Anyone who has ever belonged to a cat (yes, they really do own you) can tell you in great detail all about their quirks and oddities. From chattering at birds from behind the window glass, to contorting their bodies to fit into the smallest of places, we are in agreement cats are weird.

Another unusual behaviour that you may have noticed when in the house of a cat is that they actually seem to enjoy watching television – well some do anyway. As a visual animal that relies heavily on sight it does kind of make sense to see a feline friend with their face glued to the TV screen.
Though no one can know for sure, there are several theories as to why some cats have TV time’. Some say that they watch the screen because their hunting instincts kick in telling them that something moving is potential prey, whilst others believe that they do it out of curiosity or simply, because like humans, they enjoy the visual stimulation.
However, if we were able to actually ask cats why they watch television, I’m pretty sure that they would answer with something along the lines of ‘you’re my human, it’s my house and therefore, it’s myTV.’

If you don’t quite believe me when I say that cats enjoy watching television, then maybe this survey run recently by P-Nest Japan can convince you. More than 500 men and women who live with cats took part in the questionnaire, and more than 50% of them confirmed that their cats watch television.

As you can see, when the results came in it was found that 49.2% of the participants stated that their cats watched television, with 50.8% saying that they don’t. Ok, so this does mean that the majority still prefer to get their enrichment from looking outside the bedroom window, but it also says that almost half are likely kitty couch potatoes with a fascination for the flat screen.

So what exactly is it on our televisions that has our feline friends captivated? Well...

Animals/shows about pets – 190 votes
News shows – 61 votes
Sports shows – 54 votes
Variety shows – 49 votes
Drama/movies – 39 votes
Anime – 34 votes
Weather forecast – 3 votes
CM – 2 votes
Other – 10 votes

It comes as no big surprise that the majority of our television addicted friends enjoy watching shows about other animals, with 190 households claiming this to be the case.
According to experts, the eyesight of a cat is around one tenth of a human, with their visual acuity anywhere between 20/100 to 20/200. When comparing this to human visual acuity, which is on average around 20/20, it means that a cat would need to be at least 20 meters from what a human can see at 100 or 200 meters. Basically, cats are shortsighted.
However, although cats may have a low overall visual acuity, they actually excel when it comes to their dynamic visual acuity (reflex to visual movement). Detecting even the slightest of movement of 4mm per second, it only seems natural that our feline friend's favourite show falls under the category of ‘Animals/shows about pets’.

Despite shows about animals being the most popular choice, it seems like there are also fans of sports, news, drama and even anime in the cat world (that last one is to be expected in Japan right?)

So how exactly are these cats getting their television fix? According to their human housemates, the majority like to get up close and personal to the screen. You probably remember being told not to sit too close to the TV as a kid less you want your eyes to turn square, well apparently 56.5% of these furry babies didn’t quite get that memo.
The rest enjoy watching from the comfort of the sofa (I mean it’s theirs, so why not right?), next to their two-legged pets, or whilst getting on with other important things such as kneading the pillow or playing with that mouse toy.

56.5% watch right in front of the TV screen
22.4% watch whilst relaxing on the bed or sofa
11.8% watch whilst sitting next to their owners
8.1% watch whilst playing or moving
1.2% other

The participants of the survey were also asked to rank television shows, characters and TV personalities according to their cat's preferences (what they watch the most).

Favourite television shows as ranked by cats

First place – Wildlife Photographer Mitsuaki Iwago's World "Cats" Travelogue (NHK)
Second place – めざましテレビ きょうのわんこ (Mezamashi TV Today’s Dog)
Third place – I LOVE みんなのどうぶつ園 (I LOVE everyone’s animal garden)
Fourth place – 坂上どうぶつ王国 (Sakagami Animal Kingdom)

Most popular TV personalities or people who make television appearances according to cats

Sanma Akashiya
Prime Minister Suga
Matsuko Deluxe (me too!)
Egashira 2:50
Soichiro Tahara
Takahiko Fuji
Yuma Fuji

Most popular TV characters according to cats

Mickey Mouse
Hello Kitty
Detective Conan
Crayon Shin-chan

With the survey pretty much concluding that cats do watch television, and that they even have their very own favourite shows, it might be wise to keep the channels away from anything that could lead to the potential feline takeover of the world, which let’s face it...may already be on it’s way.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.