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Can Cats See TV? The Answer is Fascinating!

Have you noticed that your cat intently watches the TV at times? Maybe a bird flickered by, or a small mouse can be seen on screen, and it catches your cat’s eye. Was it just coincidence, or did your cat actually see it on the TV? The answer is yes, she does see images on the latest TV technology, and we’re going to tell you how.

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What a Cat Sees When They Watch TV

Unlike dogs, who seem less interested in TVs overall, cats have a super keen sight. They can take in imagery much faster that even humans can. This means that they can see modern TV screens, which show images much faster than old TV screens.

We don’t know for sure what cats see when they watch TV. It’s likely that they see the images with less color and less clarity than we do. What cats will pick up on is the movement happening on the screen. They will be particularly entertained by the noises made by animals on the screen.

Cats can get so engrossed into what’s on TV that they will follow the objects or animals all across the screen, even checking behind the screen when the object disappears from view.

Cat watching TV
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

What Do Cats Like to Watch?

It depends on the cat and what’s on the TV. Some cats are more interested in the TV screen than others. This probably occurs when a cat has more of a hunter personality than other cats.

Some cats will watch nearly anything on the TV, but what’s most likely to grab their attention is footage of other animals and the noises those animals make. For example, some cats will be intrigued to no end watching other cats on TV. The cats who love to hunt will pay attention to TV that has active birds, fish, or rodents on the screen.

People often wonder if cats benefit from video calls with their owners when they are away. Though there’s no overarching research on this topic, some cats have displayed confusion when they see and hear their pet parent on a screen. It may frustrate them to be able to see and hear them, but not touch or smell them.

In this situation, it’s best to just call your cat via audio. That way, they will not be too confused about your whereabouts. Most cats respond well to this form of long distance communication.

cat watching TV
Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock

Is Watching TV Bad for Cats?

Watching TV is not necessarily bad for cats. Probably the only situation where it is not healthy for a cat to watch too much television is when they are not getting the daily exercise they need. If your cat is suffering from obesity, then it’s best to get your kitty some IRL stimulation, through cat toys or a laser pointer.

Another occasion where watching TV is bad for cats is when it causes physical danger. This can happen when a cat is attacking a TV, tablet or phone and the device falls on them. Falling flat screens have caused injury to humans, imagine what it could do to a cat! Make sure your kitty is safe by monitoring what they do when they watch. If they get too excited, it might be best if they don’t watch.

two cats with tv remote
Image Credit: lucioly, Shutterstock

On the other hand, if either of these situations are not a threat to your cat, watching TV can be some easy, free and stimulating fun for your cat. If your cat seems bored or overly lethargic, try turning on a special cat channel for them to see what they do.

It could be great to have this on for a cat who needs entertainment when you are gone at work all day. Just be sure to watch them first to make sure they won’t cause damage while you are away.

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Now that you know your cat can see the TV, you will be able to pick up on what your cat likes to watch, or if she even pays attention to it at all. What will you show your cat on the TV, tablet or phone? Just search “cat tv” on YouTube, and you can choose from many different videos, from an hour to 12 hours long!

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Featured Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock