We all know about the cat obsession on social media sites like YouTube. Short videos like “Surprised Kitty” have over 76,000,000 million views.
Many of us also know about the cat Memes such as Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, and the myriad of other memes on the list.
But why cats and not dogs? Man’s best friend?
“I see more cat videos than dog videos because they’re more popular but I’d like to see more dog videos,” says Lia Hodson, a YouTuber who uploads video on her “The MadLi Show” channel.
Cats are often shown to have quirks in these videos. Copy cat behavior, or just comical disobedience like in the Gato malo :: Thug Life YouTube video.
“It’s easier to identity with cats. A cute cat video is them being confused or something like that. Because cats are less social, to see them doing something social or different is more interesting to watch,” Says Kimberly Giancaspro, a YouTube user who watches cat videos.
Dogs on the other hand are often more straightforward in their intentions / feelings. Many of us know about their fear of vacuums, or their obedience and ability to do tricks like “Sit” or “roll over.”
Those videos are occasionally interesting to watch, but cats quirks are more a rarity. They happen randomly, and display a bit of the cat’s personality. The chance of a camera rolling during those moments is less of one than a camera rolling when you tell a dog to sit.
The mystery and Egyptian history of cats may also add to the valued interest online. When you see Grumpy cat, how do you know Grumpy Cat is not actually grumpy and we’re just once again throwing human expressions on animals?
An Image macro is a picture superimposed with text. They’re arguably the most recognized form of a meme. Pictures of cats in human-like poses or expressions are often shown with text.
Popular memes are the Chris Hansen cat, which shows a cat sitting at a table often with text such as “What were you planning on doing with three kittens and a laser pointer?” or “Why don’t you have a seat and explain your lack of gratitude for the dead birds I’ve brought you?”
Grumpy Cat image macro memes show pictures of a grumpy looking cat with text like “I liked Titanic my favorite character was the iceberg” or “I purred once It was terrible.”
These Image macros represent anthropomorphism, which is a hugely popular part of the entertainment in cat videos.
In the end, what goes viral isn’t always easy to trace. The path to popularity has many roads.