Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cats Rule and Dogs Drool – Internet Style

Image via 
In the never ending competition between cats and dogs, Jack Shepherd of Buzzfeed FWD attempts to evaluate who is more popular on the internet and why. Shepherd, who shares his analysis on, gives the follow reasons for the popularity of internet cats over dogs:

1) It’s the culture - Through various lucky accidents, cats started to permeate Internet culture early on, and dogs often found themselves imitating rather than innovating in the field. has an important role to play in this story, with the introduction of those semi-literate feline sensations the LOL cats. Shepherd states that the most popular post on dog-themed site I Has a Hot Dog has nowhere near the same traction in terms of Facebook shares.

2) It’s the cats - Shepherd’s personal theory about why cats have more "viral potential" than dogs is that dogs are trying too hard. When a dog gets in a box, it's because he desperately wants you to think he's cool. When a cat does it, it's because it suddenly felt like the right thing to do at the time - it's cool and effortless. It feels natural.

3) It’s us – Shepherd quotes Cheezburger's Emily Huh: “I think it's because cat owners don't have a cat park or a place where they can congregate in person to talk about their cats like how dog owners have a dog park to talk about their dogs. The Internet has provided a place for cat owners and fans of cats to talk about their own cats, comment on how hilarious, cute, or evil their cat is and swap stories, pictures, and videos.”

4) Path dependence – Shepherd theorized that the real reason we are living with this virtual cat park actually has nothing to do with the cats themselves. Rather, through historical accidents like the sudden rise to prominence of the LOL cats, cats achieved a negligible early adoption lead over their canine competitors, which was constantly reiterated and reinforced by unknowingly biased publishers and content producers. 

And Shepherd’s final reason why internet cats are more popular than dogs:

5) Dogs are idiots - Just kidding!

There you have it – a scientific analysis (cough,cough) of why cats rule the internet. To read the full article (and more importantly to see all the cute pictures and videos), visit


  1. Good points, I think except... the LOL cats aren't just semi-literate. They are VERY and TOTALLY literate. I mean... they're cats!

  2. hmmm...not sure if I can agree with all of these, but we do have the cat vs dog debates over on our blog now and then. Obviously writing to a puppy training blog makes me more of a dog person, but that wasn't alays the case so I can see how some would give the edge to cats misguided as it is.

  3. oh this is great! I super agree with 2 and 3.
    This is going on the Kritter Kommunity Facebook, thanks for writing!

  4. Love #5! MOL! Don't think he was actually kiddidng.

  5. I'm surprised! You would think with a name like "Shepherd" the author might have been more loyal to the dogs!

  6. Why all the research? All he had to do was ask a cat. MOL! I personally can't get enough of either...

  7. Too funny... cats must just have better PR people.

  8. Cats are the pet which are not so much active all the time but the dogs are opposite to this nature of cats. I think dogs should be more popular than cats in activeness.