do cats like watching tv

TV programs that don’t focus on a cat’s hunting instincts or real-life situations aren’t usually of interest, but some unique felines will curl up and appear to “watch” Netflix with their owners. In reality, they are hanging around to feel close to you—awww! —not because they are riveted by Ozark.

Can Cats See TV?

The short answer is “sort of. While many cats can and do watch television, the vets at VetBabble point out that cats “dont bring the same perspective as humans to viewing.” Although they are very intelligent, cats are amused by color and movement, and they lack the cognitive and reasoning abilities to translate sights and sounds into more complex thoughts. Your cat isn’t thinking, “What a beautiful red bird!” when it watches a red cardinal flit about on a tree branch; instead, it’s thinking more along the lines of, “Small object! Movement! Must catch!”

Similar to humans, cats interact with television through their vision and hearing, but they are also drawn to screens because certain videos pique their natural hunting instincts.

Since watching television is primarily done through vision, it’s useful to consider how cats’ eyes function when pondering whether or not they can see television. The moment light reaches the retina, cats’ perception of the world begins. Cones and rods, the retina’s two primary photoreceptor cells, convert light into electrical signals. Cats are able to “see” what’s in front of them thanks to the transmission of these electric signals to the brain.

As explained in the Merck Veterinary Manual, a cats cone cells give them “excellent visual acuity and binocular vision,” and give them the ability to see different colors. Because they have fewer cones than humans, cats cant see a full spectrum of color, but kitties can see red, green and blue. However, cats have more rods than humans, which is why they have much sharper vision than humans in dim light — up to six times better than their pet parents, says Merck.

Cats are more likely to watch television that combines red, green, and blue with fast-moving objects because of the way their eyes are made. Don’t be shocked if your pet likes watching children’s television because many of these shows feature bright colors and fast motion.

A cats sense of hearing is one of its strongest assets, which is why the sound of TV also attracts cats. “A cat up to 3 feet away from the origin of a sound can pinpoint its location to within a few inches in a mere six one-hundredths of a second,” points out Animal Planet. “Cats also can hear sounds at great distances — four or five times farther away than humans.” Because of their exemplary auditory acuity, a cats ears will perk up when they hear sounds on TV that occur in nature.

Your cat is programmed to whack the red cardinal out of the air when it flies from branch to branch. Cats have an excellent sense of hearing, so they can identify the size and location of prey simply by listening for tiny movements, such as a mouse rustling in the grass. A cat is going to be in hunting paradise if the sound of a cardinal flapping its wings and whooshing through the branches can be heard in your favorite TV show.

Fish, small mammals, and birds are the most common prey for cats, and all three make for entertaining cat TV. Is it possible for cats to watch TV without attempting to sneak up on them and attack what’s on there? Some cats are obsessed with on-screen antics, while others simply enjoy watching the action with a serene demeanor, and yet others might not be interested in TV at all. Your cat may or may not interact with televisions or other electronic screens, depending on their disposition and the strength of their hunting instinct.

Some cats may show interest in programming that features other cats, although researchers have not yet determined whether cats visually recognize other cats, or even themselves. Seeing another cat on the screen probably wouldnt activate their hunting instinct anyway because in addition to hearing, a cats sense of smell is one of its strongest advantages. Cats have over 200 million scent receptors (compared to the 5 million that humans have), giving them the ability to detect prey from great distances. But “even if they can identify other cats on television, the majority of cats are unlikely to feel threatened by them as they would a neighbors cat because they cannot detect their scent or other cues that tell them it is a real cat,” says Cats Protection UK. Until technological advances perfect smell-o-vision, your cat shouldnt react too negatively to seeing other cats on the screen.

Find food that fits your pet’s needs

It seems sense that since cats are the most popular subjects for viral videos on the internet, they would also probably enjoy watching videos. Do cats watch TV and say to themselves, “Wow, what a great show?” Or can they see it and understand what’s on the screen?

Inquiring cat parents want to know if their furry friend enjoys screens and why, as well as what makes them so appealing.

We still don’t fully understand cats’ viewing preferences, much less their habits when it comes to TV. While some cat owners discover their feline has no interest in watching TV, others state their feline regularly watches TV. You’re not alone if your cat seems to enjoy curling up in front of Springwatch or the tennis highlights. Anecdotally, ball sports like tennis and snooker as well as wildlife documentaries, particularly those about birds or rodents, seem to be the shows that cat lovers are most likely to watch. What, if anything, does your own cat like to watch?.

Letting your cat watch TV runs the biggest risk of them jumping, pounce, or scratching at the screen. A fragile plasma or LCD screen could be harmed by your cat’s swiping claws, though this is unlikely. The risk that your inquisitive pet will pull the TV down on top of them is higher. Make sure your television is securely fastened because your cat might start pawing at the screen at the mere sight of their own reflection.

It may appear that your favorite TV show is a hit with your cat as well; it’s equally likely that when they hear the familiar theme tune or see you settling on the sofa, they know they’re in for some cozy bonding time with you. Meanwhile, other owners continue to believe that their cats love to watch Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off, Friends, or Game of Thrones! Therefore, your cat may care more about who is watching TV than what is actually on the box. Does your feline enjoy curling up next to you while you watch TV?

One thing to keep in mind is that cats may get frustrated when playing prey-type games on tablets because they are unable to physically catch the mouse on the screen. Put an end to these kinds of video games on screens by giving them a real, live toy that they can capture and “kill” to get their fix of endorphins.

Your cat is naturally drawn to fast, linear movement because it is a hunting animal. It may even paw or leap at a moving object on TV, like a running mouse or a football on Match of the Day! Particularly kittens might use the time you spend watching TV to practice their hunting techniques.


Is it okay to let your cat watch TV?

Is it OK to let my cat watch TV? There hasn’t been a great deal of research into TV-watching cats, but most animal experts agree that your pet’s viewing habits aren’t going to damage their eyesight or health.

Should I leave my TV on for my cats?

Leaving a TV or a radio on at low volume can be comforting to some cats since humans are relatively noisy creatures and the sounds can make it feel like you’ve never left. Remember to keep it on low, however, since cats can pick up noise easier than humans, and too much loud noise can cause more stress.

What do cats see when they watch TV?

Cats are instinctive, they’re drawn to motion and sound, so anything falling in that bracket can pique their interest. If there are fast-moving or flickering images on the TV, a cat’s eyes will likely track those movements.

What TV shows do cats like?

Cats, being natural hunters, often gravitate towards TV shows with fast-paced movements, vibrant colors, and sudden surprises. Nature documentaries featuring birds, fish, or rodents can captivate their attention with realistic movements and sounds.