Ever since cat cafes first graced our high streets, animal love around the world has reached epic new heights, from special pet taxi services in Mumbai to sick leave for dogs in Italy, not to mention emotional support peacocks in the US. In our living rooms, meanwhile, even our Netflix accounts are becoming more pet-friendly, as our four legged friends (and birds) are revealed to be subscribers’ preferred binge partners.
A new study by the streaming giant shows that 58 per cent of people (in countries including Argentina, the USA, the UK, Ireland, India, Germany and South Korea) prefer to watch their TV with their pets. After all, a dog can’t spoil Game of Thrones and a cat can’t cheat on you with Jessica Jones behind your back. In fact, not only do pets not hog the remote or judge your tastes, they also offer cuddles (one in three have turned to their furry friends for comfort during a sad or scary scene) and even good conversation (22 per cent of survey respondents have talked to their pet about the show or movie they were watching).
Pet bingeing isn’t always a walk in the park, though. More than a third of respondents (37 per cent) have moved where they were sitting, so their pet would be more comfortable, 22 per cent have bribed them with treats to watch longer, and some (12 per cent) have even gone so far as turning off a show because their pet didn’t appear to like it. The snuggle is real, but binge-watching can be ruff, no matter who you’re tethered to.
So what are the shows everyone is barking, meowing and chirping about? Dog owners are more likely to choose action-packed series, such as Narcos and Marvel’s Daredevil, while cat owners purr-fer sci-fi series, including Black Mirror and Star Trek Discovery. Meanwhile, bird lovers are egged on by comedies. The one show that brings all streaming species together? Stranger Things.