Watching live streaming fur babies is entertaining, interactive and stress-relieving

By Chen Fangjun Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/20 17:23:00

Live streaming pets are the latest trend for pet lovers. Photo: Li Hao/GT

As a new fan of live streaming videos of pets, Xu Shan still remembers the first time she saw the real-time pet video of a cat that was sleeping on its back, just like a human.

"I was instantly captivated seeing the cat sleeping that way, and it was heart-warming knowing that each little breath it took was happening at the same time I was watching," said Xu.

Xu, a 20-year-old university student at Huaqiao University in Fujian Province, randomly found live streaming cats when studying for final exams.

She was stressed and full of anxiety, so she decided to try and relax for a moment. It helped her through the hard time by providing companionship.

"Just one sight of the cat saved me from the stress of my final exams," she said. 

Over the summer, she developed a habit of watching live streaming videos of pets on or, two websites popular for live streaming videos. Xu loves cats so much that she once watched the live stream for seven straight hours.

Live streaming pet videos have gained popularity among pet lovers. It combines the popular trend of live stream videos with pets, and makes the video even more personal. Not only do live stream videos happen in real time,  providing people with a more vivid and realistic image of pets, it also allows the viewer to interact with the pet.

Pet lovers are obsessed with live streaming pet videos because they build connections between pet lovers. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Why so many fans of live streams?

Many pet lovers replaced their habits of searching for pictures or previously recorded videos with live streams.

"It makes me happy knowing we are on the same time line, and everything around them is happening 'right now,'" said Xu, who also subscribed to many public accounts on WeChat to watch the streams. 

Xu said many students like her have a passion for pets. But since students are not allowed to keep pets in their dormitories, the live streaming videos serve as a substitute and learning experience for when they can own a pet in the future.

There are mainly two kinds of live streaming pet videos - one features a pet spotlighted by cameras for as long as 24 hours, the other is about the interaction between pet owners and the fur babies.

According to research on, the majority of the most popular live stream videos are about interaction with pets, some of them can easily achieve hundreds and thousands of viewers at a time. Even new video bloggers (vloggers) that focus on pet interaction, can gain popularity quickly.

Wu Yaoyao, a 22-year-old new vlogger based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, who streams the interaction with her four cats on, has gained an audience of more than 6,000 within only a month.

"Through danmu (real-time commentary during a video) or comments aside the video, some watchers asked me to play games with the cats, which makes them feel like they are playing with the cats on their own," said Wu.

For example, Wu's audience likes to see her tease the cat, and to see how playful the cat is, and Wu then plays with the cats with a cat rod or other toys.

Zhou Yichen, an 18-year-old student in Beijing No.12 High School, is also a fan of videos about interaction with pets. Fascinated with cat's paws, she would ask the vlogger to show cat's paws during the live stream.

"The vlogger puts the cat close to the camera, raises its paws and rubs the softest part of the cat in front of me. The paws are like jelly drops, and I think to myself, 'oh my god, put it down and let me rub it!'" said Zhou.

Pet lovers are divided in whether interaction shooting does harm to pets.

Xu said that compared with interaction videos, she prefers watching camera-monitored videos of pets.

"I don't like to see people bother a pet just because they want to see a pet show," said Xu. "I am worried that such interaction will interrupt the pet's life, or even hurt it."

Wu explained that she sets up the live stream in the afternoon, a fixed time she usually plays with the cats. Therefore, she said, even though she makes certain interactions with the cats under the request of the viewers, it is not a burden for the pets.

Fortune and fame

In most cases, live vloggers do it for their passion and love for pets, since the live stream provides a space for creativity.

They can also benefit from the videos. For example, many live stream websites have the function to send gifts to the vlogger if they find the video interesting. It can be a virtual reward or actual money.

Since pet streaming is a new trend, the live vloggers will not make a great fortune overnight. However, many of them admit that the income can cover the basic expense to keep the pets.

Another reward for vloggers from live stream websites, is the ability to become well-known and use their influence in various fields. Some of them have even created new types of businesses.

"I think it is great to make some money from my interests," said Wang Shuo, a vlogger from Shandong Province, who discovered a new business opportunity.

Wang has many dogs as pets because he enjoys having them around. Two months ago, a friend invited him to do dog streaming.

Wang quickly realized that many people are extremely interested in dogs, but do not have one. When one of Wang's dogs had puppies, one subscriber to Wang's dog streaming offered to buy one.

He saw this as an opportunity to develop a side business of streaming dog kennels.

Doing the live stream also creates a lot of burden for Wang, he even thought of quitting. However, he still feels responsible to do it because most of his fans are new pet owners and feel helpless when something goes wrong with their pet.

Considering helping them one-on-one was inefficient, he decided to share his experiences and give lectures about how to care for a pet. "I have experienced the anxiety and I know exactly how they feel," said Wang.

Similar to Wang, many vloggers aim to share their cat-keeping experience with the audience. Some of them want to use their fame to influence the pet lovers to get active in the pet community.

Wu is a volunteer at an animal shelter, and she has helped more than 20 pets find a home during last year. She always emphasizes in her steaming videos that she adopted all of her cats. One of the cats was taken home in bad condition, with its thin fur sticking together, and with little vigor. She shows people how the cat is getting better day by day with her tender care, and finally became a healthy, happy cat.

"It is a very efficient way to let them see the change is actually happening, and people can really make a difference," said Wu.

By acting as an example, she is promoting that the audience should choose to adopt rather than buy one from the pet shop.

"There are still many homeless pets, and I feel so fulfilled when I help them find a family through live streaming," said Wu.

Newspaper headline: Pets on parade

Posted in: Metro Beijing

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