Paws down for Animal Planet’s latest cat-related offering

Animal Planet has just aired another new cat-related show, but we’re not happy about this one.

Titled “Help, I’m Becoming a Cat Lady,” the show follows Gina, a 30-something cat-loving woman, as she is coached into the proper way to ingratiate herself to a man.

The two makeover artists go out of their way to convince her that a man in her life is preferable to having cats — which, by the way are two beautiful Russian Blue look-alikes. Hell, she only has two cats! It’s not like she has a houseful!

They start out criticizing her apartment with the tall kitty condo (they’re obliviously unaware of cats’ need for vertical space), litter box and toys.

Apparently she falls for the type of man that lives with his mom, needs nurturing, then leaves.

So the woman half of the makeover team (the skinny blonde type) take her to a gym full of muscle-bound dudes to teach her how to make eye contact. Eye contact with their muscles, that is, since that’s what’s on display. Oh, and to learn how ask for help. She’s then required to further hone her pick-up skills at a car wash before getting a wardrobe makeover and hair styling. She then goes out on a blind date that fizzles despite the fact that her apartment was purged of cat stuff and cats were not discussed over dinner. The guy admits he’s tired, having been up since 3 a.m., but he doesn’t call her again.

She has not found true love by the end of the show. However, she acknowledges that while she’s a cat mom, she won’t become a cat lady, and still loves her kitties more than anything. It concludes with rather an odd quote, “Cat ladies playing playing the mommy role need to be in control.”

As a cat-loving woman, I question whether they would make a show about separating a dog-loving woman from her canines to get a man.

Methinks not.

Update: I sent an email to Animal Planet’s viewer relations and received the following reply:

Dear Viewer,
Thank you for contacting Animal Planet.
We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to write us Help I’m Becoming a Cat Lady and for bringing this matter to our attention.  Please know that we will take your comments under advisement.
Thank you for expressing your interest in our programming.
Viewer Relations
Animal Planet

Just what I would expect. A canned reply. You can tell by the verbiage in the second graph that they just filled in the blank because there’s a word missing, probably “about.” How professional.

Colleague Ingrid King said that viewer response contributed to the renewal of Jackson Galaxy’s “My Cat From Hell,” so we’ll see where this leads. I did send them the link to this story. “Help, I’m Becoming…” isn’t listed on AP’s website and I haven’t seen listings yet for Saturday night. Perhaps this was a one-shot show. I WILL be checking.


About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

11 Responses to Paws down for Animal Planet’s latest cat-related offering

  1. Robin Olson says:

    Wow. Sounds like a sure loser of a show, especially because any true “cat lady” would never degrade herself like that by only having TWO CATS! She is barely cat owner at that number!


    As someone who has many more than 2 and still manages to have a man in her life…

  2. animalartist says:

    This is one good reason I don’t have a television.

    Owner of a successful multi-faceted commercial and fine art business, own and maintain my own home, respected community member and…single, seven cats at the moment and many more through the years, must be a crazy cat lady, no matter what else I do.

    If we accept the labels, we accept the baggage that comes with them and we propagate the myth. I choose not to.

    And another point–I have female friends who are long-time single and have dogs. No one calls them “the crazy dog lady”. What gives?

  3. AP could do better than this. I hadn’t even heard about the show and doubt it’ll be renewed. My cats decided who I married (a cat man of course). It’s time to retire the crazy cat lady myth.

  4. Cat Advocate says:

    As a cat owner for over 30 years, a home owner, and retired career professional, I find the premise of this television show to be highly insulting. Cat or dog owners are not fulfilling a ‘mommy’ role; we are responsible pet owners/breeders who are loving and caring for our animals. BTW, I’ve also owned rescue, strays and purebred cats. Also I work with a local rescue, before the A/R folks start their accusations. I believe in the American right to decide what I want to buy, how many, and that I can make responsible, adult decisions.

    My husband and I love cats; and we married, blending our cat family, before we started our human family.

    Instead of recruiting the ‘advice and opinions’ of these two man-hungry vixens, why not attend your local cat or dog show, and talk to the people who really know breeds and standards, versus a television show. Or visit or for the experts’ advice on care and breeds of all animals! Both organizations provide research, care and interest in All cats/dogs, not just the purebreds!

  5. I hate the direction Animal Planet has been going the last several years, with more of the fantasy, survival, faux “reality”, and competition-type shows than they used to have. It’s like somebody in Marketing said, “Hey! Our demographics aren’t balanced enough; we need to attract more male viewers! Here’s the kind of programming they like, so let’s put more of it on.” As with most networks’ marketing staffs, they need to pull their heads out of where the sun don’t shine and get back in touch with the real world. They used to have great programs about animals. But these makeover-type shows that have become so ubiquitous on every other network have no place there. Sounds like they were trying to force it to. (Fit, that is.) Obviously, it didn’t work! What’s next, “Animal Chefs” or “Animal Fashion Designer Competition”? (I better hush; they’ll be trying to hire me!

  6. petxpert says:

    They’ve GOT to be kidding! How disgusting. Anyone who doesn’t love animals isn’t worth having in one’s life. Who would want a man like that? And who wants a show like that?! I saw the title and was turned off. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time on it.

  7. Deb V says:

    geez, is this the best AP can do to promote animal welfare? Enough of the ‘reality’ junk already!!

  8. Animal Planet has stooped to a new low. I won’t be watching this series. Gina has the wrong idea of what cat ladies are. Two cats? I have three, all rescues. Gina should put her cat tower back and forget about fancy makeup and muscled brutes in the local gym. But AP needs to re-examine the kinds of shows they are producing. This one scrapes the bottom of the creativity barrel.

  9. Why would anyone who loves animals want someone who doesn’t at least appreciate them in her/his life? Working in rescue, I’ve seen too many people desperate for a significant other give up their “precious” pets only to enter into some kind of controlling hell of a relationship. (They probably deserve it, showing such lack of loyalty and character too.) This sounds like a really dumb show. At least the date fizzles early in the game.

  10. Pingback: Monday Mentions: Muses, BlogPaws, Monsters & More Crappiocca « Amy Shojai's Blog

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