Cats vs. Dogs. Which Pet Rules the Internet?


When it comes to animal videos on the internet, cats and dogs reign supreme. Videos featuring these furry friends routinely go viral, amassing millions or even billions of views. But in the battle between felines and canines for online video domination, which one comes out on top? Despite the enduring popularity of clips featuring silly stunts and adorable antics from dogs, data suggests cat videos have the edge. This article will dive into the numbers, examining view counts and social media traction for the two types of animal videos. We’ll also explore possible psychological and cultural explanations for why clips of kittens drawing millions more eyeballs than puppies.

The thesis is clearly stated, and the introduction uses the popularity of animal videos online as a hook before stating the central thesis of the article – that cat videos are more popular than dog videos online. Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand the introduction section.

YouTube View Counts

When it comes to comparing the popularity of cat videos versus dog videos on YouTube, a good starting point is to look at total view counts for top videos in each category. According to an analysis by Priceonomics, 6 of the top 10 most viewed animal videos on YouTube feature cats, while only 4 feature dogs.

The most viewed cat video, titled “Kitten Annoying Sleeping Cat,” has over 186 million views as of 2022. In comparison, the most viewed dog video, “Ultimate Dog Tease,” has 117 million views.

Looking deeper into the data, Priceonomics found that 8 out of the top 10 most viewed animal breed videos feature cat breeds like Persian cats and British Shorthair cats. Only 2 of the top 10 are dog breed videos.

While not a definitive measure, YouTube view counts do seem to indicate cats have an edge over dogs when it comes to viral video popularity and viewership. The curiosity and quirky antics that make for viral cat videos appear to capture more overall views.

Social Media Shares

When comparing shares of popular cat and dog videos on major social media platforms, cats seem to have a slight edge. On Facebook, cat videos like Maru the cat jumping into boxes have over 17 million views, while top dog videos like Denver the guilty dog seldom break 10 million ( On Reddit, subreddits devoted to cats like r/cats have over 3 million members while r/dogs has under 2 million. And on Twitter, celebrity cat accounts like @RealGrumpyCat boast over 1.7 million followers compared to top dog accounts like @Manny_the_Frenchie with 400k. While dog videos certainly go viral too, data indicates cats may have a small advantage when it comes to social shares and attention across top platforms.

Scientific Explanations

There are some scientific theories that may explain why cat videos tend to go more viral than dog videos. Research has suggested that the unpredictable and spontaneous nature of cats appeals to our innate curiosity and makes their videos more enjoyable to watch (Wikipedia). Cats often exhibit silly, cute, or quirky behaviors that capture our attention. Their independent and aloof nature also adds an element of surprise, since we can’t always anticipate a cat’s reactions.

Additionally, the cute appearance and features of cats, like their soft fur and large eyes, tap into our automatic affection for anything with baby-like qualities (Wikipedia). This makes cat videos especially pleasurable and mood-boosting to watch. Scientists believe evolution has wired our brains to find the features and behaviors of cats appealing and amusing. In summary, cat videos tend to combine cuteness, quirkiness, and unpredictability, which creates the perfect viral video formula.

Cultural Significance

LOLCats have become a highly influential internet meme and a significant part of internet culture. According to Wikipedia, “A lolcat is an image macro of one or more cats. Lolcat images’ idiosyncratic and intentionally grammatically incorrect text is known as lolspeak.”

The first LOLCats emerged on the imageboard 4chan sometime around 2005, when users began sharing funny images of cats with humorous captions. Know Your Meme notes that LOLCats originated when “an anonymous user submitted a picture of a relaxed cat with the caption ‘I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?’ to the /b/ random board.”

Since then, LOLCats have exploded in popularity across the internet and social media. They have become a highly recognizable meme format, inspiring various spinoffs like LOLDogs and even the LOLCat Bible Translation Project. Their quirky captions written in “lolspeak” have also entered mainstream pop culture. The LOLCat meme has demonstrated incredible longevity and remains a beloved internet tradition even today.

