';

Who Does the Internet Love More: Cats or Dogs?

Could 2014 be the end of the reign of cats online – heralding the dawn of dogs in 2015?

This week at NewsWhip HQ we learned that ‘dog’ was the most searched term of the year within Spike, our content discovery platform.

This surprised us, as we’d always assumed that cats ruled cyberspace.

We searched Spike’s database to find out which animal was most shared in 2014 – cats or dogs?

 

Canine Competition

cat gif

It’s been a mixed year for cats. We’ve seen a motion picture fronted by a viral kitty, a more reluctant star feline saved a child and Cat Fancy (a popular cat magazine) was cancelled.

cat gif 2

 

Kickstarter reports that there more projects about dogs and the money pledged for these projects amounted to far more.

Search for ‘dogs’ on YouTube and you’ll get around 2 million results, half a million more than cats.

Top Stories of 2014

The numbers paint a stark picture of the demise of cats on social media, with dog-related content accumulating almost twice the number of shares as cat content on Facebook.

cats versus dogs

 

It’s a similar story on Twitter, although the gap isn’t quite as large, with a cool 1 million Twitter interactions separating dogs from cats.

cats versus dogs twitter

 

Of the 10 most-shared Cat and Dog stories for the last year, 8 out of 10 were about dogs. The stories ranged from videos of dogs performing tricks, to animal welfare awareness.

As ever the top publishers of this content included BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and other viral sites where cats are a common currency. Surprisingly, sites such as lostateminor, Faithtap and Business2Community also got great traction from their pet related content.

Google Trends also indicates twice the search volume for dogs, a gap which has remained consistent throughout 2014:

google trends cats dogs

 

Why were Cats on Top for So Long?

cat gif 3

The internet has sprung a leak

Several theories have been formulated as to why cats have remained the ‘spirit animal’ of the internet since its inception.

One is that cat people, similar to their four-legged friends, are introverted characters. They prefer to spend more time online and less time in the great outdoors socialising.

Another theory posited by BuzzFeed’s Beastmaster is that dogs simply try too hard. Dogs wear silly hats and perform circus tricks to amuse us. In contrast, cats are in no rush to please their human underlings, acting of their own volition – which makes the videos we see online unquestionably authentic.

United in Shame

 

cat shame

One thing cats and dogs do have in common is us, their well-meaning human familiars. Pet-shaming was a new trend for social media in 2014 where owners post pictures of their pets with a sign detailing what they had done wrong.

Doubtless this form of pet penance will continue into 2015 – as for whether dogs can stay on top? We’ll just have to see.

What Next?

1) Trial Spike for free and see which pet stories are trending in real-time
2) Join our newsletter, read weekly by 8,500 media and marketing pros