Housecat Housecall

(i)

 

Cute, but oversimplifies kitty therapy process.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An animal expert offers insight into puzzling feline behavior and helps owners gently correct it.

Violence & scariness

Some scenes of cats scratching or nipping at their owners.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Each episode includes some product recognition for show sponsor Purina.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series shows examples of troublesome cat behavior like aggression, excessive licking (of humans, that is), and anger. While feline-loving families may pick up some helpful tips from the veterinarian host, the show tends to oversimplify both the cats' behavioral issues and the solutions, so viewers -- especially kids -- need to remember that there's no substitute for the firsthand advice of a trained animal expert. But from a content perspective, this show is age appropriate for virtually all viewers.

What's the story?

In HOUSECAT HOUSECALL, Australian veterinarian Katrina Warren (aka, yes, Dr. Kat) attempts to do for cat owners what Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan has done for canine lovers: help them understand their pets' puzzling behavior and correct the problems with some small adjustments to their routines. In each episode, Dr. Kat meets with three different pet owners, who talk about their cats' backgrounds and describe the issues they're facing. After consulting with two other mentoring veterinarians via computer, Dr. Kat gives the owners some simple methods to help adjust their kitties' behavior.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This series isn't too likely to interest people who don't already have a vested interest in cats, and it lacks the personality punch that draws even marginal canine fans to Millan's show. It's obvious that Dr. Kat knows her stuff, but episodes often feels like they've been over-edited to fit their half-hour constraints. Each of the three stories moves so quickly that issues viewers might relate to tend to get oversimplified. On top of that, the segments with the mentoring vets -- who don't even talk with Dr. Kat in person but brainstorm ideas via satellite -- seem forced and unnecessary, since she's certainly qualified to give advice on her own.

That said, there's nothing to sweat over content-wise, and the show's topic is certainly conducive to family viewing. Just remember that even if you can relate to the human subjects' kitty woes from your own experiences, the quick-fix solutions you see implemented here may not have the same effect on your feline friend.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk the cat owners' concerns. Do you relate to them? What kinds of issues do you face with your own pets? What have you done to try to fix their behavioral problems? Who do you go to for advice about your animals? Would you ever seek help from someone on television for a problem? Why or why not? What do you think the purpose/goal of this show is? How does entertainment affect the messages sent by an educational series?

TV details

Cast:Katrina Warren
Network:Animal Planet
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G

This review of Housecat Housecall was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5, 8, 10, and 10 year old Written byCSM Screen Name... October 3, 2009

The Cat's Meow

I have a cat named Amy Winemeow. Before we saw this show, we had no idea how to stop her making frequent pitstops in various places around our house and biting when we play with her. This show has taught me how to use posititve reinforcement to train my cat to use good lifeskills! Thank you housecat housecall!!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byvsquadcheer July 24, 2009

good yet boring

its a good help to cat owners...as we all know cats r stubborn!!! if the show doesn't relate to u, though, it can get somewhat boring. oh yea, and a comment about the review made: consumerism... A LITTLE KID IS NOT GONNA GO OVR 2 HIS PARENTS AND SAY 'GUYS, I WANT PURINA CAT CHOW' okay- just to clear that up
What other families should know
Educational value

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