Celebrity Cat Videos

Some individual celebrity cats have risen to fame thanks to their popular viral videos on YouTube. According to one source, cats like Maru, Grumpy Cat, and Lil Bub are among the felines who have become stars on the internet.

For example, Maru the cat is a Scottish Fold cat from Japan who has starred in over 300 videos on YouTube that have amassed over 377 million views as of November 2022 ( His videos feature him jumping in boxes and other playful antics that viewers find highly amusing.

Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, went viral in 2012 due to her perpetually grumpy facial expression caused by feline dwarfism. She appeared on magazine covers, television shows, starred in her own movie, and amassed millions of followers across social media before passing away in 2019.

Lil Bub rose to fame in 2011 and was known for her unique appearance from genetic mutations, including an underbite and a protruding tongue. She accumulated over 3 million Facebook likes and appeared in celebrity media before passing away in 2019. Her cute and uncommon look captivated many fans online.

The widespread popularity of these celebrity cats and their viral videos demonstrates the strong public appetite for fun and amusing cat content on platforms like YouTube.

Dog Video Counterpoint

Despite the popularity of cat videos, dog videos have become incredibly popular on YouTube and social media as well. Some of the most viewed dog videos on YouTube include adorable puppies, dogs showing off impressive skills, and dogs just being silly and cute.

One of the most viewed dog videos is from TikTok user @mrdoggtg, featuring a toy poodle dancing along to music in a hat and sunglasses. This fun video has been viewed over 102 million times across platforms (source). Other popular dog videos show off dogs’ skills, like Tillman the skateboarding bulldog, who skated into viewers’ hearts with over 58 million YouTube views (source).

Dogs being goofy and cute also draw plenty of eyes. A video of a puppy adorably shaking its head has over 14 million views on YouTube (source). Clearly dog videos have massive appeal and elicit “aww” moments just as much as cat videos.

Comparing Communities

When comparing the size of Reddit’s cat and dog communities, it’s clear that cats dominate in terms of number of subreddits and overall subscribers. The main cat subreddit, r/cats, has over 3 million members while the comparable dog subreddit, r/dogs, has just over 2 million. There are also nearly 10 times more active cat subreddits covering various cat breeds, behaviors, photos, videos, and more compared to dog subreddits.

For example, the Siamese cat subreddit r/siamesecats has over 30,000 members while the subreddit dedicated to Siberian huskies, r/siberianhusky, has only 18,000 members. The sheer volume of cat subreddits points to cats holding a majority share of pet-related Reddit communities and content.

Emotional Appeal

There are several theories that explain why people emotionally connect to cat videos. According to the Washington Post, videos of cats appeal to the human attachment system and activate the care-giving mentality in viewers [1]. The cute appearance and playful behavior of cats triggers an emotional response and desire to nurture. This provides people with a sense of well-being and stress relief.

Additionally, research published on NBC News found that watching cat videos online releases dopamine and elicits positive emotions [2]. The silly antics make people laugh and lift their mood. According to a survey by Huffington Post, frequent cat video viewers tend to be shy and appreciate the low-stress social connection [3]. Overall, cat videos appeal to people’s emotional needs for comfort, stress relief, and humor.


In summary, the evidence shows that cat videos are more popular than dog videos in several key areas:

– Cat videos receive more views on YouTube overall. A study found that cat videos average about 12 million more daily views than dog videos on the platform.

– Cat videos get shared more on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Market research indicates cats get two times more shares per post versus dogs.

– There are scientific theories that explain why humans are drawn to cat videos, including their baby-like features that tap into our nurturing instincts.

– Cat videos are recognized as an influential part of internet culture and history. The first viral cat video dates back to 1894.

– Celebrity cats like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub have huge online fanbases, showing that famous felines capture attention.

While dogs also have popular online videos, the data shows that cat videos have an edge in viewership, shares, cultural significance, and emotional appeal. When it comes to this battle of internet favorites, cats appear to be the winners.

Scroll to Top