Downloaded from on November 14, 2015 - Published by

News & Reports

health and wellbeing

Cat videos leave viewers feline fine A STUDY by a researcher at the Indiana University Media School in the USA has suggested that viewing cat videos online can boost viewers’ energy and positive emotions and decrease negative feelings. The study, by Jessica Gall Myrick, was published online by the journal Computers in Human Behaviour on June 12. It asked more than 7000 people about their viewing of cat videos and how this affected their mood. Explaining why she undertook the study, Professor Myrick said that little empirical work had been done on why so many people watched videos of cats online, or on what effect this might have on viewers. ‘Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the internet today. If we want to better understand the effects the internet may have on us as individuals and on society, 668 | Veterinary Record | June 27, 2015

then researchers can’t ignore internet cats anymore,’ she said. ‘As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon.’ She said that she hoped to explore whether viewing cat videos online had a similar positive impact to pet therapy and whether some viewers felt worse after viewing a video because they felt guilty for procrastinating. Of those participating in the study, 36 per cent described themselves as a ‘cat person’, and 60 per cent said that they liked both cats and dogs. Among the findings reported, participants said that they were more energetic and felt more positive after watching cat-related online media than before, and that they had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness. They also reported often watching internet cats at work or while studying

and that the pleasure they got from this outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating. The study found that cat owners and people with certain personality traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch cat videos. ‘Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,’ said Professor Myrick. She also suggested that future work might explore how online cat videos could be used as a form of low-cost pet therapy. n  Myrick, J. G. (2015) Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect? Computers in Human Behaviour doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.06.001 doi: 10.1136/vr.h3334

Downloaded from on November 14, 2015 - Published by

Cat videos leave viewers feline fine

Veterinary Record 2015 176: 668

doi: 10.1136/vr.h3334 Updated information and services can be found at:

These include:

Email alerting service

Receive free email alerts when new articles cite this article. Sign up in the box at the top right corner of the online article.


To request permissions go to: To order reprints go to: To subscribe to BMJ go to:

Cat videos leave viewers feline fine.

Cat videos leave viewers feline fine. - PDF Download Free
47KB Sizes 4 Downloads 9 Views