Cat videos are all the rage. Jack Shepherd of BuzzFeed recently said YouTube gets more searches for dog than cats; however, since 2011, cats received nearly four times the viral views than dogs. Why is that? I think it’s because dogs are kind of predictable and people-pleasing. We have to work for a cat’s attention — and that’s more interesting and funny. And if we want cats to actually follow through on some sort of behavior so we can capture an awesome photo or video, well, that’s gonna take a while. May as well settle in and pack a lunch.
There are ways, however, to increase our chances of nabbing a really great cat video. It actually helps if more than one person is involved in the process, and that’s why creating a fantastic video is the perfect project to share with your kids.
Here are five tips for making a great cat video with your kids:
There’s some upfront planning you can do to help ensure the video’s success. Make sure the cat isn’t overly tired or hungry — and that goes for you and your kids, for that matter. Hangry (hungry + angry) participants spell disaster.
Check the camera’s batteries or you’ll be awfully sad when the camera dies while kitty is doing something incredibly amazing … like Rockette kicks or deep knee-bends. Video or it didn’t happen.
Light is critical in obtaining quality video. If at all possible, open the curtains and allow lots of natural light to bathe the “set.”
Depending on the age of the child, a variety of possible assistant roles are available. An older child can help operate the camera, while the younger set will be invaluable as toy-danglers or treat-givers.
Don’t plan on grabbing the perfect shots in 10 or 15 minutes. As we all know, cats operate on their own schedule and no one is gonna tell them what to do and when to do it. It’s best to plan double or triple the amount of time you think you’ll need. Remember, you’re not only dealing with cats, you’re working with children. What did W.C. Fields say about working with animals and children? Oh, yeah.
It helps to know your cat’s habits. If kitty has a history of positively responding to a particular toy, go with that one. If he or she historically naps after breakfast, don’t try and capture playtime video at that time. This is also the case with kids. If your child is cranky when they first come home from school, maybe wait until they’ve had time to decompress before working on a video project.
As I previously mentioned, keep your cat interested with toys, treats and games you know they love. If you’ve seen your cat go nuts after a serving of catnip, and you want a high-energy cat video, use the nip! If there’s a wand toy that never fails to make your cat bounce and leap like crazy, grab it! You have to know your cat and his or her habits in order to keep interest high.
It’s ideal if you can pull in the viewer in the first few seconds of the video. Because you may not snag that perfect footage right away, you may consider taking the footage in chunks and then editing the best clips together in a program like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. This can be a fun project to work on with your kids. Be aware, however, that YouTube will pull your video if any copyrighted music is playing … even in the background.
Do you have any tips for creating great cat videos? Share them in the comments!
About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.
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