The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Whenever I see a video of a cute cat, my immediate instinct is to share it. Just last night I sent a video of a cat lazing around and being adorable, to my boyfriend, thinking that my reasons for sharing were obvious – cutest cat ever. He responds with “I don’t get it, what’s the video about? It’s just an orange cat”. Men. The intricacies and magnitude of a cat’s sheer adorableness are lost on them. But it got me thinking, cat videos have been circulating the internet forever. It was a running joke in the early days of video sharing that everyone shared these cat videos and they’d go viral. But why the cat? What is it about them that makes us instinctively want to share it with our entire contacts list?
First, everyone likes cats. Sure you could send that incredibly nuanced and hard-hitting meme or inspirational video, but those can all get too political. How do you know this new friend would get it? Or maybe inspirational videos make them cringe. Everything is high risk – except cats. The worst possible reaction is “aw cute, why did you send this?” to which you can reply, “It’s cute shut up”.
Second, their cuteness brainwashes us. Cats are very manipulative. One second you’re relaxing on the couch, the next you’re spoon-feeding them Friskies and fanning them with a palm leaf because they gave you a look. It’s almost as effective as puppy dog eyes – if a little more sinister. There’s an underlying threat in their stare, like if you don’t do what they want then you’ll have to sleep with one eye open at night. So why not share the video! It’s a great way to avoid the scratched-out eye and the 12 years of bad luck that you’d probably be stuck with otherwise.
Third, cats are interesting and fun. They climb up on things and knock stuff over the counter. They do stunts for attention and act like bunnies or dogs. Cat videos aren’t just cute, they’re usually funny too. They feature cats doing crazy tricks or sprawling out on their owner’s laptops and deleting all their work. Cat owners can relate, and dog owners can laugh. This isn’t to say dog videos aren’t funny or interesting, but they don’t always bring the same “aw” factor that cat videos do. Nothing beats watching a cat attack a blade of grass or sneak a block of cheese off the counter.
Fourth, we love the people in our lives and want to share good things with them. RIGHT? Right. If you had a delicious pie then you’d share it with them. You’d show them a movie you think they’d like. So why not share the cat video love too? Plus, seeing a fluffy cat boosts your mood, so it’s good for your health AND your heart.
I’m pretty sure the first video I ever shared was a cat video, sent from my boxy first-generation iPod touch. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the last video I ever share, sent from my brain chip on my deathbed. I have every faith that the cat video is forever, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.