We were not at all surprised to hear that a recent poll, conducted by Hallmark, showed that one out of three cat owners use Skype to contact their beloved felines. Based on the number of cat photos our users share with us, we figured human-cat Skype calls were some of the most common types of video calls out there.
This didn’t surprise Skype’s Pet Ambassador, Paris Permenter, either. “I think Skype is an easy way to check in with cats because they’re so predictable,” she says. “You know where they’re going to be – if they’ve got a favorite napping spot or a sunny window sill, you can point the camera there and check in on them throughout the day – it’s easy to catch them there. You don’t have to call them to the camera, you just know where they’re going to be.” She’s experienced this with one of her four cats, Inca. “She always lies in one window, and I know she’s going to be there, taking a sunbath.” Oh, for the life of a cat!
Paris points out that checking in on your cat has other benefits as well. “A lot of people don’t realize this, but cats are a great security system,” she notes. “Cats are so skittish – they’re only going to be behaving normally if everything is ok in your house. If something is awry, they won’t be there. You know that all is well if your cats are lying around napping or grooming.”
Another benefit of calling your cats on Skype is, well, you get to spy on them, which actually could improve kitty behavior. “It’s a good way to learn about your cat’s personality,” advises Paris. “How do they do after I leave the house? Is there separation anxiety? You can see what their behavior’s like when you’re not there. And you can find out what’s causing any bad behavior. If you come home and your furniture is all torn up, Skype is a great way to see what’s causing the problem. For example, your cat could need more interactive toys. Skype can help you see what your cat is doing so you can take steps to stop any problems.”
Finally, Paris has advice for people who are going to be away from their cats for a long time. “It depends on your cat’s personality whether they will respond to your voice or not,” she says. “Before you go away, you should talk to your cat on Skype to find out whether they are reassured or made more anxious by the sound of your voice. You can tell by the way they react to the sound of your voice whether talking to them on Skype is a good thing or whether the Skype calls are simply a way for you to enjoy your cat.”
Paris’ advice just underscores how important it is that pet owners keep in touch with their furry friends, even when they’re away. So don’t feel bad for having Skype calls with your pets. And send us pictures!