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Are There Health Benefits to Watching Cat Videos? 5 Perks Backed By Science

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat intently watching TV

Who would have thought that something as simple as watching cat videos on the internet could have any health benefits? Well, according to recent scientific studies, this is actually true, believe it or not. Not only do cat videos bring smiles to our faces, but they can also help us to relax and reduce stress, improve our memory and even increase our productivity. In this piece, we’ll explore five surprising health benefits of watching cat videos and what science has to say about it.

The 5 Health Benefits of Watching Cat Videos

1. It Can Reduce Cortisol (Stress) Levels

There are some recent scientific studies that have investigated the psychological effects of watching cat videos. In one study, it was found that watching cat videos can reduce the participants’ cortisol levels, which can help to improve immune function.

Cortisol is often released by the body when we’re under stress and is associated with a number of health issues such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even increased risk of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. By watching cat videos, it’s possible to help to reduce stress levels and reduce the impact that cortisol has on our bodies, helping to improve overall health and wellbeing.

women and a cat are sitting in the bedroom watching TV online together
Image Credit: NikOStudio, Shutterstock

2. It May Help You to Focus Better

Research has also shown that watching cat and dog videos can help you to get more focus. A research study in Japan led to this conclusion. During the study at Hiroshima University, students were required to pay attention and complete tasks. The task performance of students who looked at cute pictures of baby animals improved.

The study also revealed that students were able to work at a slower pace and with more thought after looking at the photos. Researchers found that looking at photos of puppies and kittens increases attention and concentration. The research team conducted the experiments with university students, and it showed that looking at “cute things” actually increased performance output in common tasks that require behavioral attentiveness.

3. It May Increase Your Energy Level

About 7 years ago a media researcher at Indiana University discovered that viewers felt more energetic after watching cat videos. During the study over 7,000 people were surveyed after viewing cat videos to see how it affected their moods. Many of the participants reported feeling more energetic and generally more positive after watching cat related videos. Know that this study was done on cat owners and people who expressed a general indifference towards cats, which makes the research even more interesting.

Cat watching tv program about big cats
Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock

4. It May Boost Positive Emotions and Reduces Negative Feelings

The study at Indiana University also found that cat-watching sessions resulted in fewer negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, anger, and annoyance. The pleasure that research subjects got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt about procrastinating. Scientists discovered that “baby schema” (described as large eyes, chubby cheeks, and generally round features) which is largely associated with babies (both human and animal) can activate positive feelings and nurturing instincts.

5. It Has Implications for Improving Marital Happiness

Does this seem a bit far-fetched? Yes. But the study done by Florida State University seems to point to evidence that this may have some validity. The study was conducted on 140 married couples. Before 6 weeks the couples were required to stream images containing cats and other “cute” animals.

The group saw two sets of images, one paired next to their spouse, and one with their spouse paired with a neutral object. Surprisingly, the group showed higher satisfaction when their spouses were paired with cute animals than the neutral objects, eliciting a more positive and automatic response.

cat watching laptop
Image Credit: Catherine Heath, Unsplash

Best Cat Breeds for Emotional Support

Instead of simply watching cat videos, why not get a cat, if you’re able to? Similar to dogs, cats are great for providing emotional support for people that need it. In fact, research has shown that 85% of pet owners believe that their pets help them feel less isolated and lonely. Cats are usually less active than dogs and are actually more social, believe it or not. They can be just as warm and as affectionate as their canine counterparts, and they can be very selective and even jealous when it comes to the people they love.

The great thing about cats is that they don’t require as much attention as dogs and their random nature can bring a sense of humor and even absurdity to your daily life. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular cat breeds in terms of their ability to provide emotional support and help lift their owners’ spirits.


Persians are usually easy to spot as they stand out from other cat breeds due to their unique color patterns. Their large turquoise blue eyes and dark paws make them one of the most beautiful and sought after cat breeds in the world. Persians are laid back, easygoing, and typically mild-tempered. They’re known for their calm and sweet demeanor, making them an ideal companion for people of all ages. So overall, they’ll usually prefer to curl up and take a nap rather than running around and playing.

