“Let’s scare the cats and entertain the public” (in a TikTok video)

This TikTok video is the most successful one that this TikTok user has on her TikTok page. It’s been seen 106.1 million times. The success of the video is based upon the premise that it is entertaining to scare domestic cats. So, the woman dreamt up this idea of scaring her cats by putting on a large scary mask which made her look like a predator of domestic cats. In her videos she is careful to remain anonymous.

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Scaring cats to entertain the public. Screenshot

She set up her smart phone at the right distance or she had someone hold the camera. And waited just off the hallway on her hands and knees for the cats to turn up out of inquisitiveness to see what was going on. And as they approach, they see this enormous, strange head which terrifies them. They turn on their heels and skid down the false-wood hallway. Great fun for the humans. Not so great for the cats.

This is exactly what the public wants, she thinks. And she’s correct. But is it correct? Is it correct to create entertaining TikTok videos out of scaring domestic cats? This is the owner of the cats. As an owner of domestic cats, you don’t set out to scare them, do you? The objective of your caregiving is to do the opposite; to create a calm, pleasant environment which is reassuring.

RELATED: 34% of cats featured in ‘funny cat videos’ are upset and stressed

Domestic cats often need reassuring because they live in a strange human world. I have mentioned this before; about 30% of all funny cat videos (and this is meant to be a funny cat video) contain footage in which the domestic cat is stressed. Stressed and anxious, actually.

Note: This is a video from another website which is embedded here. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

For that reason, I don’t like the video. I never like these videos. Just me, then? Perhaps I am out of step with the public. Perhaps I’m being too cranky. Perhaps I am too old and too concerned with cat welfare to enjoy these casual cat abuse videos.

It is a very cheap and careless way to create an interesting video. When you scare cats, they do things which are interesting to humans. They look terrified which looks interesting to many people and then they run away. The act of running away is made far more interesting when they are on a slippery surface such as this laminated non-carpeted floor. This is because they slide and then hide. The cats look foolish. People like it when cats look clumsy and foolish. Perhaps people are jealous of the cat for being so capable athletically. The viewing public like to see ‘cat fails’. That’s a complete genre of funny cat video in itself.

RELATED: Man makes “funny cat video” by sealing a kitten in a glass jar

On one occasion the tabby cat runs away and scares the other cat. It’s a double whammy case of being scared. It’s just creating the wrong atmosphere in the home from the cat’s perspective. No doubt the woman makes a lot of money on TikTok out of these videos. Her channel is successful. Money and fame are the drivers for her. On this occasion cat welfare is conveniently forgotten in that blinding objective.

She must be constantly thinking about how to make an interesting TikTok video. It is difficult and it does take a lot of imagination to dream up new ideas. But all new ideas should preclude the need to scare your cat in order to entertain the masses. Please don’t do it.

P.S. Kate Beckinsale did the same thing on Instagram with her cat.

Kate Beckinsale makes her cat unnecessarily anxious when entertaining her 5.2 million Instagram followers
Kate Beckinsale makes her cat unnecessarily anxious when entertaining her 5.2 million Instagram followers. Photo: screenshot from her Instagram video.

RELATED: Kate Beckinsale accused of cat abuse in unnecessarily frightening her Persian cat


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Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
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