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Does your cat like to watch TV?

They say pets resemble their owners, and it seems to stand true for pet parents and kitties who love to watch TV together. Maybe your cat stares intently at the screen, pops up, or even swats at it! If you’ve ever wondered what’s going through your kitty’s mind, allow us to shed a little light on the situation.

Can cats perceive moving images like us?

It’s a common misconception that pets like cats and dogs are only attracted to the flashing lights on the TV. The truth is, your typical television isn’t displaying moving images at all! It’s actually redrawing still images at a rate fast enough that our brains will interpret the images to be moving, which is at least 60 Hz (cycles per second). Cats’ brains process visual information at about 55 Hz, so they do indeed see the same moving images that we do.

What do cats like to watch?

As it turns out, cats like to watch the same things on TV that they like to watch in real life In one study, shelter cats without access to outside windows were given television screens. The cats in the study responded the most to programs featuring their natural prey such as birds, rodents, and fish. Anecdotal evidence has also shown that cats can be attracted to quickly moving objects such as basketballs and soccer on television.

Is it safe for cats to watch TV?

According to Dr. Jillian Orlando, DVM, a veterinary behavior resident at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, sitting too close to the TV won’t hurt your cat’s eyes. However, she goes on to say, “If your cat is really intent on ‘hunting’ the television, don’t let her watch the TV unsupervised. And if you have a large flat screen, mount it to the wall, in case kitty decides to take the leap.”

What are some alternatives to leaving on the TV?

It’s also easy for your cat to become frustrated with prey that they cannot catch, such as laser lights and images on screens. Whenever possible, provide alternatives such as window perches and plenty of interactive toys to help relieve the tension. If you normally are very noisy while you’re home, leaving on a radio can also help your cat to feel less lonely without the risks of kitty toppling the TV.

Have you found that leaving the TV on while you’re out of town isn’t quite enough to keep your cat company? Nothing can compare to the warmth and love a pet sitter can provide while you’re away from home. Call to request a quote today!

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Barbara M on flickr

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Five ways to enrich your cat’s life

Kitties can’t thrive off food and shelter alone. They need play, stimulation, and a cat-friendly environment. To keep your kitty happy and healthy, here are five simple ways to enrich your cat’s life.

Play for a half hour every day

Playing is good exercise and great for bonding. When playing, always use cat toys and not your hands, since hands should be associated with petting only. Excellent cat toys include those with a ball or feather on a string that your cat can chase after. During playtime, be sure to let kitty catch their “prey” every now and then.

Provide access to vertical space

A happy cat is able to survey her domain and territory. Consider giving kitty more access to vertical space. This can include making a spot for them on a bookshelf or clearing off the top of the fridge. Whatever area you choose, make sure it is stable and that your cat can easily reach it. Cat trees are also a great way to help kitty reach higher ground.

Rotate new and old toys

In addition to regularly playing with kitty, provide a variety of toys. Instead of leaving all the toys out, keep just one or two out at a time and then put the rest away. Rotate the toys regularly so as to prevent your cat from getting bored.

Set up a sunny window

Giving your kitty a view of the outside world gives them environmental enrichment. They’ll have a blast gazing at birds, critters, and anything else that passes by. If your window ledges aren’t big enough, consider buying a cat perch. Perches come in a variety of sizes and most you can easily install yourself.

Clean your cat’s dishes

Cats are healthy and at their best when their environment is a clean one. Be sure to clean your cat’s food and water dishes so as to avoid the build-up of any bacteria.

Worried your cat needs enrichment? Our sitters are available for play sessions ranging from fifteen minutes to an entire our – and even overnight! Give us a call to find out more.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Hormiguita Viajera mir on flickr

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Exercise routines for your cat


Cats need exercise to maintain strong muscle mass, high functioning organs, and an ideal body weight that will help them live happily and healthfully into old age. What’s more, a cat that does not exercise enough can become bored, destructive, or just plain irritable. So, what are the best ways to keep your cat in shape?

Turn mealtime into playtime

Ever notice that trail of felines behind you when you open a can or pour some fresh kibble? Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets suggests using this behavior to your advantage. Try leading the furry parade around your house, stopping at intervals to put down small portions of food. “Believe it or not, I can keep my cats moving for 20 minutes this way,” she boasts. You can also make a game out of moving your cat’s dishes between higher and lower surfaces to encourage them to climb and jump.

Choose more stimulating toys

Cats will get the most out of a toy that caters to their hunting instincts. Dr. Rolan Tripp recommends moving toys to mimic prey animals. In a Q&A with WebMD, he says to “take a laser pointer and skitter it across the floor like a bug [or] get a wand toy that looks like a bird and pretend to land and take off.” Remember to let your cat “win” and capture the toy in the end. Dr. Jean Hofve, author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook notes that it’s especially important to follow up playtime with the laser pointer with something the cat can physically catch to avoid fixation and frustration.

Make play the highlight of your day

Even older cats enjoy an invigorating play routine. Get in the habit of playing with your kitty 2-3 times a day, for 10-15 minutes at a time. The best times to play are when you come home from work and right before bedtime to burn off extra energy that could be expressed in unwanted ways.

Whether you have a chaotic kitty or a tubby tabby, our pet sitters know how to keep your cat exercising and entertained. Give us a call to find the perfect playmate for your kitty while you’re away.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Milo” by David DeHetre is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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