Watching TV with your cat

The weather is perfect for staying indoors. Boiling hot temperatures, high humidity and an unrelenting sun don't make for fun outdoor excursions, especially when you're covered with fur!

Whether your cat is an outdoors animal or not, it can be tough keeping up with ideas to entertain your pet during the dog days of summer. While a catnip toy or even regular paper grocery bags are always fun options, have you ever considered watching TV?

As VetStreet noted, there's a particular phenomenon that a lot of cat owners have probably noticed. You'll be kicking back with your favorite TV show, when all of a sudden your cat rushes out of nowhere and puts his or her face right to the screen. While we know that cats love watching out windows the way we enjoy our favorite evening dramas and sitcoms, what is it that occasionally draws cats into the world of cable programming?

According to the news source, a study of shelter cats found that when these felines lacked window access, having a TV actually made for an enriching substitute. As part of the study, the cats were shown a variety of images on the TV, but the most popular by far were birds, rodents and fish. This isn't surprising, considering these are often real-world prey for cats, but why do some cats take to TV watching while others patently ignore it or only seem to hear the noise of birds chirping on the nature program and miss the actual footage on the television?

Jillian Orlando, D.V.M., a veterinary behavior resident at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, told VetStreet that there could be several reasons for this. One is that some cats have a greater evolutionary drive to hunt, and these animals may be better at catching quick movements on the TV screen. Or, on the other hand, perhaps TV-watching cats are just less stimulated otherwise. If there's a lack of cat toys or fun spots to perch, cats may turn to TV out of recourse.

What’s the good news? Orlando says that sitting too close to the TV won't hurt your pet's eyes. As for what TV to watch with your cat - nature shows are a good bet. However, PetNet also suggests tennis matches, or other games where a ball is likely to ping around the screen. Of course, there's plenty of specialty programming made specifically for felines, so be sure to check that out as well. This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.