This Cat Video Is Good for Your Mental Health

Feel better after watching that video? You can thank SCIENCE. A recent study led by Indiana University Media School researcher Jessica Gall Myrick confirmed what we’ve all been hoping is true: watching cat videos online is more than a perfectly good use of your lunch break at work—it’s actually good for you, too.

Published on June 12th in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, the study surveyed almost 7,000 people about their cat video viewing habits, personality traits, and emotional states. One interesting discovery: some purrsonality personality traits—namely, agreeableness and shyness—are more strongly associated with what the study calls “Internet cat consumption.” Cat owners were also more likely to watch cat videos, which I can only imagine is because we’re plotting how to make our own cats Internet famous (just me?).

The study also found that watching cat videos is actually good for you—participants reported being more energetic and feeling more positive (or should I say paw-sitive? sorry, I can’t stop) after watching them. They also reported fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance, and sadness. And although participants reported watching Internet cats at work or while studying pretty often, any guilt they felt about procrastinating with cat videos was outweighed by the pleasure they got from watching said cat videos. “Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional payoff may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” Myrick explained. Kitten cuteness prevails!

A previous study from Loma Linda suggested that laughter-inducing videos help subjects “think more clearly and have more integrative thoughts.” So if that kitten batting water makes you laugh, you can feel doubly good about it.

Finally, participants from the Indiana University study claimed that only a quarter of the cat videos they watched were ones they sought out themselves—the other 75 percent were ones they just “happened upon.” Sure. SURE.

Want more animal videos in your life? Look for the daily cute video featured every day on Care2.

392 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R7 months ago

TYFS

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Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

My dear old boy is 18 years old now and far too sensible for these antics, so that's my excuse for watching others. Mind you, he did surprise me the other day by stalking and hunting down an insect. I love him to bits.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Muriel Servaege
Muriel S2 years ago

Thank you for this article.

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Yola S.
.3 years ago

Loved this because I adore all cats !

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