Cat Project Archives for January 2-5, 2018.
2, 2018: "Don't let anyone tell you loving a cat is
silly. Love, in any form, is a precious commodity." -
Barbara L. Diamond
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Incidentally, Dave thinks you're an asshole,
Mewvie: Can't you mew like a normal cat?
Feline Art: Lovely cat mug,
$10,000 cat tree?
The rent for bougie cat condos is too damn high in Japan.
An artisanal cat tower called Modern Cat Tree NEKO is now on the Japanese
market for about $9,570 plus tax, according to Quartzy.
The cylindrical perch is made of Japanese oak, beech and maple, Scandinavian
fabric and Greek marble with a hemp rope-lined scratching post and was
handcrafted by designer Yoh Komiyama and produced by the lifestyle brand
The marble base, the company says, is meant to cool the cat’s body,
because, wow, do cats have it rough these days!
As if spending $9,570 on a designer hangout for an animal that probably
doesn’t even like you anyway isn’t enough, Rinn also gives
cat-lady consumers the chance to buy minimalist cat accessories such
as automatic feeders and ceramic water bowls. The brand also publishes
a cat lifestyle magazine called Mill, which is sadly not the only cat
lifestyle magazine out there.
According to Quartzy, three cat enthusiasts have already forked over
the cash for this cushy cat perch. Like any luxury item, they’re
only selling a limited amount — 22 — this year. Better move
3, 2018: "My cat speaks sign language with her tail." -
Robert A. Stern
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Wake us when it's Spring."
Mewvie: Settling down for a short winter's nap.
Feline Art: Illustration
by Randall Spangler.
4, 2018: "Because of our willingness to accept cats
as superhuman creatures, they are the ideal animals with
which to work creatively." - Roni Schotter
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I'm coming. I'm coming."
Mewvie: How high can you fly?
Art: "Love" by Tracy Butler.
5, 2018: "I rarely meddled in the cat's personal affairs
and she rarely meddled in mine. Neither of us was foolish
enough to attribute human emotions to our pets." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Gonna be a lonnnnnnng winter."
Mewvie: A little cat music
Feline Art: "Karma" by
positive effect of cat videos.
According to ReelSEO.com, a website about video marketing, there are
more than two million cat videos on YouTube. People have watched these
videos more than 25 billion times, which equates to an average of 12,000
views per cat video.
The statistics speak for themselves, but they don’t tell the whole
Perhaps it’s because I’m a dog lover with a cat allergy,
but the staggering amount of cat media available to internet users came
as a surprise to me. With numbers like that, I couldn’t help but
wonder: who, exactly, is so drawn to this type of content? And what effects
do cat-related media have on viewers?
These were the overarching question that spurred my initial quest to
gather empirical data on the internet cat phenomenon. I scoured academic
databases to see what the literature could tell me, but found no existing
data about why people watched so many cat videos online, or what effects
these videos might have on us.
So I decided to find out myself.
My neighborhood internet celebrity feline – the adorable Lil Bub,
who happens to also live in Bloomington, Indiana – shared the link
on her website after I launched an online survey. With Bub’s help,
the survey quickly garnered nearly 7,000 respondents.
The results from this exploratory study suggest that certain people are,
in fact, more likely than others to view copious amounts of internet
cat videos. It also showed that cat videos can positively influence the
emotions of viewers.
According to my study, if you currently own or have previously owned
a cat – or if you’ve volunteered to assist pets in the past
year – you’re more likely to watch cat videos. Cat video
viewers also spent more time online than other participants, tended to
be more agreeable and shy, and felt they had adequate emotional support
in their lives. However, emotional stability was negatively (albeit only
slightly) related to watching online cat-related media.
The data also revealed information about the nature of audience interactions
with online cat media. Three-quarters of respondents did not actively
seek out cat content. Instead, they happened upon it in the course of
their daily internet use.
This means that it’s hard to avoid internet cats, even if you want
Still, online cat videos aren’t all about passive consumption.
Many people indicated they also produce their own cat-related media to
post online, which often amass comments and likes. Online cat-media consumption
is therefore an interactive process where media consumers can be media
producers and media critics, all in the same space.
But I really wanted to learn what effects watching online cat videos
might have on viewers.
People in my study reported experiencing more positive emotions and having
higher energy levels after watching cat videos than before. They also
reported lower levels of negative emotions after viewing online cat-related
In short, most of us get a little psychological “pick-me-up” when
we watch Lil Bub climb the stairs or view a hilarious Grumpy Cat meme.
You might wonder: So what? Why does this study matter beyond its momentary
Well, we now spend more time with media than ever before. If – as
my study suggests – part of that media diet includes cute pet videos,
then it’s important to know how that specific genre impacts us
psychologically if we want to truly understand the role of media use
in shaping who we are.
Second, media is often criticized (sometimes rightfully so) for harming
society – for making us violent, confused about science or even
narcissistic. This study, though, indicates that media use can have a
beneficial impact. Even a short-lived boost in one’s mood may help
someone make it through a day or charge through an unpleasant task.
Because this study was an exploratory attempt to quantify an anecdotally
popular activity, I don’t think it should be the final word on
the role of pet-related media in our lives. Instead, it should be a springboard
for more research.
Experiments that use control groups can test different types of cat videos
(eg, humorous, cute, or inspirational) for differences in emotional reactions.
Additionally, researchers could test if digitized cats or dogs can serve
as a low-cost form of pet therapy for those who are allergic to real
Cat videos are here to stay, so I hope researchers continue to study
the potential “paw-sitive” effects of this type of media.