Cats/dogs and relflections/TV

I have always wondered why cats don’t seem to react to or perceive their reflections in a mirror, while dogs do.

Also, why do dogs seem interested in footage of other dogs on television?

my parents’ old dog was completely oblivious to the tv, video and audio. she didn’t seem to see mirror reflections, either.

on the other hand, my dog loves the tv. she’ll watch animal planet all day, and then try and look behind the tv to find those pesky animals. and she’ll start barking if there’s barking on tv. she’s not as interactive with refelctions, but they do seem to spook her a bit. like she’s afraid of the stove, i think because of the reflections on the glass door.

she doesn’t react to people on tv, though. i figure she’s a lot more in tune with the movements and shapes of other 4-legged things, especially dogs, because, well, she’s a dog.

can’t comment on cats, though. you say cats don’t react to images like dogs? cat’s probably see the same way as dogs, but they just don’t really care. they are cats, you know.

My cats all try to chase the laser light into the mirror. The youngest used to walk around and around a free standing mirror trying to find the kitten. She’d finally get frustrated and sit behind the mirror and meow.
Our Vet only treats cats. They have a boarding area with TVs that play tapes of birds and small animals for the inmates to watch… and they do.

I’ve had cats who never expressed any interest whatsoever in tv; others who had, but only if there was an image of a moving animal or bird or fish or butterfly, etc., especially with accompanying sound.

My current kitten was a big exception. When I got her, age 7 weeks, she would sit in front of the tv for about 15 minutes at a time, regardless of what was on, and occasionally try to reach into the picture. It took her about a month to totally lose interest.

At least with my cats, it seems to be related to general intelligence; the smarter ones have noticed the tv (although I’ve heard other people say the opposite).

My cats try to chase the character around on the TV when I’m playing games. Plays merry hob when I’m at critical bits, though. :smiley:

My childhood cat would walk back and forth to go to either end of the mirror on my mother’s dresser and look behind it to try to find that strange “other cat” that was up there.

One of my parents’ current cats loves the tv. He once watched an entire program about cougars on the Discovery Channel - apparently he recognized his distant cousins. He’s also been known to launch attacks on hockey players and figure skaters - must be something about the way skaters move. Either that, or it’s just that those are the two sports most likely to be on tv at my parents’ house and he’d assault other athletes given the chance. I don’t think he’s ever been known to show any interest in mirrors however.

The visual streak is a high density line of vision cells which runs across the retina. You can see it clearly on this computer image. Scientists already knew dogs had a visual streak. But then Alison found something completely unexpected. Some dogs – didn’t.

Unlike the visual streak, the area centralis has the high density vision cells arranged in a spot. It could mean only one thing. Alison suddenly realised that different breeds of dog don’t just have different eyes, they see the world completely differently. And this is how.

But was there anything the area centralis kind of eye was particularly good at? Alison took a closer look at the retinas. And that’s when the team got their biggest surprise of all. It turned out Bertie’s area centralis had three times the density of nerve endings as a visual streak. It means that short nosed dogs with their area centralis see in much higher definition than other dogs. And there’s one thing that’s really good for …

So when they’re looking at the owners face and different nuances of the owners expressions maybe they’re getting a bit more information than a long nose dog. This is perhaps a way of explaining how attentive and charming short nosed dogs are.

Narration: And it might just help explain something else.

Jonica Newby: Would this explain his tendency to watch Tv?

Dr Alison Harman: Yes it does, and he does watch television quite often