Cat Videos Are Good for Your Health, Science Says
The latest feline to go viral is Matilda the ‘alien cat’. Watch it and you’ll probably boost your mood. (Video: Trending Now | Yahoo)
If you’re one of the millions of people who enjoy watching cats doing the damndest things online, you’re not alone. And now researchers are saying that the warm “awww” feelings you get from viewing a fuzzy feline in action can actually have a positive effect on your life.
[As incentive to keep reading, we’ve loaded up this article with extra-cute kitty images.]
Study experts from Indiana University of Bloomington surveyed nearly 7,000 volunteers regarding this Internet craze. (And yes, the mania is real. According to the research, cat videos received about 26 billion total views, and more views-per-videos than any other category of YouTube content in 2014.)
Jessica Gall Myrick, lead study author and assistant professor at the Indiana University Media School, tells Yahoo Health that the participants were asked: How often do you view cat videos and/or photos online? “They responded on an eight-point scale with the following labels: Never; less than once a month; two to three times a month; once a week; two to three times a week; daily; and multiple times a day,” she says.
Turns out, the average person watches cat videos between the two to three times a week and daily.
Myrick states that many of the volunteers — who found their favorite videos on Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed, and I Can Has Cheezburger — were animal lovers.
“It’s reported that about 30 percent of the sample identified as a cat person, but a majority of the respondents in my survey said they liked both cats and dogs,” she explains. “So there is some crossover in the type of people who enjoy cat videos.”
Another interesting catty statistic: Cat owners and people with cat-like traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch cat content.
But viewing cat-related media seems to be more than just a form of cyberslacking. Myrick says that 72 percent of the study participants “reported more positive emotions after viewing than before.” They also claimed to have fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, as well as feeling more pleasure than guilt, despite the fact that most people indulged either while on the job or during study time.
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional payoff may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” she says.
Originally posted by IHKDOTGIF.TUMBLR.COM
Myrick believes the (animal) magnetism comes to down to a blissful and bonding experience. “I think the appeal of cat videos is many people —including myself — are allergic to cats and don’t necessarily want them as a pet, but we can still get a kick out of watching the video,” says Myrick, who owns a pug. “Watching these funny or cute pet videos is also a social phenomenon in that we want to share our favorite videos with others, as well as ask our colleagues if they’ve seen the latest viral pet video.”
These study findings may lead to future research that can explore the possibility of online cat content being used as a form of low-cost pet therapy. “Likewise, I’d imagine that dog lovers would probably enjoy dog videos quite a bit, too,” adds Myrick. “We just won’t know exactly until we study that media phenomenon.”
Originally posted by GIFLOOP.TUMBLR.COM
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