A Few Cat Videos Per Day Helps Keep The Doctor Away Say Researchers

We always knew that watching videos of cats was good for a few laughs, hence why so many of our work days are interrupted by having to watching "just one more clip." If that sounds familiar, don't beat yourself up over it -- a new study in the journal Computers in Human Behavior suggests that watching videos of cats may also be good for your health.

The study pinged nearly 7,000 people and asked them how viewing cat videos affected their moods. Of those surveyed, over a third (36 percent) described themselves as a "cat person" and nearly two-thirds (60 percent) said they have an affinity for both dogs and cats.

Cat in Bowl

Survey subjects noted less tendencies towards feeling anxious, sad, or annoyed after watching cat videos, including times when they viewed the videos while at work or trying to study. They also reported feeling more energetic and more positive afterwards. There may have been some guilt from putting off work or studying to watch Internet videos, but the amusement they got from seeing the antics of cats more than made up for it.

Not only did the amusement of cats outweigh their guilt, but according to study author Jessica Gall Myrick, and assistant professor at Indiana University's Media School, "the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward." That's a line to remember in case you ever get caught watching cat videos at work when you should be filing TPS reports.

"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," Myrick said. "If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can't ignore Internet cats anymore."

It's an interesting subject considering there have been more than 2 million cat videos posted to YouTube in 2014, resulting in 26 billion views. According to Myrick, there's been very little empirical work done on why so many Internet users watch cat videos.
Tags:  Study, Videos, cats