Now, at last, there is a published scholarly study of the study of cat videos. The study is:
“Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect?” Jessica Gall Myrick, Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 52, November 2015, pp. 168–176. The author, a professor at Indiana University, explains:
“research has yet to seriously address this popular culture phenomenon rooted largely in social media platforms. It is possible that viewing of online cat media improves mood, but this activity may also foster negative outcomes linked to using the Internet for procrastination. The present survey of Internet users (N = 6795) explored the correlates of viewing ‘Internet cats,’ motivations for consuming this media, and its potential effects on users….
“Bivariate correlations revealed the interrelationships between personality, cat-related behaviors, cat affinity, and viewing of cat-related Internet content. These analyses demonstrated that higher frequency of viewing Internet cats was positively and significantly associated with cat affinity, cat ownership (current and past), pet assistance behaviors, agreeableness, shyness, and affective support. Frequency of viewing was negatively and significantly associated with emotional stability, with negative values of emotional stability similar to higher trait anxiety/neuroticism.”
Here’s further detail from the study:
Here is a cat video, one of many that, reportedly, can be found on the Internet:
BONUS: Here is a dog video, produced by Jessica Gall Myrick, author of the study “Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect?”: