While it may be a relatively recent phenomenon, videos for cats have become super popular in recent years, particularly with more people working from home and looking for ways to keep their feline furkids entertained so that they don't video bomb every team meeting!
And what exactly is a video for cats we hear you ask? Well, that's a good question. Basically, you can expect hours of footage featuring mice, squirrels, birds (or sometimes all three), as well as various moving string games that will have your kitty pawing at the screen.
While it's not exactly the kind of TV you want to curl up with at the end of a long hard day, it's definitely the sort of thing that will appeal to your fur baby, and when you're too busy or tired to whip out the best cat toys, popping a video on can be a great way of providing them with some mental stimulation.
In fact, an animal shelter study found that they can be particularly beneficial for cats that spend a large amount of time alone or those who don’t have access to a window. And if you're worried that time spent in front of the screen might do your kitty damage, don't be.
Dr. Jillian Orlando, a veterinary behavior resident at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine is putting pet parent’s minds to rest. “It won’t hurt your kitty’s eyes,” she says reassuringly “so you don’t have to tell Fluffy not to sit too close to the TV.”
While you don’t need to worry about your cat’s health, you may want to pay attention to the safety of your TV. “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,” warns Dr. Orlando.
In much the same way that indoor games for dogs can help ease boredom for our canine companions, videos for cats can do the same thing. But with so much choice available, it could be easy to spend hours in the YouTube vortex! To help make your search quicker and easier, we've rounded up our favorite videos for cats, all of which are the purr-fect virtual babysitter for those days when you don't have as much time as you'd like to spend with your little one.
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Best video for cats overall
Paul Dinning is one of YouTube’s most prolific posters of videos for cats and his “Eight Hours of Birds and Squirrel Fun” is a true epic of the genre. Despite the title, the photographer from Cornwall captured almost nine hours of British garden birds and the occasional grey squirrel popping in and out of frame to grab a snack from a bird table.
Best mouse video for cats
This eight hour video of mice ducking in and out of holes is definitely going to have your cat trying to figure out how to get into the TV! While it's not exactly the kind of footage that would keep us humans amused, pet parents are continually shocked by just how enticing it is for their feline friends. Definitely a great one to put on when you're wanting to keep your cat amused for hours at a time.
Best bird video for cats
Another effort from the cat video powerhouse, Paul Dinning, this 18 minute film is shot in beautiful high-res and features the woodland birds of Tehidy Woods. Some reviewers have even remarked that it had their cats looking behind the iPad in search of feathered friends to pounce on!
Best fish video for cats
The Boredom Blasting Fish Video for Cats premiered on YouTube back in April 2019 and has since clocked up an impressive 206,492 views, figures many a budding influencer would trade a limb for. With a two hour run time, the video features a selection of koi and discus fish paired with a relaxing ambient soundtrack.
Best calming video for cats
We mean, seriously, a traveling bird feeder? We'll quite happily sit down with our feline friends and watch that! This super cute video shows a bird feeder being moved about through the snow and visited by birds and squirrels alike. Spend some time roaming about in Norwegian nature with your fur baby to the sweet sound of bird song and we have a feeling both of you will come away feeling calm and relaxed.
Best video game for cats
Featuring three different games, your kitty will love watching the string move around the screen accompanied by mouse and bird sounds. A lot of pet parents report watching their kitty paw the screen as they tried to catch the string and the great news is, it seems to keep them amused for the full hour, so it's perfect if you want something to amuse your fur baby while you try and get some work done!
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Dave has over 20 years experience in publishing during which he launched many successful magazine titles including How It Works, All About Space and All About History. He’s also pet parent to a retired police dog called Rebel, who can’t work anymore due to a health condition. When’s not busy trying to amuse a boisterous, three-year-old German Shepherd, Dave's the Editor on PetsRadar.