Science Says Watching Cat Videos Is Good For You


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I’m way more of a dog person than a cat person. If given a choice, I am always going to pick a dog over a cat. Why? First off, dogs actually like to snuggle and aren’t likely to try and claw your eyes out when you give them a hug. Secondly, dogs are always happy to see you whenever you come home whereas cats are totally judging you when you come in at 2am after hooking up with that guy you swore you would never ever text again. Third, dogs are totally better than boyfriends, while having cats is the universal sign that you will never actually have a boyfriend.

But, for some reason, when it comes on online videos, I can get sucked in to a cat playing the piano just as much as I can a dog chasing a bubble. I used to think that it was that I had such ADD that I could be distracted by pretty much anything, but it turns out that it’s actually science.

In a new study published in Computers in Human Behavior, Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor at Indiana University, surveyed 7,000 people about their cat-video watching habits and it turns out that people aren’t watching cat videos because they are actively searching them out; instead, they are being bombarded with them on social media. Wait, so is everyone in the world Facebook friends with my weird Aunt Marilyn who posts like 28 cat videos a day?

As for why we click on the vids instead of scrolling right by, it boils down to procrastination (duh) and pleasure. Viewing cat videos can be considered a form of pet therapy, the same way pets can be therapeutic for the elderly or sick children. Myrick writes in her study , “Practically, these findings promote the idea that viewing Internet cats may actually function as a form of digital pet therapy and/or stress relief.”

So, in the interest of your health, here is a YouTube compilation of the best cat videos out there:

I’m still a dog person, but if you need me, I’ll be over here watching Grumpy Cat vids.

[via Esquire]

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