Click here to learn more.
While cats are not yet counted as viewers in Nielsen ratings, it's not uncommon for some kitties to become engrossed in TV programming.
Dr. Jillian Orlando, DVM, a veterinary behavior resident at the
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, says that you’re more likely to find cats watching “the real-life soap opera”
going on outside, but she acknowledges that there's also a feline audience for television.
A study of shelter cats exposed to TV found that some felines without access to windows might benefit from having a TV as a possible form of enrichment.
The cats in the study were shown a variety of images, and the most popular programs depicted
birds, rodents and fish — natural prey for felines.
According to Dr. Orlando, there are several possible reasons why some kitties are more devoted fans than others. For one, television-watching cats may have a higher “prey drive, and are more likely to be attracted to the quick movements of objects across the screen,” says Dr. Orlando.
The TV screen may also just appeal to a cat who's bored. “Be sure that you have
plenty of toys and window perches for your
cat to choose from,” says Dr. Orlando.
“It won’t hurt your kitty’s eyes, so you don’t have to tell Fluffy not to sit too close to the TV,” says Dr. Orlando.
But if your cat becomes
too engrossed in the plot and tries to go after a critter on the telly, your kitty or your flat-screen TV could get hurt.
“If your cat is really intent on 'hunting' the television, don’t let her watch the TV unsupervised. And if you have a large flat screen, mount it to the wall, in case kitty decides to take the leap,” warns Dr. Orlando.
It's also a good idea to interact with a
cat who's focused on a show, especially since felines may become frustrated when their instincts to catch prey are thwarted.
“Try to distract your kitty by giving her a toy
before trying to ‘catch’ things on screen,” says Dr. Orlando. “You definitely don’t want to encourage the kitty to go after the mouse on television, as cute as it may be.”
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Donations are pouring in for Kenny, a
Husky-Shepherd who fractured his front
legs after falling over a 150-foot…
Photographer Maria Sharp’s beautiful
tribute to her 16-year-old dog, Chubby, is
touching hearts all over the…
From the Mastiff to the Great Dane, these
large dogs might look intimidating, but
they tend to be total softies.
Google Street View lets you see the land
where Jane Goodall began her
groundbreaking work with chimpanzees.
Dr. Marty Becker shares easy steps for
cleaning your feline’s ears and checking
for infections or mite infestations.
A frustrated reader asks for help with his
adopted dog, who hasn't made much
progress in his obedience skills.
No one wants to spend October 31 at the
vet ER. Here's what you can do to
prevent common Halloween hazards.
The Russian Blue won’t mind if you have to go to work (to earn money for cat toys), as long as you're back in time for…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.