Cats are a cornerstone of the Internet. For years, videos, pictures, and memes of cats have gone viral, inspiring our adoration and amusement. But other than our own entertainment, are there any benefits to cat videos? Some research has indicated that watching cat videos can benefit you. If you are curious to learn more about those benefits, keep reading below.
How Popular Are Cat Videos
In 2015, a survey showed that cat content made up around 15% of internet traffic.1 Since then, the numbers have only grown. This is especially true due to the increase of people in recent years who needed to remain home for prolonged periods. In 2020, Google searches for “dog” and “cat” reached all-time highs.2 The search term “cat” had over 50 million searches per month, surpassing the numbers from 2015 by over 20 billion.
It is estimated that there are 6.5 billion cat pictures on the internet. On YouTube, there are millions of cat videos with views that have reached tens of millions. In short, cats are extremely popular on the internet, and so are their videos. So, if you spend a little more time than you should scrolling through cat videos, don’t worry—you’re not the only one!
The 3 Benefits of Watching Cat Videos
Cat videos are among the most popular content on the internet, and most people have certainly stumbled across one at some point. According to studies, that may be a good thing. Cat videos are said to provide several benefits for the viewer.
1. Cat Videos Improve Your Focus
A study conducted in Japan at Hiroshima University suggests that looking at pictures of kittens and puppies can boost a person’s attention and concentration. The study showed some students cute images before assigning them a task that required caution. The students who saw the cute pictures performed better than those who didn’t, and they took their time with the task.
2. Cat Videos Can Increase Your Energy Levels
Another study has shown that participants who viewed cat videos felt more energetic than those who did not.3 There may be a connection between humor and higher energy, and since cats can inspire our amusement, they may be able to increase our energy as well.
3. Cat Videos Can Boost Your Mood
When you see a video of a cute, silly creature, of course, your mood will improve. Studies have shown that when we see something cute, the pleasure centers of our brains are activated due to the flooding of dopamine.4
Unexpected Benefits of Owning a Cat
Watching cat videos has benefits, so it stands to reason that owning a cat comes with its advantages as well. There are the expected benefits, such as companionship, entertainment, and getting to have a cute cat around the house. But there are some unexpected benefits to consider as well.
A study from the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis found that your risk of suffering from a heart attack could be reduced by as much as 30% if you own a cat. This is due to your cat’s ability to relieve your stress, which, if left unchecked, could lead to significant health issues (such as a heart attack) in the future. It has also been shown that owning a cat can reduce your blood pressure.
Whether you are watching a cat from your computer screen or in real life from just a few feet away, cats can provide plenty of great benefits for our health. Our emotional and mental well-being can be improved with just the click of a button, as long as a cat pops up on the screen. And if you have a feline friend already living in your house, you may have been reaping more health benefits than you realized.
Featured Image Credit: McLittle Stock, Shutterstock