If you consider cat videos to be a favorite guilty pleasure of yours, it's time to stop feeling guilty right about now. Research shows that watching cat videos is not only good for entertainment; it's also excellent for your health.
The June 2015 study published in Computers in Human Behavior surveyed nearly 7,000 people about watching cat videos and how the practice affects their moods. (Um, where can we sign up to take a study like this one?) While only 36 percent of the people who took the survey identified themselves as a "cat person," the research showed overwhelmingly positive results for most participants after they watched cat videos.
Participants who viewed the feline footage reported feeling more energetic and more positive after watching cat-related media than they did before they tuned in. They also reported feeling less negative emotions — such as annoyance and anxiety — after watching the purr-fect videos.
"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," said lead author Jessica Gall Myrick, PhD, in a press release. "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."
Perhaps the most relatable result from the study? Most participants have snuck in a cat video or two while they were supposed to be working on something else. Interestingly enough, the pleasure they got from watching these cat videos actually outweighed any guilt they felt from procrastinating on their tasks. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they — or you — should feel guilty at all.
"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 Dr. Myrick.
We couldn't agree more!
Next, watch a few sleepy cats that remind us of ourselves in the morning in the video below: