Do Cats Really Like to Watch TV?
Updated: Oct 20
While cats are not the corner stone of the television industry, it's not uncommon for some to become completely engaged in TV programming.
Garret Williams, a veterinary behavior student, says that you’re more likely to find cats watching “the real-life TV Show” going on outside, but he acknowledges that there's also a fairly large cat audience for television.
Why Some Cats Do And Some Don't
A study of cats exposed to TV found that some cats without access to windows might greatly benefit from having a TV as a possible form of entertainment.
The cats in the study were shown a large variety of images, and the most popular programs depicted birds, rodents and fish due to them being natural prey for felines.
According to Williams, there are several possible reasons why some felines are more devoted television fans than others. For one, television-watching cats may have a higher “prey drive, and are more likely to be attracted to the fast movements of objects going across the screen,” says Williams.
The TV screen may also just appeal to a cat who's got nothing to do or bored. “Be sure that you have plenty of toys and window perches for your cat,” says Williams, to keep your pet entertained.
And you should know that When Your Cat Watches TV
“It won’t hurt your their eyes, so you don’t have to tell boots not to sit too close to the TV,” says Williams.
But if your cat becomes too engaged in the show and tries to go after a critter on the television, your cat, self or your flat-screen TV could get hurt.
“If your cat is really intent on 'hunting' the television, don’t let them watch the TV unsupervised. And if you have a large flat screen, mount it to the wall, in case your little friend decides to take the leap,” Better safe than Sorry!
It's always a good idea to interact with a cat who's to focused on a show, especially since cats may become frustrated when their instincts to catch prey are provoked.
“Try to distract your cat by giving them a toy before they start trying to ‘catch’ things on screen,”
“You definitely don’t want to encourage your cat to go after the mouse on television.
As cute as that may be.”