Why Your Cat Is Obsessed With Phones And Tablets

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on December 3, 2017

We all know the internet loves cats, and it looks like it’s a two-way relationship. Whether your cat is obsessed with playing games on your tablet or comes running every time you pick up the phone, they’re always wanting more screen time.

Marketers have caught on to the trend and are making feline-friendly apps, but cats’ infatuation with tech started long before Cat Fishing and Jitterbug made it to the game store. So why does your cat seem as drawn to your electronics as you are? Here’s what a few cat people have to say.

Desperate for Attention

Cats like sitting in laps and getting pet. From their perspective, the electronics you’re always quick to grab are their biggest competition. Cats who come calling every time they hear the phone ring or the sliding “click” of a tablet being unlocked may be on their way to defend their spot by their owner’s side. They’ll do their best to get in between you and your electronics, and it’s easy to decipher that behavior as an attraction toward the device. All they really want is for you to shift your focus from the screen to giving them cuddles.

Environmental Cues

It might look like your cat isn’t paying attention, but they pick up on cues that tell them what’s happening and what’s about to happen. From there, they deduce how they should respond. If you move to the comfy chair and spread out the soft blanket every time you settle in for late-night screen time, your cat will take note. They’ll associate the tablet as their cue to get comfy on your lap. They know from experience you won’t be getting up anytime soon.

Predatory Instincts

Cats chase down birds, kill mice, and stalk everything that moves. The moving objects on a bright screen are not outside their predatory range. They see things moving erratically on the screen, and sometimes those things disappear altogether for no reason. This is both confusing and interesting to a kitty expressing its natural instincts. The cursor on your computer screen is good, but touchscreen displays are best. They have the added bonus of the images on screen being affected by the cat’s touch. Pawing at the digital images—whether it’s a fish in a game or the scroll bar on an open tab—is fun and exciting.

Some cats live for beating their high scores on favorite games and others have mastered the art of writing long essays in gibberish. Whichever level they’re at, some cats simply can’t keep their paws off electronics. It’s just another thing humans and cats have in common.

Do you have a “tech-savvy” cat? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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