A cat watches TV at PAWS in Lynnwood. The animal rescue is seeking TV donations. (Lynn Jefferson / PAWS)

A cat watches TV at PAWS in Lynnwood. The animal rescue is seeking TV donations. (Lynn Jefferson / PAWS)

Kitty TV: Shelter cats get a digital window to outside world

PAWS in Lynnwood seeks TV donations to keep all 30 of its cats happy and entertained.

LYNNWOOD — Binge-watching has gone to the cats.

What’s up with that?

It’s part of a cat enrichment program at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society in Lynnwood. The shelter, known as PAWS, is seeking donations of flat-panel TVs so cats can get screen time.

Cats in homes have the luxury of looking out windows, a favorite pastime when not napping.

In older shelters such as the Lynnwood PAWS, cats are crated in windowless rooms. Napping even gets old after a while.

The TVs provide a digital window to the outside world — of birds, squirrels and other eye candy for cats.

“This stimulation engages a cat’s brain, which can help to prevent boredom, loneliness and even depression,” said Rachel Bird, PAWS animal behavior specialist. “The TV encourages the cats to listen and look around, and many cats will approach the front of their kennel to investigate, which helps to make them more visible to adopters.”

The shelter doesn’t have a budget for cat entertainment electronics. Lynn Jefferson, the PAWS web and graphic designer, is on a mission to outfit every room with a TV. At least nine TVs are needed. She has three, including one that came from her home.

She found a 47-inch TV for sale on Facebook for $25.

“When I met with the couple in the Target parking lot and told them what it was for they said, ‘Just take the TV,’” she said.

The first screen, installed in the main cat viewing room, was a hit.

“Immediately after turning on the TV mounted above the cat cages, cats could be seen in their cages watching the TV,” Jefferson said. “The bird and nature sounds also bring a soothing peaceful atmosphere to the room while potential adopters walk through and interact with the cats. It’s a win-win situation for all.”

Employees in nearby offices said the sounds of chirping birds were soothing.

Jefferson said donations don’t have to be smart TVs.

“For only $35, I can turn any older TV into a cat video cinema experience,” Jefferson said. “All I need is a player, HDMI cable and a USB flash drive.”

Newer shelters, such as the PAWS Cat City in Seattle, have colony rooms and “catios” (cat patios) where felines mingle with others of their ilk and can see outside.

The Lynnwood PAWS dogs don’t need screen time.

“Dogs get to go outside, sniffing, walking, and taking breaks in the play yard,” Jefferson said.

There’s lots of video content for cats.

Pluto TV bills its Cats 24/7 channel, launched in 2017, as “the first channel by cats for cats.” Shows include “Cats Gone Wild” and Khloe Kardashian kitty talk. It also has Dogs 24/7.

The Birder King YouTube channel has videos of little critters that last eight hours, so you can leave it on while you’re out. The Cat Entertainment channel has videos and cat games for use on an iPad or tablet and even a laser-pointer game.

PAWS cats already have their favorite shows.

“They really like the birds flying in and out, and the squirrels,” Jefferson said.

The cats don’t get to stay up until 3 a.m. watching squirrels scurry up and down trees.

“We make sure the TV is shut off at night so the kitties also have quiet time to relax,” Bird said.

If you have a TV to donate, contact Jefferson at ljefferson@paws.org.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

WSDOT workers open up the Smokey Point Rest Area on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free coffee will be back soon at Smokey Point rest areas

Everett’s Silver Lake rest area for southbound I-5 drivers remains closed while WSDOT works on the facility.

The Everett Music Initiative team, (from left) Ryan Crowther, Nate Feaster and Michael Hannon. (Everett Music Initiative)
As Everett Music Initiative turns 10, downtown no longer a ‘ghost town’

The group will celebrate its birthday Thursday night with a party to kick off the eighth Fisherman’s Village Music Fest.

Pro skateboarding competition coming to Everett in August

Street League Skateboarding’s championship tour will be at Angel of the Winds arena for two days.

Drivers heading north on Interstate 5 will take a detour from Highway 104 to 220th Street SW and back to I-5 this weekend during nightly lane closures for Sound Transit light rail work. (Sound Transit)
Light rail work closing I-5 North lanes nightly this weekend

Crews need to close northbound lanes between 220th Street SW and Highway 104. Drivers have two detour options.

A car makes its way through a winding unpaved section of the Mountain Loop Highway 15 miles outside of Darrington.
14-mile scenic stretch of Mountain Loop Highway opens early

The highway between Granite Falls and Darrington reopened to traffic on Friday due to good weather.

A Port Angeles police officer cordons off an empty lot in Sequim on Thursday as law enforcement officials investigate an incident in the area. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Man arrested in Sequim, connected to homicide, has Snohomish County ties

A dead woman was found in Bret Allen Kenney’s home, police say. He previously attacked Snohomish County Jail guards.

Top row (L-R): Rep. Suzan Del Bene, Sen. Keith Wagoner, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Rep. Rick Larsen. Center (L-R): Tamborine Borrelli, Bob Hagglund. Bottom (L-R): Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Rep. Kim Schrier, Mark Miloscia, Sen. Patty Murray.
As filing ends, campaigning shifts into a higher gear

The ballot will feature intraparty battles, election deniers and 16 challengers to a longtime U.S. senator.

Wade Brickman works through a call with trainer Lars Coleman Friday afternoon at SNO911 in Everett, Washington on May 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Difference between life and death’: New 911 tech saves vital seconds

Snohomish County is the first in the nation to get the new technology, which reduces delays on emergency calls.

Cars drive through the intersection of Highway 9 and South Lake Stevens Road on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 9 to close this weekend in south Lake Stevens

Detours take drivers around the closure between 20th Street SE and 32nd Street SE from Friday night to Monday morning.

Most Read