We’re sure it’s happened to you before that someone has sent you a cat video and before you know it you’ve spent your entire afternoon watching felines caressing each other. It’s okay. Been there, done that. But it does keep you wondering, what do cat videos have that we like so much?
Cat videos are the number one favourite videos online with an number of 26,000 million views a year. But why is it? There might not be a definitive answer just yet, but there a several studies that seem to come close.
It hits home
On the one hand, we have that a lot of people have a cat at home. And when we say a lot, we mean a lot. This means that, in the same way we like pictures in which our friends appear, we prefer to watch videos with animals similar to our own.
They serve as a distraction
Another reason could be the “humanizing factor”. This phenomenon is why we find a cat playing dead or any other “human” activity amusing. Watching such videos makes us feel close to the animals and puts us on the same level.
However, one of the most important reasons why we like them so much is the feeling these videos give us. We almost never actually look them up directly; we rather “bump into them”. This means a distraction for whatever other boring activity you were carrying out, while at the same time having a small feeling of guilt for wasting time.
“The forbidden fruit” effect
Something that previously might seem negative, stimulates us to keep watching these types of videos. A phenomenon similar to when someone tells us not to do something: we immediately feel the urge to do it.
Lastly, we find that cats don’t care if they are being filmed or not. This doesn’t happen with dogs or humans. It’s why we often capture (even by accident) animal’s reactions naturally.
Still no definite conclusion
These are all reasons that make the question even bigger: why do we like cat videos so much? Unfortunately, there’s still no definite answer.