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Can Cats See TV? The Fascinating Answer!

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 enhanced vision. They can take in imagery much faster than even humans can. This means that they can see modern TV screens, which display images much faster than old TV screens.

We don’t know for sure what cats see when they watch TV. They likely 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 in 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; some cats are more interested in the TV screen than others. Cats that are fascinated by the screen probably have 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 they make. For example, some cats will be intrigued by watching other cats on TV. The cats that love to hunt will pay attention to TV that has 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 only to use audio when calling your pet. 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, 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 the screen. If they get too excited, it might be best if they don’t watch.

two cats with tv remote
Image by: lucioly, Shutterstock

On the other hand, if either of these situations is not a threat to your cat, watching TV can be stimulating fun for your cat. If your cat seems bored or overly lethargic, try turning on a special cat channel or animal program.

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Now that you know your cat can see the TV, you can 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 several videos, from an hour to 12 hours long!

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Featured Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock