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Why Don’t TV Characters Have Cats? Reasons & Facts

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat watching TV

Why Don’t TV Characters Have Cats? Reasons & Facts

There’s no denying that pets can have significant roles in the entertainment industry. Many movies and TV shows feature dogs, birds, and even monkeys. However, kitties don’t seem to have a solid presence on TV as compared to other pets.

So, why don’t TV characters have cats? The main reason cats are rarely featured in movies and TV shows is that they are less cooperative than other pets.

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Cats Are Less Cooperative Than Other Pets

Anyone with a cat as a pet knows too well how challenging it is to train them (but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do so).

Unlike dogs, cats have independent personalities, so they mostly want to do whatever they want, whenever they want. In a TV show or movie where everything has to occur on schedule, working with a cat isn’t the best choice.

Calico cat standing up on hind legs
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

A Screenwriter Explains His Experience

The question of why cats aren’t usually featured in TV shows or movies was recently brought into the spotlight by Michael Jamin, a Hollywood screenwriter and producer. In his TikTok video that went viral, he explained why TV characters don’t have cats.

Michael gave an example of a show that he was producing called “Maron.” In one scene, the character is supposed to be eating salmon at a dinner table, and a cat hops on the table. Michael and his team got a trained cat for this scene, but everything didn’t go as planned.

When the director called “action,” the cat froze and wouldn’t jump onto the table as they expected. Michael said that it took 1 hour to shoot that scene because they spent a lot of time encouraging the cat to hop on the table.

So, why don’t they just allow a cat to roam around a scene and do whatever they want? Michael explained that if they were allowed to do so, it would mean that the cat would be in one location during one take and another place during another take. When these takes are put together to create a scene, it would look like the cat is appearing and disappearing, which would look weird.

cat looking at bowl of raw veggies
Image by: Scharfsinn, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

While real cats aren’t usually featured in movies and TV shows, many fictional cat characters are killing it in the TV entertainment industry. One fictional cat character that we all know is Garfield. From his love for lasagna to his hatred of Mondays, Garfield has been and will continue to be one of the most beloved fictional cat characters of all time.

Other iconic fictional cat characters include Tom in “Tom and Jerry,” Puss in Boots, Felix in “Felix the Cat,” Sylvester in “Looney Tunes,” and the list goes on. So, despite cats not being the suitable choice for pets of live-action TV characters, these feline companions have certainly made their mark on the entertainment industry in other ways.

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Featured Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock

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