After times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom calls seem to have become the standard way of doing things. We’ve all become familiar with video calls for everything from doctor’s appointments to work meetings and job interviews.
While some people might find interruptions by their cats during an important meeting to be aggravating, I think that cats add a certain amount of fun and levity to Zoom calls!
Why Do Cats Love Zoom Calls?
It does depend on the cat. Some cats are independent and might not bother you at all. Others are just a bit clingy.
My cat Bella is both: She tends to follow me around the house and does naughty things when she wants my attention.
It seems that cats can get jealous when something else captures their owner’s attention. I’m sure that I’m not the only one with a cat that hates smartphones!
Combine the need for attention with the fact that laptops are warm (which helps explain why cats always like lying across the keyboard) and typically high on a desk, and you’ve got yourself a threefold reason for your cat wanting to be part of your Zoom call.
Also, maybe Bella believes that she is helping me do my work! It’s unlikely but possible!
Why Do Cats Make Zoom Calls Better?
Most of us have been on a Zoom call that felt slightly awkward. Some people don’t feel comfortable speaking on video chat or seeing themselves in that little square. It’s difficult not to constantly look at yourself and think: “Do I look okay? Why do I look so weird when I smile? Why did I pick such an unflattering angle?”
If you’re not dealing with a highly formal and professional call, a cat can be the perfect icebreaker and a distraction for you from overanalyzing your face.
When the pandemic was at its height, seeing someone’s cat in a meeting was a welcome highlight when many days felt dark.
Also, there’s no better way to get to know people than through their pets! They diffuse any nerves and tension for both you and the other party, and they can be conversation starters. The other party might also view you as an amazing person because only amazing people own cats, right?
My cat Bella is no different than the myriad cats interrupting Zoom meetings worldwide. I had a job interview for a museum job, which was incredibly important to me, and I was a bundle of nerves!
I couldn’t keep my cat out of the room because she would end up yowling and scratching at the door, which can be far more distracting than having her in the room with me. But sure enough, after the interview started, she wandered in and decided that she wanted a closer look at my laptop.
What this did was make me feel less anxious. How can you not be relaxed with an adorable cat showing how much they love you? The interviewers even got a chuckle out of it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job, but that wasn’t my cat’s fault or even my own fault — there was just too much competition.
So, yes, I do believe that cats can make video calls a much more pleasant experience. Some lucky cat owners might even get jobs if they’re being interviewed by a cat lover!
When Do Cats Not Make Zoom Calls Better?
Unfortunately, there are moments when having your cat around isn’t a good idea. For example, not every interviewer will respond favorably to a feline interrupting the call. Also, having a cat around might be far too much of a distraction for some people. The more professional the job and interviewer, the less likely they will appreciate your cat the same way that you do.
There are also supervisors who will dislike seeing your cat hovering around. Maybe you don’t want to work for someone like that, but cats don’t pay the bills.
Case in point: A new employee was reprimanded by her boss during a Zoom meeting after her cat jumped in her lap. After the meeting, he messaged her and told her that it was unprofessional to have her pet during the meeting.
If you suspect that your interviewer, boss, professor, or whomever the meeting will be with will not appreciate your cat, you’ll need to take a few steps before the call.
Tips to Keep Your Cat Away From a Zoom Meeting
Sometimes having your cat around during a Zoom meeting is not in your best interests, so here are a few tips that will hopefully keep your cat away from the camera.
- Exhaust your cat: If you give your cat a long play session before the meeting, they’ll probably just sleep through the entire thing. This also helps if your cat is looking for attention and is bored, as they’ll have your undivided attention for a period of time. Try this about 15 minutes before your meeting.
- Make a corner for your cat: It might be worth splurging on a heated bed and other goodies for your cat. Set up the bed and a few of your cat’s favorite treats and toys where you will be sitting for the appointment. This way, your cat will be near you but will likely opt to sleep in the cozy bed, especially after a play session.
- Stock up on treats and toys: You can try things like puzzle feeders near the cat bed, which can keep your cat occupied. You can also throw the occasional treat to your cat to distract them and keep them in their corner.
- Reschedule: If you can, reschedule if the meeting has been set around your cat’s mealtime. Or feed your cat just before the meeting. Eating a meal after an exuberant play session will likely make your cat sleepy and less likely to interrupt you.
Cats attending Zoom meetings alongside their owners is a great way to get through these appointments! It also shows that you are human and a loving one at that! Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way, and sometimes, your cat just can’t be in the picture. Just give them plenty of love and pets when the meeting is over, and hopefully, they can make an appearance the next time.
Featured Image Credit: Fusso_pics, Shutterstock
Cat mom to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that is her one and only child. For now! Throughout her life, she has been introduced to the special love that can be found in the bond with a cat. Having owned multiple felines, she is more than certain that their love is unmatched, unconditional and unlike any other. With a passion to educate the public about everything, there is to know about felines, their behavior, and their unique personalities, Crystal is devoted to making sure that all cats and their owners know the importance of conscious living – and loving!