What Do Cats Really Think of Smartphones and TVs?

What Do Cats Really Think of Smartphones and TVs?

In this digital era, our feline friends are increasingly encountering and interacting with various screens, from the ubiquitous smartphones to the larger television screens in our homes.

This guide delves into the fascinating relationship between cats and these digital devices. Cats are often seen displaying a range of reactions to screens, from intense stares to playful swats with their paws, sparking both amusement and curiosity in their human companions.


  1. What do cats think of smartphones?
    • Cats may see smartphones as objects of curiosity. The light and movement on the screen can attract their attention. Cats might also react to the sounds coming from the phone, especially if they mimic bird or rodent noises.
    • Some cats show interest in interacting with the phone, often trying to ‘catch’ things moving on the screen. However, they don’t understand what a smartphone is in the same way humans do.
  2. What does a cat think about TV?
    • Similar to smartphones, TVs can be intriguing to cats due to the moving images and sounds. Some cats might watch TV with apparent interest, especially if there are wildlife scenes or rapid movements.
    • Cats don’t comprehend TV content as humans do. They may perceive it as a window to another world but are unlikely to understand the narrative or context of what’s being shown.
  3. Do cats see phone screens?
    • Yes, cats can see phone screens, but their perception differs from humans. They are likely more responsive to the movement on the screen than to the details of the image.
    • Cats have a higher flicker-fusion rate than humans, meaning they can see the flickering of screens that appear as steady images to us. This might make some screens less appealing or even annoying to some cats.
  4. Do TVs bother cats?
    • It depends on the individual cat. Some may be bothered by the noise or the flickering of the screen, while others might be indifferent or even enjoy watching.
    • If a TV is too loud or the room is too dark, it might cause discomfort or stress to some cats. However, many cats simply ignore the TV or might use the time to cuddle with their human companions.


Many cat owners have observed their pets’ keen interest in the activities happening on screens. Whether it’s a cat fixated on the moving images on a television or a kitty pawing at a smartphone, these behaviors are intriguing and raise several questions.

What is it about screens that captivate cats? Do they perceive these digital displays the same way we do, or is there something more to their fascination?

We aim to explore the reasons behind cats’ interest in screens. We’ll look into the sensory experiences of cats interacting with digital devices, considering how their perception differs from humans and what might be drawing them to these electronic gadgets.

Additionally, we’ll examine the impact of screens on cats’ behavior and well-being. Are these digital interactions beneficial for them, or could there be potential downsides to their screen time?

As we navigate through this guide, expect to gain insights into the mesmerizing world of cats and their reactions to smartphones and TVs. We’ll combine scientific understanding with practical observations to unravel the mystery behind your cat’s screen fascination. Join us as we explore this charming aspect of modern feline life, where technology meets the natural instincts of our beloved pets.

Cats and Screens: Understanding the Fascination

When cats encounter smartphones and TVs, their reactions can be both fascinating and amusing. These reactions typically include behaviors such as curious stares, paw swatting, purring and kneading, vocalizations, and head tilting. Cats often fixate on the screen, attentively following moving objects or characters, which is usually driven by their natural predatory instincts.

Some cats engage in playful swatting at moving images on the screen, attempting to ‘catch’ them. While watching screens, cats may show signs of contentment, like purring or kneading, indicating a relaxed and engaged state. Engaged or excited cats might vocalize with chirps, meows, or trills in response to the activity on the screen. Cats may also tilt their heads while trying to comprehend or track movements on the screen, a behavior indicating curiosity and focus.

The fascination of cats with screens can be traced back to their evolutionary history as predators. Cats are natural hunters, and the movement on screens can mimic the actions of prey, triggering their natural urge to stalk and pounce.

Their superior vision, particularly for detecting motion, makes them more sensitive to the subtle movements displayed on screens. Additionally, cats are opportunistic predators, which means they are naturally curious and tend to explore potential food sources, even those that are digital.

Sensory experiences also play a significant role in cats’ fascination with screens. Cats’ eyes are highly sensitive to light and motion changes, making screens, with their flickering lights and moving images, particularly captivating.

