Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Relax; science says watching cat videos at work is actually good for you

rexfeatures_3969674a.jpg

Ready for some absolutely wonderful news? You know all those times you secretly watched cat videos at work and felt really, really guilty about it? It turns out you didn't have to feel bad, because new research says that watching cat videos is actually good for you and can help you to perform tough tasks better.

According to a study published in Computers in Human Behaviour, watching cat videos helped to boost viewers' energy and emotions, making them feel better about negative feelings and more able to face difficult talks ahead.

Almost 7,000 people were asked about how they felt before and after watching cat videos, with the results making for fascinating reading: those little kittens can really help to boost our performance at work and can even make us happier people. The study also showed that only 25% of cat videos are watched because people actually sought them out - most of the millions of cat videos that are watched around the world just happen to be stumbled upon in the huge procrastination-enabler that is the Internet.

Research into cats is one of our favourite things; just a couple of months ago we were delighted to find out that when a cat rubs itself against your leg, it means it's hugging you. Who knew?

cat

​“For most people, watching the cat videos improved their mood,” Indiana University assistant professor and author of the study Jessica Gall Myrick told Indiana Public Media: “Specifically, they reported after watching Internet cat videos that they felt more hopeful, more positive, more inspired and they also tended to feel less anxious, less angry. We saw a decrease in negative emotions.”

There were more than 2 million cat videos posted on YouTube in 2014, and with almost 26 billion views, cat videos had more views per video than any other category - which means there's a lot of free therapy and stress relief out there for cat lovers.

"As the news accounts suggest, internet users spend a significant amount of time consuming cat-related media, some of that while they are supposed to be doing other tasks like working or studying," Jessica said. "Practically, these findings... promote the idea that viewing internet cats may actually function as a form of digital pet therapy and/or stress relief for internet users."

kitty

“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,” Jessica added, before reiterating the importance of cute cat videos on the internet.

“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,” she 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."

Who could ever ignore Internet cats?

Without further ado, we think you should indulge in some stress-relief right now and watch some of our favourite cat videos below...

Drinking cat

Shy cat

Sneaky cat

Cat Vs. Lampshade

Distracted cat

Identity crisis cat

Acrobatic cat

Paper bag cat

Backwards cat

Yoga cat

Scaredy cat

Related

puppy HERO.jpg

UK university opens up a 'puppy room' to help students de-stress

ThinkstockPhotos-180916709_edited-1.jpg

Cats are just as affectionate as dogs, says science

montjiro.jpg

The most stylish pets to follow on instagram

cat.JPG

Watch as these adorable kittens help stressed out people unwind

rexfeatures_4197842ap.jpg

Farewell photo tribute to beloved family pet

Men_Cats-4.jpg

Men & Cats photos challenge sexist stereotype of 'crazy cat lady'

Comments

More

The loneliness crisis: can you really make friends on an app?

"I’m filled with a warm, first term at Malory Towers-style hope"

17 Feb 2017

People are more scared of deadlines than they are of actually dying

Makes sense to us.

by Moya Crockett
17 Feb 2017

Seven year old girl asks Google for a job - and gets the best response

"Dear Google boss, when I am bigger I would like a job."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Feb 2017

The Love Actually cast have already started filming their reunion

And there are behind-the-scenes photos. WE CAN’T DEAL.

by Moya Crockett
17 Feb 2017

“You were my best friend”: watch the heart-breaking #HurtBae video

“I did everything… I had sex with other girls. I did everything.”

by Amy Lewis
16 Feb 2017

This Yorkshire bakery has created an entire range of unicorn bakes

Move over rainbow toast/bagels/toasties

by Amy Swales
16 Feb 2017

This is the best drink to pair your cheese with (no, it’s not wine)

Is it gin? Is it Prosecco? No, it’s…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

Science says this is the one incredible benefit of staying single

It seems as if staying single may be the best route to a happy-ever-after…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

Quiz: which Love Actually character are you?

It's time to find out which of the film's most iconic characters you're actually like...

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

A free cheese and wine festival is coming to London

And there’s chocolate involved, too

by Moya Crockett
16 Feb 2017