Whenever Courtney Cirone grabs her iPad, her cat Cooper runs by as if a bag of goodies had just been shaken. He wants to see YouTube, especially videos of squirrels and tiny birds scurrying around. "His eyes get super big and he moves his head back and forth to follow the animals," says Cirone. "He lowers his head as if he is hiding. He looked at me once and mewed," Help me catch this bastard. "
Cooper taps the screen relentlessly and sometimes plunges headfirst for his digital prey He loves these videos (along with clips from Dr. Phil) and is so obsessed with it that Cirone limits his viewing to three times a week because he sits very close and is careful to protect his eyes when she turns off her iPad, he even pouts. If that sounds strange, it's like this and not like that: cats that are known to be the subject of online videos are now sitting on the other side and watching.
Apart from all content for people there is a growing world on YouTube especially for our cat friends. These videos, which are loved by certain cat owners and are sometimes championed by veterinarians and animal scientists, take on the instinct of cats sneak up, hunt and hunt. Cat-related footage of small animals is particularly popular on the platform and is posted by channels like Little Kitty & Family, Handsome Nature, and videos for your cat. One of the most productive creators, Paul Dinning, has published hundreds of videos for cats, including an eight-hour “bird bonanza” that has been viewed almost 7 million times. According to YouTube's Trends and Insights team, Dinning 201
Animated videos formatted like games are also popular. One channel, Cat Games, has videos that tempt cats to search everything from goldfish and ladybugs to goblin mice and gingerbread men. There is also a Quidditch game and others based on Pac-Man, Minecraft, Star Wars and Game of Thrones.
Russian motion designer Max Gomboev of Cat Games started making these videos in homage to his late cat. After seeing how much other cat owners liked them and what experience they had with cat-focused mobile apps like Cat Fishing 2 that offer much less variety, he started making videos regularly. "It's easier than installing an app and you can watch my videos on a TV," says Gomboev. "I usually create a new video every 10 days. Cats like to look at something new. “
Earnest Pettie, Trends and Insights chief at YouTube, has noticed the trend, which includes not only games but also relaxation music. There is also ASMR for cats. Pettie says there's a lot of creators and channels in there, and he thinks it's a "very interesting, emerging category of content." Videos with the phrase “Videos for cats” were viewed over 55 million times on the platform in 2019, an increase of 41 percent from 2018. "We now have this world in which cats are an emerging audience," says Pettie, " and movies for cats are an emerging trend. " Not everyone likes YouTube. However, some research, not to mention the numerous comments on the positive reactions of cats, shows that many do. A 2008 study by animal shelter cats concluded that these videos represent an enrichment potential for domestic cats and are recommended by cat experts and organizations.
Ingrid Johnson, a cat behavior researcher and veterinarian in a cat-specific clinic, says that videos are more fulfilling for cats than laser pointers. Her clinic sold the same types of videos on DVD (when DVDs were one thing). Along with toys and treats, Johnson said, the videos complement the picture of an enriching environment.