The sounds from the screen’s speakers can attract a cat’s attention, adding another layer of interest to their screen interactions. Moreover, the physical sensations, like the vibrations or warmth emitted by electronic devices, can also be appealing to cats.

Understanding these behavioral tendencies, evolutionary backgrounds, and sensory influences helps explain why cats are so drawn to screens. While it’s entertaining to observe cats interacting with technology, it’s crucial to consider their safety and well-being during these interactions. In the following chapters, we will discuss ways to engage your cat with screens responsibly and ensure their well-being in the digital age.

The Impact of Screens on Cat Behavior

While it’s captivating to observe our cats’ reactions to screens, it’s crucial to consider the potential effects of excessive screen exposure on their behavior and overall well-being. Excessive screen time can impact a cat’s activity level, attention span, and sleep patterns, potentially leading to various issues.

Reduced Activity: Cats engrossed in screens may become sedentary, leading to reduced physical activity as they focus on the screen instead of engaging in play or exploring their environment. This can have negative consequences for their overall health and fitness.

Attention Diversion: Cats’ attention diverted by screens may withdraw from their usual routines and interactions. This can lead to social withdrawal and affect their relationships with their human companions.

Disrupted Sleep Patterns: Cats may experience disrupted sleep patterns if screen time occurs during their typical resting hours. This disruption can lead to fatigue and irritability.

Overstimulation: Prolonged exposure to screens can overstimulate a cat’s senses, potentially leading to stress or anxiety, which can manifest in various behavioral issues.

To mitigate the impact of excessive screen exposure, cat owners can take several measures. Encouraging regular physical exercise through interactive play sessions with toys like feather wands or laser pointers can compensate for reduced activity. Providing interactive toys that engage a cat’s hunting instincts can offer mental stimulation.

Establishing scheduled playtime and interactive sessions with your cat can ensure they receive the attention and engagement they need. Spending quality time with your cat, offering affection, petting, and grooming, can strengthen your bond and address attention diversion.

Maintaining a consistent routine for feeding and playtime can help regulate your cat’s sleep patterns. Consider keeping screens out of areas where your cat sleeps to prevent disruptions to their rest.

Balanced screen time is crucial. Limit screen exposure for your cat to short, supervised sessions rather than extended periods. If your cat enjoys screen time, consider using interactive apps or videos specifically designed for cats, which can provide mental stimulation and engagement. When not actively using your device, activate screensaver mode to minimize your cat’s inadvertent exposure.

Lastly, ensure your cat’s environment is enriched with toys, scratching posts, and cozy resting spots to provide alternative sources of entertainment and comfort. By being mindful of these factors, you can ensure a balanced digital age coexistence with your feline companion while keeping them happy, healthy, and engaged.

Can Cats Recognize Objects on Screens?

Cats’ ability to recognize objects on screens is a fascinating topic that combines their keen senses and natural instincts with the digital world. Cats have remarkable visual acuity and can detect motion and subtle changes in light and color. Their evolutionary history as hunters plays a significant role in their ability to recognize objects on screens.

Cats’ hunting instincts drive them to track and pounce on moving objects. When they see movement on a screen, their instincts kick in, and they may react as if they’re hunting. Cats have excellent peripheral vision and can detect motion even in their peripheral field, making them highly attentive to moving objects on screens.

Several examples and studies have demonstrated a cat’s comprehension of screen content. Interactive apps designed for cats often feature virtual mice or bugs that move across the screen, and many cats enthusiastically engage with these apps, attempting to “catch” the virtual prey.

Cats may also show interest in nature documentaries that feature birds, fish, or small animals, triggering their instinct to stalk and pounce. YouTube videos of birds or small mammals often attract cats’ attention, and there are numerous “cat TV” channels with content designed to entertain them.

Studies have explored cats’ reactions to screens, showing that cats can distinguish between images of birds and other animals, and they exhibit greater interest in bird videos.

Cats may find certain types of content or visuals more intriguing than others. Moving objects, such as birds in flight or fish swimming, tend to captivate cats more than static images.

Cats also have a preference for high-contrast visuals, as their vision is adapted to detect changes in light and dark. Content that mimics the natural movements of prey animals, such as darting or fluttering, is more likely to elicit reactions from cats.

