The reason why there are so many cat videos is because in general men are exploiting the domestic cat for financial gain by entertaining people. I stress that it is not cut and dried and there are no clear boundaries (and I am generalising) but women are looking for cute cat videos (not exploitative) while men are unconcerned whether the cat is exploited or not because their goal is to earn cash. Videos of dogs are made less often because the dog is a man’s best friend. You don’t exploit and make fun of your best friend.
One presenter says there are 4.5 billion cute cat videos on YouTube. He’s wrong. There’s a ton of them but not that many. Another guy worked out that there are 2.89 billion videos on YouTube and his maths (“math” in the USA) was good. That is: 2,800,000,000.
If you search within YouTube for these words you get the following results:
- “cat” – 45,800,000 (almost 46 million)
- “cute cat” – 6,090,000 (about 6 million)
- “cute kitten” – 522,000 (about half a million)
- “funny cat video” – 36,300,000 (36 million)
These are numbers produced by Google and don’t think they are correct. I reckon there are more than as stated.
Every second one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube. You wonder how YouTube copes because the storage capacity and bandwidth must be monumental.
What happened? No one knows for sure why the cat became so popular in videos on the internet. Why was the dog excluded? Is the cat funnier and more entertaining than the cat? I don’t believe it.
Some videos which are meant to be funny and which get millions of views (up to 10 million) which is a huge number are just cruel. The cat’s owner is being cruel when they video their cat in distress. Pure exploitation, I think. Here is a typical example chosen at random. It has 7.6 million views, an enormous number. They video makers are laughing while the cat is crying.
The truth is that the popularity of the cat video is not about the cat being popular but often about people exploiting the cat for financial gain through using the cat as an entertainer. I repeat: it is often about exploiting animals for human entertainment and financial profit. It just so happens the cat is to hand. The cat is in the home, they are ready and waiting to be used. There are millions of cats in millions of homes all of which are potential sources of money making videos. Historically people have used animals for financial gain for eons. Humankind has always done it in every way possible. Animals are a human resource to be used for their benefit (I don’t believe that but in general people do).
Many of the funny cat videos are rehashes. People download a series of videos in breach of copyright and knit them together to form a compilation. These rehashed videos get enormous amounts of hits sometimes, making substantial sums of money for the maker (through adverts on the video) who as stated are in breach of copyright. As hard as they try, YouTube does not control copyright violations because there are too many of them.
Why wasn’t the dog exploited in videos? The dog could have been used in the same way. Dogs are equally entertaining as far as I know. There are no official answers. We don’t know so I’ll speculate. My answer to that tricky question is this.
Women prefer cats and generally look after them but it is men who normally make these funny cat videos. Men prefer dogs. Men are more likely to dislike cats. They are therefore less likely to exploit dogs and more likely to exploit the cat and make the cat look funny. The videos are demeaning the cat. It is a form of mild (sometimes not so mild) cat cruelty.
Men don’t want to make funny dog videos because the dog is their best friend. They don’t want to exploit their best friend. But the cat is aloof and solitary (they think). They don’t have a connection with the cat in the same way and so they use him/her.
Clearly, I am generalising. There are millions of men who like cats and who don’t make cat videos but there are enough men who are prepared to make these videos and if you read the comments below the video, most often it is the men who make crass and rude comments laughing at the video while often women make comments in defence of the cat.
This is a gender war. Sure, some women are cruel to cats and so on but in general the classic cat hating abusive person is male and it is the male who has the technical skill and financial motivation to make the funny cat videos.
Note: these are my personal views. You may well disagree. That is fine. Please leave a comment if you do and explain why.