For most cats, mealtime is the high point of the day. Conscientious cat owners incorporate regular play sessions of tossed balls and dangling ribbons. Naps and occasional trips to the litter box help pass the time. Is your cat bored? Spice up her life this Valentines Day with a variety of videotapes or DVDs that provide housebound felines with vicarious outdoor pleasures.
Butterflies Flutter By – and More
If your cats are like most, they rarely watch TV. Can they actually perceive whats on the screen? Indeed, they can – but often choose not to. Seinfeld, Survivor, even The Simpsons all get four paws down. Cats simply dont find people shows interesting.
But cat videos are different. The best ones feature a variety of species and scenarios – birds flocking at feeders, masses of mice, darting aquarium fish, squirrels devouring nuts, crawling insects, and more. The jerkier and more frequent the movements, the better. Corny music can be as distracting for cats as it is for humans; four-paw productions feature natural soundtracks with actual songs emanating from the birds pictured.
DVDs (i.e., Video Catnip and Kitty Show) have the advantage of continuous play. Cat owners are taking advantage of this technology, Our Video Catnip DVD is outselling the VHS by ten to one, says Jill Grizio of Cattoys.com. Dont have a DVD player? You can simply set your VCR to auto repeat and the video will play over and over, says Bill Hayward, creator of the Feathers for Felines series.
Cat videos can be used as a special treat, or to keep your cat entertained when youre away. Some share the Valentines Day spirit year-round. We donate returned videos to animal shelters, so the cats there can enjoy them, says R.J. Sorensen, creator of Kitty Show. Notes Hayward, Some veterinarians and cat owners use our videos to help their cats get through illnesses and as part of their recuperation process.
Living Room Field Test
When testing kitty videos, we noticed the advantages of a multi-cat panel. Our two cats reactions varied wildly. If our cat video reviews were based solely upon Stretchs response, we would have declared them all a hoax! We did everything short of rubbing catnip on the TV screen, but our restless three-year-old tabby always had better things to do than watch videos.
However, our year-old calico Fuzzball quickly became mesmerized by the tantalizing creatures inches from her nose, literally rising to the occasion now and then on her hind legs, the better to bat at the on-screen birds and squirrels. Other cats reportedly crouch, stalk, and pounce. But Fuzzball was mostly content to sit, eyes darting and ears twitching, making darned sure no critter got away.
Even after watching umpteen of them, we recommend kitty videos as great valentines, not only for your own favorite feline but for friends with cats, as well. A veritable smorgasbord of kitty delights awaits!
Building Your Kitty Video Library
Kitty Safari 2 – 30-minute VHS, $14.95. Higher quality and more scenic than the original safari, Kitty Safari 2 has mercifully replaced quirky music with natural soundtrack. www.cattv.com/VideosforCats.htm or 800-521-7898.
Cat Sitter Video – 6-hour VHS or DVD, both $34.95. An adventure-filled journey through frisky squirrel and fluttering bird-land. Image quality seemed somewhat compromised by the length of the tape, but the cat didnt mind. http://www.pgeusa.com/ or 866-548-0660.
Kitty Show Video Toy – 2-hour DVD, $19.80. Alternates day and night views of all bugs, all the time. Promoters say the Sepia Filter used for
filming was specially developed to enhance outlines and colors for cat vision. Soundtrack includes bugs hitting the screen. http://www.kittyshow.com/ or 843-524-7928.
Feathers for Felines – 1-hour VHS, $9.95. This MTV equivalent for cats is the latest in a high-quality three-part series. Features non-stop bird movements and sounds, with squirrels, fluttering butterflies, and more, accompanied by natural sound. http://www.feathersforfelines.com/ or 800-297-8380.
The Purrfect Video – 1-hour VHS, $12.95. Helpful instructions for humans, followed by solid, eye-level videography of squirrels and pigeons in the park, mice, bugs, and more. Less frenetic than some, hence a bit easier on human eyes. http://www.amazon.com/ or 800-663-0222.
Video Catnip – 30-minute VHS, $14.95; 2-hour DVD $18.95. The original cat video, now out in a longer DVD version, is still ahead of the cat pack. Features segments like A Stalk in the Park, lots of scurrying action, and a variety of furry, feathered, and finned creatures. A short musical intro, followed by an all-natural soundtrack. http://www.cattoys.com/ or 877-364-8697.