You might think cat videos are a complete waste of time, but there’s actually a scientific reason why people like watching cat videos. Neuroscientists claim watching cat videos creates a spike of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which increases when the reward systems of our brain are activated. “It’s a powerful positive reinforcement,” says Patricia Wallace, a psychologist and author of “The Psychology of the Internet.”
Dr. Jessica Myrick, assistant professor in the media school at Indiana University, studied cat videos. She reported that participants who watched cat videos reported feeling significantly happier, more content and more energized after watching the video—as well as less anxious, less annoyed and less sad.
If cats can help improve people’s moods, then there’s no reason to pay for an expensive therapist when you can just watch a cat video instead.