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Old 10-19-2020, 05:35 PM   #1
grumpyskeptic
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Do cats and dogs really understand movies?


It is a surprise to me that cats or dogs can recognise anything on tv at all, as they have to understand that a 2D image represents 3D things, but this video is evidence that they do:

Funny Cat Watching TV
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6PXDdwhhqM

My question is, do they really understand the drama and story in movies as the two following videos suggest? Or are they fakes?

Cat Watching Horror Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kgRFHaNo-Y

Bulldog watches a horror movie, does something INCREDIBLE during scary scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uffjKmTBjTI

I imagine that cats and dogs only saw old CRT tvs as a lot of flickering.
 
Old 10-19-2020, 08:54 PM   #2
sgosnell
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Animals recognize pictures, and I'm sure they can see the images on TV, whether CRT or LCD. They may not be able to understand that the videos are not real, though. Many species can read human facial expressions, including horses, canines, and felines, and they can read them from photographs. That much has been fully proved. The only question, AFAIAC, is whether they can understand that the photos or videos are not real.
 
Old 10-19-2020, 09:08 PM   #3
frankbell
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Our cats seldom pay attention to the TV.

I had one cat who did the same, but I vividly remember one night she perked up and started at it intently for several minutes, but I never figured out what caught her attention.

Quote:
My question is, do they really understand the drama and story in movies as the two following videos suggest?
I doubt very seriously that they can understand plots and stories. As far as I can tell, they seem to me to live in the now. And if they had any concept of cause and effect, they certainly wouldn't do some of the fool things they do!

This link may be of interest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_in...e#Intelligence
 
Old 10-19-2020, 11:00 PM   #4
scasey
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Understand? No. Sometimes watch? Yup.
 
Old 10-20-2020, 12:50 AM   #5
elcore
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Not sure about cats and dogs, but evidently an octopus which grew up in a tank has shown some interest in television program featuring marine animals.
It could've been just bored, but there is a possibility of deeper understanding.
 
Old 10-20-2020, 05:16 AM   #6
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In the third video above, the bulldog appears to be barking when a stranger may be outside the door, which is what they do in real life.
 
Old 10-20-2020, 05:25 AM   #7
hazel
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Neither my mother's cat nor either of our dogs ever watched TV as far as I can remember. But I do remember how once we were watching a programme about the social life of feral domestic cats, which is a bit like that of lions. Females who are sisters may share a hunting territory and help each other with their kittens. In this particular scene, one female had helped her sister through littering and the two of them washed the kittens together, making that funny purring mew that cats use to talk to kittens. And our cat, Pippa, went up to the screen and tried to rear up and touch the kittens. It was the only time she ever showed any interest and I'm pretty sure it was the sounds and not the picture that drew her.
 
Old 10-20-2020, 05:27 AM   #8
ntubski
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Yeah, my mother's cat used to try to catch the birds in nature documentaries. He had no interest in any kind of human drama though.

Quote:
My question is, do they really understand the drama and story in movies as the two following videos suggest? Or are they fakes?

Cat Watching Horror Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kgRFHaNo-Y
This one looks faked to me, there is probably someone behind the camera dangling a cat toy. Not sure about the dog one.
 
Old 10-20-2020, 09:59 AM   #9
rknichols
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My personal favorite: https://youtu.be/yalGOOXjskM
 
Old 10-20-2020, 01:41 PM   #10
grumpyskeptic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntubski View Post
This one looks faked to me, there is probably someone behind the camera dangling a cat toy. Not sure about the dog one.
The second cat is on the floor, and looking at something that is only a few inches off the floor also. So less likely to be a tv unless the tv is small and on the floor. It could perhaps be a DVD player or laptop.

Edit: At the end the cat jumps forward into where the tv should be. Or maybe it is a zoom shot with the camera a long way away. Also, the bulldog video has an edit in the middle of the clip.

Last edited by grumpyskeptic; 10-20-2020 at 05:17 PM.
 
Old 10-21-2020, 05:51 AM   #11
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
This is not the stance a cat would take for hunting.
Yes, it follows the movement, maybe something even lights up in its brain saying "bird", but it's just mildly interested. Playing.
Also the video is lacking the original sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
Bulldog watches a horror movie, does something INCREDIBLE during scary scene
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uffjKmTBjTI
This bulldog does not do anything "INCREDIBLE".
It just barks a little.
IMO it mostly reacts to the scared expressions on people's faces, and the noise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyskeptic View Post
Same here.
Yes, it clearly sees something, and follows the movement, but mostly it reacts to the noise.
Not surprising it flees hearing a high-pitched screeech.

Can't believe I just spent 5+ minutes on this.
Yawn.
 
Old 10-29-2020, 06:04 AM   #12
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I once came in to find one of my cats staring intently at the Atlantis screensaver and reaching up to touch the screen. She's shown no interest in it before or since. I suspect that cats differentiate between movement on a screen and the more realistic movement of birds behind a window.

I also had a dog that learned to recognise theme music - not a specific tune afaict, but she noticed that when the sound changed from intermittent talking to (certain kinds of?) music, the humans would get up and do something potentially interesting. Often the dog would start to move before any of the half-awake humans did. At the time we often used the same box for Youtube music and that didn't have the same effect.

I've often wondered whether cats see the flicker on a screen more than we do - they clearly have faster reactions than us but I don't know if that comes with a higher framerate.
 
  


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