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Why Don’t TV Characters Have Cats? Reasons & Facts

There’s no denying that pets play a significant role in the TV entertainment industry. Many movies and TV shows feature pets, from dogs to cats and even birds. However, cats seemingly don’t have a solid presence in TV shows and movies compared to other pets.

So, why don’t TV characters have cats? The main reason why cats are rarely featured in movies and TV shows is that they are less cooperative than other pets.

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Cats Are Less Cooperative Than Other Pets

Anyone with a cat as a pet knows too well how challenging it is to train them (but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do so).

Unlike dogs, cats have independent personalities, so they mostly want to do whatever they want, whenever they want. And in a TV show or movie where everything has to occur on schedule, working with a cat isn’t the best choice.

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Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

A Screenwriter Explains His Experience

The question of why cats aren’t usually featured in TV shows or movies was recently brought into the spotlight by one Michael Jamin, a Hollywood screenwriter and producer. In his TikTok video, which went viral, Jamin explained why TV characters don’t have cats.

Michael gave an example of a show he was producing called “Maron.” In one scene, the character is supposed to be eating salmon at a dinner table, and a cat hops on the table. Michael and his team got a trained cat for this scene, but everything didn’t go as planned.

When the direction called “action,” the cat froze and wouldn’t jump onto the table as they expected. Michael explained that it took one hour to shoot that scene since they spent a lot of time encouraging the cat to hop on the table.

Mr. Jamin went on to explain why TV shows and movies don’t just allow a cat to roam around a scene and do whatever it wants. Michael explained that if it were allowed to do so, it would mean that the cat would be in one location during one take and another place during another take. And when these takes are put together to create a scene, it would look like the cat is appearing and disappearing, which would look weird.

cat looking at bowl of raw veggies
Image Credit: Scharfsinn, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

While real cats aren’t usually featured in movies and TV shows, many fictional cat characters are killing it in the TV entertainment industry. One fictional cat character we all know is Garfield. From his love for lasagna to his hatred of Mondays, Garfield has been and will continue to be one of the most beloved fictional cat characters of all time.

Other iconic fictional cat characters include Tom in “Tom and Jerry,” Puss in Boots, Felix in “Felix the Cat,” Sylvester in “Looney Tunes,” and the list goes on. So, despite cats not being the suitable choice for pets of TV characters, these feline companions have certainly made their mark on the TV entertainment industry in other ways.

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Featured Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock