Do pets love TV as much as we do?

Pets and TVHave you ever noticed that the soft, almost inaudible click signalling the TV powering up is enough to summons your pawesome pet pal from wherever they may be? Are your pet’s eyes transfixed on the screen as you watch the latest episode of Neighbours together?

In an age of digital entertainment, where streaming services are entrenched in everyday TV viewing and binge-watching is a cultural phenomenon, it’s not just humans who are attracted to the glowing screen. Furry friends across the country – and the world – are snuggling up on the couch with their humans to watch along for entertainment and stimulation.

From dogs and cats to birds and rabbits, pets watching TV has become a common sight in many households. But what is it exactly about the TV screen that grabs our pet’s attention, and how does it affect them?

While the vibrant colours, rapid movements, and intriguing sounds on TV might attract their attention, pets watch the box a little differently than humans.

Dog TV and what canines like to watch

Research suggests that dogs can use visual cues to recognise other canine pals on the TV screen.

Dogs are social animals by nature, so the sight and sound of other dogs or animals on TV may trigger their instinctual behaviours, such as playfulness or curiosity. Don’t be surprised if a nature documentary or program with playful puppies incites a wagging tail from your doggo.

There’s even DogTV which includes content scientifically designed to soothe canine anxieties and help them become more tolerant of upsetting sounds and situations.

Cat Habits When It Comes to Watching TV

Cats have a unique approach to television viewing. While they might not display the same enthusiasm as dogs, their keen eyes are highly sensitive to movement, making TV visuals fascinating for them.

Some cats might turn their heads to watch another feline on the screen. Others might enjoy following a ball during a soccer match, though they won’t join in with your cheering and chanting. Even if they don’t engage with the TV in the same way dogs do, many cats still find it a captivating source of entertainment.

Additionally, tablets now offer games specifically designed for cats, where they can chase digital mice and butterflies. These interactive games provide another level of stimulation and fun for our feline friends, keeping them engaged and entertained.

Petite pet TV preferences

But what about other pets, like birds, or rabbits? Surprisingly, some of these creatures also exhibit an interest in television.

With their keen sense of sight and curiosity, plus a natural interest in sounds and noises, birds may chirp or flutter in response to moving images on the screen.

Rabbits are highly intelligent animals that can understand visual and verbal cues. If your rabbit seems relaxed, is sniffing at the TV or thumping their hind legs in excitement, this is likely an indication that they enjoy what’s on the screen.

Impact of TV on our pets

While TV viewing can be stimulating and equally soothing for pets, excessive screen time can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and may contribute to health problems such as obesity or behavioural problems.

Additionally, not all content is suitable for pets. Loud noises, sudden movements, or scenes of aggression or violence can cause stress or anxiety in sensitive animals. Always monitor furry friends’ reactions to TV to ensure they are not becoming overstimulated or distressed. Always speak with your vet if you are concerned about your pet’s behaviour.

In a world filled with screens and digital distractions, pets watching TV has become just another aspect of modern life. So, next time you settle in for a Netflix marathon, don’t be surprised if you find yourself with some furry company on the couch.