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Study Says Watching Cat Videos Boosts Energy, Positive Emotions [Video]

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Okay, my all-time favorite is the compilation where the cat is lying in the dogs’ bed and won’t get out.  You know the one where the dogs are freaking out trying to figure out how to give puss the boot? Or wait, maybe it’s the one where the cat’s cry sounds like a human voice. Changed my mind – it’s the cat dressed like a shark sitting on a Roomba. Yep, that one makes me laugh out loud every time.

Yes, I confess that I am among the millions who find themselves being sucked into the vortex that is the “funny cat video”.  That mash-up of silly cats doing silly things, often with a theme that includes a cardboard box, tub of water or the long-suffering dog.

Related: Wise Cat Explains The Super Bowl In Latest “Dear Kitten” Episode [Video]

But I’m not alone and surveys out of Indiana University Media School suggest this form of entertainment is what keeps me this side of sane. Apparently it boosts energy and positive emotions and decreases all those negative feelings.

Close to 7,000 participants were surveyed with a goal of determining  if the positive impact of viewing cat videos on-line has the same benefit as full-on pet therapy.  Or did participants feel guilty for wasting their time in front of a computer watching a cat screech “noooooo” while taking a bath?  Apparently, we don’t feel any sort of remorse… and there’s more.

Related: Talking Dog Really Wants A Cat To Call His Own

Did you know that there were more than two million cat videos posted on YouTube in 2014 and almost 26 billion (yes billion with a “B”) views.  In fact, those funny cat videos had more views per video than any other category on YouTube.  Yikes, it’s like there’s an entire nation of crazy cat people out there and I’ve got a passport.

The most popular sites as chosen by those surveyed?  Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed and I Can Has Cheezburger.  Survey results show that 36 percent of the participants felt they were “cat people” while 60 percent liked both cats and dogs. So right off the bat “must love animals” is a common denominator.

Other findings?  Participants stated they:

  • They felt energetic and more positive after viewing cat-related videos.
  • Had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching the videos.
  • Often viewed these feline films at work or while studying.
  • Were familiar with internet sensations such as Nala Cat and Henri, Le Chat Noir.

Additionally,

  • The pleasure gained from watching the videos outweighed any guilt they felt about wasting time.
  • Cat owners and people with certain personality traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch the videos.
  • About 25 percent of the cat videos they watched were sought out versus happened upon.

The survey concluded that the general feeling was that watching cat videos was a positive decision and had an emotional pay-off that might help the viewer prepare to tackle tough tasks afterwards.  It also suggested that future studies might explore if, and how, cat videos might be used as a form of low-cost per therapy.

For each participant who took the survey, Jessica Gall Myrick, Indiana University Media School researcher and assistant professor, donated 10 cents to the Lil Bub Foundation, raising almost $700. The foundation, Lil Bub’s Big Fund for the ASPCA, has raised more than $100,000 for needy animals.

And in the spirit of this study, we leave you with this funny cat video of dogs that are scared of cats. Be happy!

[Source: Pet Product News]


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