Why Cats Rule the Internet

Let’s face it. It’s no longer sex sounds that dominate the internet—it’s purring.

Cats rule the internet.

Honey the Golden Retriever asks a passing cat to play.

Excuse me, Mr. Kitty. Do you have time to stop and play?

This phenomenon has even serious magazines looking for a scientific reason for why cats are so popular online.

I like Steve Dale’s explanation: “In the world of cats, there is no dog park. For cat owners, the dog park is the Internet.” That sounds right to me.

Psychological tests suggest that cat people are more likely to be introverts than dog lovers. But being introverted doesn’t mean someone needs friends any less. Introverts just need time alone to rebuild their energy. So the internet is an ideal place for an introvert to be social on her own terms.

Personally, I think the online cat craze is a good thing.

Not necessarily the cute kitten pictures that convince people totally unprepared to care for a pet to bring a furry life into their homes. But the stories of training and rescues, health tips, behavioral advice, and even just the affectionate tales of sharing one’s life with a fuzzy alien (my husband’s name for dogs, but I think it fits cats even better) are good for cats.

Many more people think of cats as disposable than dogs.

There’s a widely held perception that it’s easier to care for a cat than it is to care for a dog. I’m only guessing. But I suspect that it’s not true, especially if you’re caring for your cat the way you’re supposed to.

Maybe cat people browsing online for a solution to their cat missing the litter box will discover their own community of crazy cat people. And they’ll find new ways to stimulate their cat or perhaps even try leash-training their kitten or traveling with their cat.

The cat heads home to spend time on the internet.

Sorry, can’t stop now. I’ve got a few minutes of wi-fi time before the kids get home from school and I have to check out the cat park.

Maybe the internet is not one big dog park after all. Maybe it’s one big cat park. And we dog people are lucky to be hanging out here at all.
Your Turn: Why do you think cats dominate the internet? Is it because we dog people have more options for doing things out in the world with them? Or do you think it’s something else?
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  1. LOL! You don’t have to spend hours walking your cat! You can use all that time to promote your kitty online :-)

  2. Love it! I think you’re absolutely right about cat people being introverts, in general. The internet is great for that. Since I work from home and take care of animals all day, sometimes it’s my only source of adult contact, so I can relate!

  3. Cat owners don’t have to do much with the cats so they have more time for the internet! In lots of ways, cats are much easier than us dogs as they handle pretty much everything on their own, they just need some food, water and a clean litter box…but Mom says they are more restrictive for her. My cats each have their own food so someone has to feed them twice a day and make sure the one cat doesn’t steal the other cat’s food, we can’t leave them home for a few days because someone has to feed them and clean their litter box. We can’t travel with them because they are loud and no fun on a trip. We love our kitties, but Mom says she would have more freedom with just dogs because she can take us with her places, cats, not so much. Why they are online is because they are devious creatures trying to conquer the world…starting with my house!

  4. i think part of it is their inscrutable faces. The grouchy LOL cat can say a lot of things that we are secretly thinking but don’t have the nerve to say out loud.

    That and the fact that cats will soon rule the universe.

  5. Cats may rule the Internet, but I’m a whole lot cuter! woo woo woo!

  6. As a crazy cat lady who now owns a dog, I can tell you that for the most part, cats are way easier than dogs. It was a huge learning curve to go from a lifetime of cats to a dog. Both animals have brought me love and happiness in different ways. They each have things that are great about their particular species and things are aren’t. Litter boxes are way better than standing outside at 2am in the rain, waiting for your three-month-old pup to pee. But, the need to keep my dog exercised has gotten me up at the crack of dawn for walks that I would have surely slept through otherwise. Both are great cuddlers, but there is nothing more relaxing than the feeling of a cat purring up against your chest. My cats are always happy to see me, but their joy is no match for Bailey’s tail-wagging-can’t-keep-her-paws-on-the-floor excitement.

    I don’t know why cats rule the internet. My uneducated and biased answer is because they’re awesome and funny and very misunderstood. As you said, cats are often seen as disposable animals. When I was a child, my neighbors moved, leaving their cat behind. Would they have done that with a dog? I doubt it. I do hope that if anything good comes out of the internet cat craziness is the awareness that cats are wonderful pets who are equally as loving and loyal as dogs. Maybe people will think twice about disposing of them so quickly.

