Can Cat Videos Make You A Nicer, Healthier Person?

If you’ve had the internet longer than 5 minutes, you are aware that a large chunk of the content that gets uploaded and shared every day is comprised of adorable cat videos. In case you hadn’t heard, here is a prime example.

Now how did that make you feel? Maybe a little less stressed out? Odds are that watching this adorable kitty play around ended up lifting your spirits a bit, helping you forget about whatever else might be eating at you. In fact, scientists recently witnessed that watching cat videos can actually make people feel happier, less anxious, and even more energetic.

Not feeling it yet? Have another!

The study, conducted by Jessica Gall Myrick at Indiana University, took a poll of some 7,000 people, asking them where, when, and why they watch cat videos. And the responses were probably what you would have expected.

On the whole, participants reported watching 2-3 cat videos a week, most often after seeing them on Facebook, Buzzfeed, or some other viral content powerhouse. More often than not, the participants stated that they did not, in fact, seek out the video themselves, but simply clicked a link that popped up on their screen.

Like this!

The study also asked participants how they felt before and after viewing a cat video. Again, the results are likely what you would have already assumed: participants that were in a good mood (energetic and generally contented) tended to stay that way, while participants that were in a bad mood (depleted, anxious, annoyed, sad, or guilt-ridden) noted some relief from these negative feelings.

That got a little technical. Here, have another cat video.

To be fair, this could be viewed as science confirming something we had known for a long time, but having empirical evidence to support our long-felt beliefs never hurt.

It does make perfect sense – people tend to consume media that either helps them maintain a state of happiness or pull them out of a funk. And what better way to do that than watch a goofy furball mess around and do silly cat stuff?

So, with that being said, here is a solid hour of non-stop adorable cat antics. Enjoy!

Myrick, Jessica. “Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect?”  Elsevier. 52 (2015): 168-176. Print.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/06/16/the-fascinating-feel-good-psychology-of-internet-cat-videos/

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