When I used to work for a digital agency, one thing believed was if you use cats in your advertising, it was cheating because everyone loves cats. It was the easy way to win attention. But why? I’ve been working on some cat-related designs recently. It seemed like a natural thing to work on when I thought about what was popular on the internet. They appear in our feeds on a regular basis. So it got me wondering why people love cat posts so much.
I read several articles on why others thought cats were so loved. It seems there are many theories. One I could relate to is the thought that cats are pompous animals. They think they are majestic and have it all together. So when you combine a camera shot with some snarky words, you break that “I am better than you” attitude they seem to carry around. I think it’s like watching a snobby person trip and fall – you can’t help but giggle when their so well put-together appearance is shattered by a human act. It makes them more relatable.
Maybe it is that cats are really hard to read much of the time. I find that most cat owners I know tend to interact with their cats in ways that would make them more relatable, like making up what they think their cat is thinking or feeling at the time. Dogs are so much easier to read. They make it very obvious, but cats – they just don’t seem to want to be figured out much of the time. It’s like when my cat comes to sit next to me and just stares at me. What do you want, sir? (I ask him that and he never answers.) He just wants me to figure it out without giving me any clues. That’s him in the image here when he was little, but it is still the same look he gives me while he waits for me to figure out what he really wants.
There were other theories out there like it had something to do with big eyes and small facial features which is why we are drawn to babies. And there was a theory that it has been something humans have been fascinated with for as long as time recorded things about cats. I also read it could be because geeks spend so much time by themselves working at a computer, that they shared those photos to break the day up and it caught on since they were the foundation of the internet.
But most of all, I found that pretty much no one really knew for sure. One thing I do know – I will gladly share cats and continue to make cat merchandise because I just love cats and I’m sure there are many others out there that feel the same!