Cat Got Your Remote? 3 Fun Shows Your Feline Will Love

Why cats may enjoy watching TV

Cats are naturally drawn to movement and stimulated by sights and sounds that engage their senses. According to research from, the visual and auditory stimulation of TV can appeal to cats, especially those with a higher prey drive. The movement on the screen mimics the kind of prey they would naturally hunt. Watching TV also allows cats to experience new sights and sounds from the comfort and safety of home. This can provide them mental stimulation.

Optimal programming for cats

Since cats are natural hunters, most experts agree that the best TV shows for cats feature prey animals that cats might hunt or observe in nature. Some top options include:

Nature documentaries with animals like birds, squirrels, mice, and bugs. The movement on screen can capture a cat’s attention and satisfy their prey drive without any real hunting involved. For example, shows like Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Life provide excellent footage of small animals in their native habitats.

Livestreams or videos of fish tanks or bird feeders, so cats can watch real animals go about their business. The Kitties and Fishies YouTube channel shows various fish tanks and birds coming to feeders.

Dedicated mouse or bug videos, such as the Mice On TV or Videos for Your Cat channels on YouTube. These simulate the experience of prey running around for cats to focus their hunting instincts on.

In general, look for programs with small animals, high-pitched sounds, and sudden quick movements to pique your cat’s interest. Switch up the shows as needed to prevent boredom. Supervise, and limit TV time to 30 minutes or less per day.

Considerations when selecting shows

When choosing television shows for cats to watch, it’s important to avoid content with quick scene changes, loud or jarring sounds, and fast pacing. Cats prefer slower-paced shows that don’t overload their senses. According to the Purina article “The Best Videos for Cats to Watch,” cat owners should look for programs with “gentle narration and a calming mood.” Scenes of nature, animals, and birds are ideal. The PD Insurance article “Should Your Cat Be Watching Cat TV?” explains that cats can become overstimulated by quick edits, so look for shows with “longer scene lengths” and “a slower pace.” Muting loud sounds and selecting tranquil, low-key programming will prevent an unpleasant viewing experience for cats.

Prerecording optimal content

Prerecording cat-friendly shows using a DVR is a great way to create a library of programming you can play for your cat when you’re not home to supervise. According to TV programs created for dogs, longer form content like documentaries can help minimize disruption from frequent scene changes. Consider creating a wishlist of nature documentaries, slow-paced animal shows, and other relaxing content to record ahead of time. Opt for programs at least 30 minutes long to avoid frequent disruptions. This allows you to build up a catalog of cat-approved shows to entertain your feline friend while you’re out.

Using streaming services

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube offer convenient options for entertaining cats while you’re away or sleeping. These platforms make it easy to curate playlists catered to your cat’s interests, like videos of birds, squirrels, mice, and other prey animals they enjoy watching. Enabling autoplay ensures a continuous stream of entertainment that will keep your cat’s focus. Many streaming services also allow you to download content for offline viewing, which can come in handy if you plan to be away from wifi and want your cat to have pre-downloaded shows available.

According to product reviews on Amazon, Cat TV programs available through Prime Video are designed for feline viewers, with “footage of birds, mice, and squirrels…accompanied by the sounds cats love” (source). Downloading a few of these cat-friendly shows onto a tablet allows you to set up a screening area for your cat to enjoy while traveling or during internet outages at home.

Cat TV Options

There are now devices designed specifically with cats in mind when it comes to passive entertainment. Purpose-built systems like the Cat TV DVD player offer endless video loops with relaxing nature footage that is meant to capture cats’ attention and entertain them when their humans are away.

These types of cat TV systems usually showcase stimulating scenes like birds, squirrels, fish, and other animals that cats enjoy watching. The footage often has calming nature sounds or music to accompany it. Companies like Chester and Pearl create cat-friendly entertainment with this type of footage.

There are also more affordable digital cat TV boxes available that play non-stop cat videos loaded onto a memory card. These can offer a lower-cost alternative to specialized cat entertainment DVD players.

Screen setup tips

When setting up a TV or monitor for cat viewing, it’s important to consider the placement and setup to maximize your cat’s enjoyment. According to a Reddit user on r/CatAdvice, cats prefer a screen placed at their eye level. Set the TV or monitor on the floor or a low stand at around the height your cat’s head would be when sitting or laying down. This allows them to watch comfortably without straining their neck.

You’ll also want to avoid glare and reflections on the screen, as this can frustrate your cat’s viewing. Place the screen in a location without windows or bright lights shining on it. Consider an anti-glare screen protector as well. Additionally, choose a screen size appropriate for the viewing distance – a massive TV may be overwhelming up close. Follow general TV viewing distance guidelines based on your cat’s preferred lounging spot. With the right placement and setup, your feline friend can fully immerse themselves in cat TV!

Supervising screen time

While many cats enjoy passive screen time, it’s important to monitor and limit overall viewing. According to one source, a good guideline is to restrict TV time to 30-60 minutes per day maximum. Look for signs of obsessive behavior or stress, like agitation or aggression. If a cat fixates on or reacts strongly to images on the screen, it may be best to limit or avoid TV time.

Be sure to provide other forms of enrichment as well, like toys, scratching posts, perches, and human interaction. Rotating multiple types of stimulation prevents boredom and encourages natural behaviors. TV can be an occasional treat, but shouldn’t replace interactive playtime, exercise, or bonding.

Potential downsides

While cat TV can provide some benefits, it’s important to be aware of potential downsides as well.

Watching TV can be overstimulating for some cats, especially high-energy content with lots of fast motion. This can cause stress and anxiety in cats that are already prone to these issues. It’s best to monitor your cat’s reaction and keep TV viewing limited if they seem overexcited or distressed by it.

Excessive TV watching can also promote inactivity, as cats are mesmerized by the moving images on screen. It’s important to limit viewing and encourage other forms of activity and playtime. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity and related health problems in cats.

Additionally, too much solitary screen time reduces human interaction for your cat. As social animals, cats benefit from daily human companionship, cuddling, playtime and attention. Make sure to balance any TV watching with quality bonding time together.

According to research from, it’s best to use cat TV sparingly and monitor your pet for signs of overstimulation or obesity from inactivity. The goal should be enhancing enrichment alongside other forms of exercise, play and bonding.

The right type and amount of TV

When it comes to TV for cats, moderation is key. You’ll want to use it judiciously based on your cat’s personality. For instance, more high-energy and playful cats may benefit more from programs with moving prey and animals. Lower-energy or older cats may prefer more soothing content like nature scenes. It’s best to experiment to see what captures your cat’s interest.

Regardless of personality, TV should only be one component of a cat’s enrichment routine. It’s important to combine screen time with regular play sessions, exercise through wand toys or laser pointers, and one-on-one bonding. This ensures your cat receives adequate physical and mental stimulation. Overusing TV can lead to issues like obesity from excessive inactivity.

In general, 1-3 short sessions of 15-30 minutes per day are sufficient TV viewing for cats. Pay attention to your cat’s interest level – if they lose interest, it’s best to turn it off and engage them in another activity. With the right balance, TV can provide fun supplemental entertainment to keep indoor cats engaged. But it should not replace quality interaction and exercise with you.

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