How We Came to Love a Cat Hug

June 07, 2011

Maybe it's animal season or maybe there's no rhyme or reason to it, but last few weeks have been abnormally big for trending pet videos and the most popular of those was a short clip called "Cat Mom Hugs Baby Kitten," in which a pet owner captures a mother cat clasping a sleeping kitten.

It's quickly became the second most-viewed video of the past month and it's also already in the top 25 all-time most-viewed Pet & Animal videos.

How'd it get there? Lots of views very fast. But to get more specific:

While there have been many popular pet videos in YouTube's past, few demonstrate the same viral behavior at this scale.

The video was quickly spread on Twitter late that Thursday night (5/26), just as it was gaining popularity on social bookmarking site Reddit. The chief early influencers of its popularity on Twitter were actresses Alyssa Milano, Felicia Day, author Maureen Johnson, and web artist/humorist Ze Frank, all of whom have large followings that then quickly retweeted the video.

Even late last week, the clip was among the top rising searches and today it remains among the most-shared videos. But perhaps the defining characteristic of this video is not the velocity, but instead that it's been popular all around the world, drawing over 7 million views in Europe, over 4 million in Asia, and even 700,000+ views in the Middle East all in less than two weeks.