While cats can recognize objects on screens and engage with digital content, it’s crucial to monitor their reactions and ensure that screen time remains a source of entertainment rather than a disruptive influence on their daily routines. Balancing screen time with interactive play and physical activity is essential for your cat’s overall well-being and mental stimulation.

Interactive Apps and Entertainment for Cats

In recent years, the digital age has introduced a new form of entertainment for our feline companions—interactive apps and games designed specifically for cats. These apps have gained popularity as they offer a way to engage and entertain cats while keeping them mentally and physically stimulated.

The prevalence of smartphones and tablets has given rise to a growing market for cat-friendly apps and digital games. These apps are crafted to captivate cats with interactive visuals and sounds, making them excellent tools for providing mental and physical stimulation.

Here are some recommendations for cat-friendly apps and digital toys that can provide entertainment for your cat:

Game for Cats: This app features a virtual mouse or laser pointer that moves across the screen, allowing your cat to chase and “catch” it, providing engaging and interactive play.

Paint for Cats: Paint for Cats offers a canvas with colorful virtual critters that react to your cat’s paw swats, enabling your cat to create their own “artwork” as they tap the screen.

Cat Fishing 2: Created by Friskies, this app features a pond with swimming fish that your cat can “catch” by tapping the screen, offering multiple levels of play to keep cats entertained.

Paw Me: Paw Me is an app with various interactive games designed for cats. It includes laser pointers, insects, and other engaging visuals to keep your cat entertained.

Sensory Play for Cats: Sensory Play offers a variety of games and visuals designed to engage your cat’s senses, including colorful patterns, moving objects, and sounds to captivate your feline friend.

When using these apps and digital toys to entertain your cat, it’s essential to do so responsibly. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

Always supervise your cat during screen time to ensure their safety and prevent any damage to your device.

Consider using touchscreen gloves if your cat’s claws are a concern to protect the screen from scratches.

Combine digital play with physical toys, such as using a wand toy to mimic the movement of virtual prey on the screen.

Incorporate digital play into your cat’s daily routine, offering it as part of scheduled play sessions to provide mental stimulation.

Rotate between different apps and games to keep your cat’s interest, as cats may have preferences for certain visuals or interactions.

While these apps can be entertaining, they should complement, not replace, physical play, interaction, and outdoor exploration in your cat’s routine.

Interactive apps and digital toys can be valuable tools for engaging and entertaining your cat, especially when used in conjunction with traditional play. They offer mental stimulation and provide an outlet for your cat’s natural hunting instincts. By responsibly incorporating technology into your cat’s routine, you can keep them mentally and physically active while strengthening the bond between you and your feline friend.

Conclusion: Navigating the Digital World with Your Feline Companion

In this exploration of feline curiosity in the digital age, we’ve peered into the captivating world of cats’ reactions to smartphones and TVs. It’s evident that many cats exhibit a genuine fascination with screens, driven by their natural instincts and curiosity about moving images.

While this curiosity can be endearing and entertaining, it’s essential for cat owners to strike a balance and consider the potential impact on their pet’s well-being.

Understanding how screens influence cat behavior and using this knowledge to make informed choices is key. Moderation in screen time and the types of content your cat is exposed to can help maintain a healthy balance. It’s also worth exploring interactive apps and games designed for feline enrichment to engage your cat’s mind and body.

Ultimately, what your cat thinks of smartphones and TVs is a complex mix of instinctual curiosity and individual preferences. As responsible pet owners, it’s our duty to use technology thoughtfully, enriching our feline companions’ lives while ensuring their overall well-being and happiness.

So, next time you see your cat watching the screen or pawing at a smartphone, remember that their digital curiosity is just one more facet of their intriguing and mysterious world. Embrace it, observe their reactions, and use it as an opportunity to bond and provide them with enriching experiences in the ever-evolving digital landscape of the 21st century.


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98% of orders of our ‘in-stock’ products are delivered within 3-5 working days of your order being placed with us. If your product does not arrive within this time period, we will send you some complimentary toys for you feline friend to play with!