Why Does the Web Love Cats?

Why Does the Web Love Cats?

by Michael

There are a disproportionate number of domestic cat videos on the internet. There are a lot more funny cat pictures on the internet than one would expect. And for a while there was the craze of adding bold text in a funny language onto pictures of cats in strange circumstances – LOL Cats. So what is happening? Why are cats more popular in videos and pictures than they are in real life?

Yes, domestic cats are popular as animal companions. But so are dogs. There are hardly any funny dog videos. It seems to me that the interest is in funny cat activities. Ideally, there should be a fun element to the cat picture or video. You will have serious cat videos that do well too. But the great mass of high hitting cat videos are funny ones or bizarre ones.

I would beat my bottom dollar, to use a well worn phrase, that people who don’t like cats or even hate cat – and there are lots of people like that – watch funny cat videos. It is not just about people who like cats who want to watch funny cat videos. In fact, people who like and love cats probably do not like funny cat videos that much as some of them are quite cruel and slightly abusive of the cat. Or the video is exploitative of the cat. This grates with cat lovers I suspect. I does with me in any case.

My quick assessment brings me to the conclusion that the reason why the web loves cats is because:

(1) Independent minded, intelligent people are the usual cat caretaker or guardian. These people also like computing or at least surfing the internet and engaging on the internet. They can combine the two by creating and uploading a cat video. Somewhere, in some suburban home there will be a cat doing something special or unusual and that cat will find himself on the internet in due course.

(2) This is the bigger reason. The bulk of the video watching public are relatively young people. They are often young males I think. They are bored. They seek entertainment. TV is rubbish! The funny cat video meets the entertainment requirements of a wide section of this segment of society. If the person dislikes cats he can enjoy reinforcing his thoughts that cats are crazy and stupid because a lot of these videos show cats doing what you might consider to be crazy things. Of course he is wrong about cats being stupid but that isn’t the point. He thinks they are and likes that thought being confirmed.

If the person is a cat lover they can still the video and get enjoyment provided the video is not exploitative of the cat.

If you are in between these two types of person, you too can enjoy a cat video for obvious reasons. There is a wide section of society who like them. If there are lots of customers there will be lots of providers. It is market forces.

The key point is that the cat video attracts people who are outside the cat world. These people are not cat lovers. They don’t necessarily like cats. The audience has to be wider than just people who like cats for the number of videos and images to be disproportionate, which is the case.

What do you think??

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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Why Does the Web Love Cats?

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Nov 20, 2011
Absurd portrayal of cats and others
by: Grahame

I immediately think of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, The Road Runner, Scrooge McDuck, and all sorts of animals highly popular in animated cartoons. I do not think that their popularity is owing to any special liking for these animals *per se*. I fancy that many humans enjoy ridiculing other sorts of animals, even if it is couched in humorous terms. One message I get from this is: “See, we aren’t as ridiculous as they are!”

Also, I wonder if this sort of portrayal of animals does not facilitate abuse of them and other species.

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