Cat memes have become a viral sensation, from funny cat memes to grumpy cat memes, cats have begun to overtake the internet. Did you know that images and videos of cats make up some of the web’s most highly viewed content? Cats have become the unofficial mascot for the internet - everyone has gone cat crazy, which is why cat memes tend to go viral so easily.
Cat memes are classified as ‘low art’ as they are simple and fairly basic, however, cat memes have reached an iconic status. Although many people feel that car memes are a somewhat frivolous form of online content, it is incredibly powerful and highly popular content. Psychologists have even suggested that in the same way having a pet can positively impact mental health and wellbeing, so can images of pets like cats.
What has made cat memes so successful?
Usually, what makes a cat meme successful is the meme having a uniqueness to it. This means that either the cat is doing something unique or being unique themselves. For example, internet sensations like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub have achieved their sheer amount of popularity based on the fact that they have unusual and unexpected appearances which have helped their memes to gain momentum.
When did the phenomenon begin?
The very first cat video was uploaded to YouTube in 2005 by Steve Chen - co-founder of YouTube - who shared a video of his own cat. It was the following year that the first viral cat video arrived - the video was ‘Puppy vs Cat’ and was extremely popular gaining over 16 million views.
Research has shown that there have been 2, 594, 329 images annotated in Flickr of cats, which shows just how powerful cat memes have become. In 2007, a site called Can Haz Cheezburger was launched which funny pictures of cats where shared; the site also allowed users to create their own LOLcat memes by placing writing over photos of their cats.
As of 2015, there were over 2 million cat videos on YouTube and the term ‘cats’ has become one of the most searched for terms on the internet, showing the sheet popularity of cat-related content in 2020.
Who is the most popular cat?
This depends on who you ask - everyone has their own favourite internet cat meme. The Telegraph named Nyan Cat the popular internet cat, while NPR said that the most popular internet cat in their opinion was Grumpy Cat.
Cat memes became so popular that there have even been museum exhibits dedicated to them; in 2015 an exhibition about how cats overtook the internet opened in New York, looking at how cats rose to fame and why they are so loved. There’s also a book called ‘How To Make Your Cat An Internet Celebrity’ deigned for anyone wanting their furbaby to gain worldwide internet fame.
There is no getting away from the fact that cat memes have become a key part of modern internet culture and are hugely popular across the entire globe.