  7. Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says:

    Thanks for the good chuckle! It made me think of a friend who is “getting a kitten for [her] 50th birthday”. This friend is a bit of an introvert compared to me, but she is sociable in a comfortable situation. I believe having a pet will help her through the grieving process — she recently watched her mother lose her fight with Alzheimer’s-related health issues. As for why cats and cat people seem to dominate the internet? I never really gave it any thought until I read your post.

  8. I am the opposite of Ariella. I’m a lifelong dog person – have had at least one in my life since I could walk. Now we have a cat. I think you’re right, Pamela, that cats are like fuzzy aliens! I just don’t get them! But they’re fun and funny, and the purr is as happiness-inducing as a tail wag. I think cats rule the internet because they seem so much more complex, so much more mysterious than dogs. Dogs are pretty much an open book. Cats… not so much!

  9. You pose an interesting question that i wish I had the answer for.
    I have a cat AND a dog and a cat blog AND a dog blog.
    I adore my dog but have always considered myself (and still do) as more of a “cat person.”
    I have had cats in my life for close to 30 yrs, dogs? Much less.
    Being both a cat and a dog parent I WILL say that YES cats ARE easier. Or should I say MUCH quieter, which is something I prefer.
    I am one that ALWAYS takes my pets to the vet, and frankly my cat sees the vet much more than my dog does due to his allergy issues.
    What I love about cats that suits my personality is that when they want attention they want it and then they are done with you for a few hours. They are not “in your face.” the way dogs are.
    I find them to be more soothing. Maybe visually people find viewing them to be more soothing as well, who knows?
    As for the introvert/extrovert thing?
    I am more of an extrovert but ADORE CATS…but….like a cat, when I want someone around, I want them around, but when I am DONE…I’m DONE. I cherish my alone time and am comfortable being alone. Like a cat, I am also far more selective about who I allow into my world, who I allow to become close to me.
    That being said, Dakota defies some of the traditional dog stereotypes. He is far more reticent when he meets new people, he is more discerning….he does NOT openly welcome everyone. Guess who does? OUR CAT……….go figure……..

  10. We have mostly Dogs, Goats, Chickens and Ducks, oh and a cat. I will say, after feeding the other critters, and cleaning up after them all, the Cat is just waiting for our laps! I don’t know if the internet is the cat park, I do know our cat is a loving part of our critters! Thanks for sharing (don’t tell Humphrey)

  11. I think it is easier for dog people to find things to do with their cats, but I also wonder a little of dog people seek out more things to do with their dogs, too. I mean, Petsmart allows leashed pets inside, but the only cats I’ve seen there are available for adoption. I don’t see people there with their cats checking to see which cat toys they like or letting them purr at other cats. I tend to think it might be a lot more the personalities of the people that gravitate towards one or the other than anything else. I enjoy going out places with my dog, and I look for places we can go together. I would think that a lot of those places could involve cats if the cat folks wanted to take them out.

  12. even though I’m a dog person, I go through phases of obsessively looking up cat stuff on the internet. There ‘s something very magical and mysterious to me about cats. And yes, I think most of the bonding stuff with dogs happens outdoors – walks, dog parks, frisbees, balls. Whereas cats are very much indoor pets most of the time, so cat owners usually have a computer nearby that they can use for looking up cat things.

  13. We agree with Taryn. Have a serene Sunday and get some of the big easy in today.
    Best wishes Molly

  14. I had no idea cats ruled the internet! Who decides these things?

  15. Having both cats and dogs in my household, I do think it is easier to care for the cats. For one thing, they seem to get sick less often. And of course their food and vet care is cheaper all around, only because of their smaller size. I suspect if I had smaller dogs, that would not be the case. I used to think they were easier to find a caregiver for while traveling too, but well, you know how THAT went.

    Easier to care for or not, I definitely do think of them as “disposable,” but it’s a sad fact that many people do. :-(

  16. I agree with what some others said, it’s because cat people have more time to be on the internet. Cats don’t have to be walked, bathed, or groomed (though I do brush my long haired cat). I’ve tried to entertain mine but they’re not interested. The only time consuming thing with our cats is having to feed them every half hour. Just kidding….we don’t, but they’d like us to!

  17. Cat person here..

    No idea really why ‘cats rule the internet’ but maybe it is because they have the life we want.. take naps all day, have someone bring us food, and being independent and intelligent.