They’re also known for their loyalty, often forming strong bonds with their owners. This breed is not typically known to be overly vocal, but they will often communicate their needs with meows and purrs. Persians don’t require a lot of exercise, but they do need regular grooming to help keep their stunning fur looking beautiful.

Persian cats are also known for their intelligence and are often easy to train. So, if you’re in need of a gentle pet that can be a great companion for emotional support and comfort, this breed may be right for you.

Cute crossbreed Persian cat playing with a ball
Image Credit: Boyloso, Shutterstock

Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats, one of the largest feline breeds, are not to be underestimated. Their fluffy fur can make them as big as a medium-sized dog. They are intelligent and beautiful, making them one the most popular cat breeds in the US. Maine Coons can be trained quickly and are very well behaved. Because they’re friendly with children and love attention, they make great family pets.

Their fur needs to be brushed frequently and can get on furniture and bedding. Because of their soft fur, Maine Coons can be a great support animal for emotional issues.

American Bobtail

This cat breed is known for its distinct short, stubby tail, which is the result of a natural genetic mutation rather than any intentional breeding. The American Bobtail is a playful, active, cuddly, and playful cat that will lift your spirits. Although the American Bobtail is quiet and soft-spoken, they’re very expressive with their owners. They’re eager to share their affection with children and are great with them. These cats love to interact with people, making them excellent companions for those who want a cuddly pet.

They’re also known for their intelligence and are easy to train. The American Bobtail cat temperament is also quite active and playful. They can often be seen running around the house and jumping and climbing on things. Bobtail cats can often be taught tricks, making them a great choice for those who want an active and fun pet to keep around the house.

American Bobtail on green background
Image Credit: OrangeGroup, Shutterstock


The Ragdoll cat temperament is known for being very friendly, gentle, and loving. This breed is known for its soft, fluffy coat, and its gentle, relaxed nature. They’re known to be one of the most loyal breeds of cat, often forming strong bonds with their owners. Ragdolls are also known for being very laid back and tolerant of handling, making them great companions for people who need emotional support.

But Ragdolls are very social, and love to cuddle and be around people. They’re also known for being very intelligent and learning quickly. These small cats are often very vocal and will meow and purr to express their feelings. They also enjoy playing and are known for their ability to follow basic commands. In most cases, Ragdolls rarely show aggression, and tend to be passive and accepting of changes in their environment. They’re known to be very affectionate and enjoy being petted and groomed.

Russian Blue

The Russian Blue cat is actually a rare and mysterious breed of cat, known for their unique temperament, intelligence, and beauty. The Russian Blue cat was first bred in Russia and is known for its striking blue-gray coat, emerald-green eyes, and a quiet and gentle nature. It’s an intelligent and affectionate cat and can be a great companion for both children and adults, making it great for emotional support. Overall, they’re known for being very loyal and devoted to their owners, and they thrive in an environment of love, attention, and affection.

This cat breed isn’t particularly active, but they do enjoy a good play session with their owners. They’re a very curious breed, and love to explore their environment, and they are often found investigating new places and items. They also enjoy being groomed and petted and can be quite vocal when they feel ignored or neglected.

Russian Blue sitting on the rocks
Image Credit: Review News, Shutterstock

Wrapping Things Up

If you love cats as much as you love taking time out to relax, watching cat videos can be a great way to boost your health and wellbeing. There are many different kinds of cat videos to pick from, meaning that you can find the perfect kind of relaxing video for you. Cat videos can be very simple with little or no dialogue, allowing you to relax and de-stress after a long day while still boosting your productivity and bringing creativity to your work with little distraction. Or, you can choose a real cat as an emotional support animal if you have the ability to care for one.

Featured Image Credit: SnacksInTheBackpack, Pexels

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