This is not music for cats.
I tried that a few years ago after reading a story about composer David Teie, who’d designed tracks especially for felines, incorporating tones and rhythms that supposedly have a calming influence on cats.
Here I was thinking it would be something nice for my cat, so I queued up one of the tracks — and Buddy lost his shit!
Bud’s reaction didn’t leave any room for ambiguity: Ears flattened to his head, whiskers pulled back, crouched in a defensive position and hissing at the TV. It was a full-fledged freak-out.
As anyone who’s read this blog knows, Buddy’s a weirdo even among cats, so I don’t doubt Mr. Teie’s music does calm some kitties. Just not this one.
After that experience you can understand how I was hesitant to give “cat TV” a go. Turns out I was worried over nothing.
Buddy usually ignores the TV, but when the video started and the first bird flittered on screen, pecking at some seeds scattered on a tree stump, little man got really interested.
After a few seconds he settled in like a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons, mesmerized as he stared up at the screen.
There were a few times when he looked back at me over his shoulder, seeking a bit of social reassurance as if to say “Can I watch the birdies, Big Bud?” Then he started chirping!
Cat TV isn’t all about the visuals. Sound plays a key element and Paul Dinning, the Youtuber who produces the videos, captures an omnidirectional array of flutters, birdsong and the background hum of nature.
Buddy bounced on the balls of his feet once or twice as if he was ready to pounce on the screen, but he never did. He didn’t look for birds behind the TV either, which is apparently a common reaction. Maybe he understands what he’s seeing isn’t real, but he’s entertained nonetheless.
So it’s with Buddy’s ringing endorsement I can report cat TV is legitimate kitty entertainment. If you ever need to buy yourself an hour or two to get something done without a furry personal assistant getting in the way, cat TV can provide a nice distraction.