Cats make people laugh – cats and social networking

Social networking and cats

Social networking and cats. Maine photo by mkhmarketing. Side photos of cats copyright Helmi Flick.

The chief operating officer of a company called Viral Spiral, which is a content management company, said that cats were popular because they made people laugh.

I’m not sure that he is completely correct. There is no doubt that cats make us smile and make us feel better and sometimes they make us laugh. Sometimes they make us sad or anxious.

Because cats make people laugh, it is said that this is the reason why more than 350,000 cat owners in Britain have set up social networking accounts with websites, such as Facebook, for their cat. Have these Facebook accounts being set up correctly using the correct pages and are they compliant with Facebook’s rules and regulations? Who reads the regulations? There are 83 million fake accounts on Facebook. How many of them are pages about pets which inadvertently fall foul of Facebook’s rules and regulations?

In addition, the number of photographs of cats put online each day by British people is 3.8 million. The number of photographs of people put online, by comparison, is 1.4 million.

This is an interesting statistic. Research indicates that one in five people who have set up a social networking account for their cat believe that their cat is more interesting than themselves.

There is also the modern Internet, social networking phenomenon which is the desire of some cat owners to make their cat a celebrity in order to receive some fame themselves vicariously through their cat.

This would seem to have some similarities to pushy and ambitious parents achieving something that they wish they had achieved themselves but did not and then try to do so through their children.

People clearly love seeing and sharing funny or cute pictures of their cat, including videos and memes. A meme is an idea or method of presenting something which catches on from person to person on the Internet and which becomes a craze. Funny cat pictures with captions in “Impact” font are an example.

However, I have two observations to make about that. Firstly, the funny cat picture is on the wane. This has to be the case because they are a craze, although very long-lived, and crazes always have their day and become eventually a part of history. This observation can be seen by checking out the cheeseburger website which has totally reconfigured itself because at one time it took a nosedive when it was exclusively based upon funny cat pictures.

Secondly, I’m not convinced that using the domestic cat as a means of entertainment is a good idea. I think what has happened is that people who do not like cats have also enjoyed laughing at cats, which has led to a disrespectful approach to the domestic cat. The wrong sort of person has jumped onto the bandwagon and this has distorted our relationship with the domestic cat, in my opinion. It has caused some people who do not care for a cat to perceive the domestic cat as something that he or she is not. The Internet cat sharing phenomenon is good fun but I’m not sure that it helps to improve cat welfare or to improve the relationship between people and the domestic cat.

There is a gulf between the cat picture sharing phenomenon on social networking sites and the lives of shelter cats, stray cats and feral cats. It would seem that the reality of the latter is something that people like to forget.

There are many benefits to sharing photographs of cats on the Internet. It is enjoyable and often educational. It is possible that Facebook has had a beneficial effect upon cat welfare. We should just make sure that we respect the cat at all times.

Facebook Comments


Cats make people laugh – cats and social networking — 34 Comments

  1. Technically speaking you are not allowed to make a profile for your cat on facebook. If they find out they will remove it and I know it’s happened to people. They ask you to make them instead a “public figure” but I ain’t doing that for my Lilly – she has a regular profile. But when I learned about this issue I quickly changed the ‘personal info’ from as if Lilly was saying it to me saying it so if they ever take a look at the profile they won’t be able to say it’s her profile technically speaking.

    Facebook would get very stroppy if you did’t start off using your real name as a real human.

    AND we just know why that is…..

    Because of the precious data. They need their data to be truthful. That’s why from now on I am never giving my real name or age or anything to any of these sites.

    The most simple way to subvert the whole mass suveillance thing is to give false info. That is the main power we have as the people. Always give false data and their data is no longer accurate or useful.


    Back to cats and social networking.

    Yes people laugh at cats. I think the price of sharing and enjoying cats is that people who don’t care for them will laugh in on it too – perhaps in a derogatory way. But I still am pro people sharing cats – just as dog people do in the dog park – cat people do on Facebook.

    • Yes, I am generally in favour of sharing pictures of cats on Facebook and so on. I think, as I mentioned, by and large, it is both fun and beneficial. I would just like to see a little bit more respect for the cat on occasions but that is me, perhaps, being a little oversensitive.

      I had no idea that Facebook had disallowed profiles of cats and I presume animals. You make the point well that Facebook’s value in terms of stock is largely based upon the information it can accumulate from its users. Facebook probably has the biggest database of personal information in the world.

      Sometimes I believe that 99% of Facebook’s subscribers have no idea that Facebook is a highly competitive business in a highly competitive business environment.

    • Marc you can make a “PUBLIC PROFILE PAGE ” for your pet which is popular on “Facebook”. I have made a public profile page for my 22 year old Alexandrine parakeet titled “Mittoo Alias “Mittoo the poppat”.Check it out :- My two cats “Matahari” and “Matata” do get into the daily life of “Mittoo alias Mittoo the poppat” and its a satire on “Gossip News”. Honestly, i personally love exhibiting my cats and parrot on the internet for the benefit of others as well as reflected glory in breeding such wonderful animal companions.

      • Rudolph, I have always found navigating Facebook and trying to understand the different types of pages etc. difficult. Apparently, there are many Facebook users who have the same problem because they inadvertently set up a web page that falls foul of Facebook’s rules. Sometimes their behaviour is innocent and sometimes it is malicious but there are nonetheless a lot of people who are confused about Facebook’s rules and on a social media website very few people are interested in reading the rules and regulations before they get to work.

        Are you saying that Marc is incorrect? It seems that if a person set up a false account meaning an account not in their name that is incorrect and in breach of the rules. But there appears to be a fine difference between that and setting up an account which shows off your companion animal, which talks about your companion animal and which invites discussion. I don’t see how a clear difference can be assessed by Facebook.

