Indiana University Media School researcher and assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick found even if people watch cat videos on the Internet to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help them take on tough tasks afterward.
Gall Myrick surveyed nearly 7,000 people about their viewing of cat videos and how it affects their moods. Respondents revealed they were more energetic and felt more positive after watching cat-related online media than before. They also had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness after watching cat-related online media.
Internet data show there were more than 2 million cat videos posted on YouTube in 2014, with almost 26 billion views. Cat videos had more views per video than any other category of YouTube content. In Myrick’s study, the most popular sites for viewing cat videos were Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed and I Can Has Cheezburger. Respondents were familiar with many so-called “celebrity cats,” such as Nala Cat and Henri, Le Chat Noir, Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Cat owners and people with certain personality traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch cat videos.
The research found respondents often view Internet cats at work or during studying. But, the pleasure they got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating.The study was published in the latest issue of Computers in Human Behavior.