Funny animal videos are as embedded in U.S. pop culture as the latest Top 40 songs and the most talked about, binge-worthy shows on streaming platforms. They’ve entertained us on sites like YouTube and TikTok for years, with no signs of going away anytime soon. 

In the Spring of 2020, many turned to funny animal videos, perhaps as a way to find comfort or to cope. When pandemic-related social distancing mandates were first coming into effect, YouTube searches for animal videos started to see a significant increase, continuing to rise as the year progressed.  

Even though social isolation has come and gone, animal videos are still a staple of online life and most likely always will be. But where in the U.S. are YouTube searches for funny animal videos the most popular? In this report, we analyzed the data to find out. 

To determine where in the U.S. YouTube searches for funny animal videos are the most popular, we developed a specific methodology. 

First, we used the digital marketing tool Ahrefs to determine which animal-related search terms are the most popular on YouTube within the United States. 

Cats take the lead in this regard. There are 210,000 searches for ‘cats’ in a given month on YouTube. ‘Funny cat videos’ comes in second with 140,000 searches a month. 

Here are some of the other animal-related search terms that are popular on YouTube, along with the number of searches they see per month:

Cats: 210,000

Funny Cat Videos: 140,000

Animals: 107,000

Cat Videos: 87,000

Funny Animal Videos: 83,000

Dogs: 64,000

Puppies: 57,000

Kittens: 51,000

Funny Dog Videos: 42,000

Armed with this data, we then used Google Trends to find where in the United States some of these YouTube search terms are the most popular. 

We specifically focused on the following terms:

Funny Animal Videos 

Funny Cat Videos

Funny Dog Videos

Continue reading to discover what states clock in the most searches for each term. 

Using Google Trends, with a focus on YouTube searches in particular, we analyzed data from the past 12 months to determine in which states our chosen search terms (funny animal videos, funny cat videos, funny dog videos) are most popular. 

Here are the results for each search term:

Funny Animal Videos:

1. Montana

2. Idaho

3. West Virginia

4. Maine

5. Utah

6. Iowa

7. Kentucky

8. Arkansas 

9. Kansas 

10. Nebraska

Funny Cat Videos:

1. Montana

2. West Virginia

3. Maine

4. Vermont

5. North Dakota

6. South Dakota

7. Idaho

8. Iowa

9. Wyoming

10. Kentucky

Funny Dog Videos:

1. West Virginia

2. Idaho

3. Maine

4. Kentucky

5. Missouri

6. Utah

7. Kansas

8. Oklahoma

9. South Carolina

10. Arizona

Idaho, West Virginia, Maine, and Kentucky are the only states to make all three lists. YouTube searches for funny animal videos, funny cat videos, and funny dog videos are all extremely popular in these states. 

In our aim to better understand why many of the states on our list ranked so highly, we came across an interesting study published by WalletHub in June 2022. WalletHub analyzed all 50 states to determine which states provided the greatest level of entertaining activities across several key indicators within the entertainment and nightlife categories (e.g. number of restaurants, performing art centers, movie theaters, golf clubs, amusement parks, etc.). It’s worth nothing that several of the states on our lists can also be found in the bottom half of WalletHub’s ranking. Could a lack of accessible outside-the-home entertainment be driving people in certain states to instead seek entertainment online instead?

Many of the states in our ranking are also Midwest/Great Plains/Rocky Mountain states, where agriculture and wildlife are more front-and-center than they would be in cities and suburbs. Could animal videos simply be a familiar comfort for residents of these states?

Why Do We Love Funny Animal Videos So Much?

If you’ve ever watched a funny animal video that made you smile, laugh, or simply feel lighter afterward, then you’ve experienced firsthand the benefits of consuming animal-related online media–benefits that are backed by scientific studies. 

According to a study published in 2015, participants in a survey of nearly 7,000 Internet users said they felt more energetic and more positive after watching cat-related online media and reported fewer negative emotions like anxiety and sadness afterward as well. 

Another study, this one conducted by Leeds University in England, in partnership with Western Australia Tourism, found that watching videos of cute animals had a positive effect on participants’ heart rate and blood pressure, lowering both to a level indicative of limited stress where previously participants’ levels had been mildly elevated. Commenting on the study, Dr. Andrea Utley from Leeds concluded that “as with other research, it would appear that animals are able to reduce stress and anxiety in humans.”

So the next time you think enjoying funny animal videos in the form of surly cat, a dramatic husky, or an adorable litter of puppies might be a waste of your time…think again! The science shows otherwise, and the dopamine hits from consuming so much cuteness may just offer the boost you need to get through your day. 

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Special Reports Team