In the modern world, we’re constantly looking at some screen or other. And while it’s a good idea to disconnect once in a while, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the age of technology and making the most of the amazing power available at our fingertips.
There’s also nothing wrong with letting your cat reap the benefits of all the new tech available. A number of studies have shown that media like television and certain kinds of music are a good way to cure boredom and enrich and challenge your cat’s mind.
But what shows and grooves will your cat enjoy? Believe it or not, this is a question that scientists have set out to answer.
Music, for instance, has been shown to have a positive effect on many animals. Not all music affects all animals, though. Cats generally don’t react to your favorite band as much as you do. The recent Music for Cats project set out to find out what kinds of music does elicit a reaction from felines.
The result is a trippy soundtrack that features sounds mimicking birds, the sound of milk suckling, and purring. These sounds are combined and played at the frequency range that cats use to communicate… and you have one happy and relaxed cat.
Cat music has great potential for soothing stressed kitties, or just giving your cat something to entertain him throughout the day. Enough people loved the idea to back the Music for Cats Kickstarter for nearly a quarter of a million dollars (from a $20,000 goal)!
Television is a slightly different beast, literally. TV can serve as a decent substitute for a good window, especially if you live on a higher floor in an apartment building where there’s nothing for the cats to watch.
It’s not hard to find a video for cats - it’s an entire genre on YouTube. There are hours-long clips of critters like squirrels and birds playing and eating. This one video just shows birds eating for 14 minutes, and it has over 2 million views!
When your cat is watching TV, though, he’s not seeing exactly what you are. Human eyes are pretty wimpy, and only need a frame rate of 15 - 20 frames per second to look like a smooth video. For cats, that number leaps to 100 fps - anything lower and the images flicker, and look more like a flipbook.
Many cats still love to watch the action on screen, even if it plays out less like a movie and more like a slideshow. Things like color, content, contrast, and, of course, your cat’s temperament will affect whether he loves vegging out on the couch with you while you watch that documentary about birds.
So set your cat up with his favorite tunes and turn on his favorite YouTube clip.. just make sure you protect your speakers and screen from potential love attacks!