Feline Fame: The Internet’s Obsession with Cats

There are many famous cats these days. Some of them have even more Instagram and Twitter followers than movie star celebrities do. Grumpy Cat has his own movie coming out this month. As hard as it may be to believe, your cat can become a celebrity itself.

It’s obvious that cats pretty much dominate the Internet these days, and I’m totally fine with that. I’m not saying everyone loves cats more than they love dogs, but the Internet definitely does. Even if you aren’t a cat person, chances are you’ve already spent hours watching cat videos online.

Lil Bub, Keyboard Cat and Grumpy Cat

Lil Bub, Keyboard Cat and Grumpy Cat

The main spark to the popularity of cats on the Internet was the introduction of cat memes in 2006, which rapidly spread through the popular image-based message board known as 4chan. Cat memes, also known as LOLCats, are images consisting of humorous photos of cats with superimposed captions written in a form of Internet slang known as lolspeak.

The Internet wasn’t the first to add funny captions to images of cats, however. A man by the name of Harry Whittier Frees started this idea back in 1903 by photographing cats dressed up in different outfits. He would then add captions to his photos, which were often sold as postcards by the company for which he worked.

Along with the rise of cat memes came the thousands of viral cat videos on YouTube and comical cat GIFS posted all over the web. These days, we have entire YouTube channels dedicated to cats and only cats, and they get millions of views on every video posted. If you are ever having a bad day, just find some of these to watch. They’re guaranteed to make you laugh and your day will suddenly get a lot better.

Some of the most well-known cats on the Internet include Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, Maru and Colonel Meow. Even if you aren’t familiar with their names, you’ll probably recognize their little faces when you see them.

So how did cats become so popular anyways? Well, it could be because they’re the cutest, cuddliest creatures that have ever existed. Or it could be because cats have such unpredictable personalities that their actions generate laughter to everyone in their presence. I happen to think it’s just a perfect combination of both.

I’ve also always wondered why cats have been so much more popular than dogs on the Internet. Personally, my favorite answer to this question is that dogs try too hard. Dogs are constantly begging for your attention, while cats know how to act cool and do the funniest things without even trying.

Yet despite the popularity of cats on the Internet, I was surprised to hear that the majority of people actually classify themselves as dog lovers. Studies have shown that cat owners and dog owners have very particular personality differences. People who say they are dog loverstend to be more energetic and outgoing. Cat lovers, on the other hand, tend to be more introverted, open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers.

We will likely never know the real answer as to why cats have earned more Internet fame than dogs, but I think we can all agree that the warm and fuzzy happiness they continue to deliver to the online world means that their fame is well deserved.