guardian.