        It seems to me that Facebook will allow people to create a page about their pet but they have to select the appropriate page. The big question is, what sort of page it?

      • Rudolph, how does the following Facebook rule apply in relation to a person setting up an account for an animal?

        “You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission […] You will not create more than one personal account.”

        • Hi Michael. Its simple to put your “PET” on “FACEBOOK”. If you have a Facebook account then start a “PAGE” on your pet.”PAGES” can be started for the purpose of advertising your personal business or company or just your pet. When you open the “PAGE” you will have to fill in the necessary bio-data and the most important being the v”Person, animal, bird or company” on which the page is named and whose “Passport Photo” appears.If a pet as in my case “Mittoo alias Mittoo the poppat” then i operate the account from my facebook account on behalf of “Mittoo alias mittoo the poppat”. If i want to commercialize the same then there are further steps and a certain yearly fee has to be paid to facebook for maintaining and advertising the “PAGE”.This “PAGE” is totally fee akin to the normal “Facebook account”.Eg:- You can open a “PAGE” on your cat “Charlie” and speak and maintain that account through your facebook account.
          Beloww is the “Passport Photo” of “Mittoo alias mittoo the poppat”.

  2. Cats are natural born comedians and love us to enjoy their antics, but to laugh WITH them, not to laugh AT them.
    I love seeing pictures and videos of cats doing what comes naturally, but any posed especially, dressed up, or provoked into doing something they don’t want to, makes me mad!
    One video has stuck in my mind for years, a newly declawed cat lifting her bandaged paws in pain, trying to walk and two people laughing in the background.
    There is a difference between innocent amusement and downright sick cruelty, also exploitation of course!

    • I remember this one as well. There is quite a fine dividing line between what’s acceptable and what isn’t I think. Sometimes being amused by cats is the wrong reaction and sometimes people don’t understand this. It must be borne out of an insensitivity towards animals and a dislike of cats.

      One thing that I have noticed is this. Social media and the comments one reads on the Internet in reference to cats does provide us with a pretty clear picture as to people’s attitude towards the domestic cat and often I regret to say I am disappointed as quite a large number of comments and remarks are derogatory and insensitive.

  3. just one last thing before i go to bed. i think its abit weird, or unusual. I noticed Rebel been staying around when i’ve been out here in lounge while on my laptop. Hes been doing that all week. I wonder if he knows, im going away or picking up on something. Hes never done that before.

    • Cats are very sensitive to change as you are aware. Perhaps you are doing things slightly differently which your cat has picked up on and made him a little bit anxious. That is a guess because I don’t know when and where you are going to and what your normal routines are like at home. However, cats can pick up on things in advance of something happening.

  4. Domesticated cats can be real clowns. Sometimes, I think I’m in a circus of sorts.
    Shelter, stray, and ferals not so much.
    But, there are moments when one will race up a tree and look at me like he wants to play “chase”. So adorable to me and, if I can spare the time, I’ll chase and race.

  5. im going to manapouri in Fiordland on tuesday for a week. Which is lower part of south island. Its prob alot like parts of england theres lots of greenery and forest. Ive been telling them we going away and i think hes picked up on that. Also i think hes picked up that im spendng more time out in the lounge where i use my laptop. So ill be away for a week. Be nice to have a break. I’m abit nervous as well as havent been away this long in ages.

    • My niece and her husband are currently in New Zealand. I’m not sure whether they will ever come back to England! New Zealand is one of the places I would love to see and it always looks beautiful. There appears to be a lot more space than in England because of the lower population and the landscape looks awesome.

      • Yes I’m Proud to be a new Zealand. There’s different areas,that are more beautiful than others. Yea,well NZ is small population compared to some countries in the world. New Zealand is the size of one city imagine that or state. Auckland is the biggest city where most people seem to go to its too busy for me. I much Prefer Christchurch as was born there. Be three years tomorrow since earthquake in 2011. So hard to believe it happend.

  6. Michael have you ever been in Facebook jail? I’m serving 2 weeks this time for asking strangers to be my friends. Most of this comes about when we’re working together to save an animal and I realize I need this person in my network.

    I can receive messages from anyone, but can only respond if the person is on my friends list. No friend requests can be sent. I also can’t message anyone with a LIKE page on that page. That’s really hurting me because I PM people with those pages to get them to list my articles where they have better publicity.

    In the past I’ve even been in Facebook jail without sending strangers friend requests. And don’t try to contact Facebook because no one is actually running Facebook. It’s a necessary but very frustrating presence while trying to promote animals in need.

      • But the time I was in for 30 days I was innocent. Hadn’t sent requests in forever. The time comes from hooking up with people while trying to find half frozen dogs in the upstate. I have a few people having to pass along messages because I’m banned from sending them to people I need to contact on the LIKE pages.

    • Elisa, I have never been in Facebook jail. I had never heard of it until you mentioned it! Mind you, you use Facebook far more than I do and probably far more than most people because you are an excellent networker. It is difficult to know what the rules are and as you say it is impossible to contact anyone on Facebook. In fact it is often impossible or very difficult to contact an actual person behind one of these big websites. I have quite a good relationship with Google and am able to talk to someone there and feel quite privileged to be able to do so.

  7. There’s something about looking at cats that makes me smile, the cat or a picture of the cat, I do enjoy seeing them on FB if not posed, or cruel, or staged to be funny at the cat’s expense which is what all too often happens. I think cats are a great tonic to cat lovers, seeing one definitely cheers us up, getting to touch one makes our day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.