How to get your cat fix without actually having any cats

I think about cats far too often for someone who doesn’t actually own one. Every couple of months I get home to the folks and give some love to Pumpkin and Midnight (as well as our dogs, Woody and Lily), but when I’m away at school, I have to make do with the felines that I meet while walking by strangers’ front yards. Sure, it scratches an itch, but nothing beats coming home to a small ball of fluff curled up on your bed, ready to love you—or ignore you (we’re talking about cats, after all). The reality is that for some of us a pet cat isn’t an option, whether because of allergies, landlords, finances, schedules, or some combination of all four. But that doesn’t mean we can’t love them! When I’m at school without a meowing companion, I have a few resources for when I really need my feline fix.

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Animal Planet’s Kitten Cam

What if I told you that no matter what time of day it was there was a simple link you could click that would take you to some LIVE cat antics? Well, that link is HERE and it’s going to change your life forever. Animal Planet has set up a cam that films a few friendly kittens who love to roll around for your viewing pleasure. OK, that sounds kind of creepy, but it’s purrrfect (had to) for those lonely nights when you just wish you could cozy up to something warm and hairy. Watch out, though! My productivity has plummeted.

Cat cafés

Last year, I was lucky enough to visit Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London and it was by far one of my favorite memories of the city (sorry, Big Ben and Tate Modern). We got tea and cake and cuddles, as well as toys to entertain the more feisty of the bunch. If you can’t pop over to London anytime soon, here’s a helpful list of cat cafés the world over! Meow Parlour just opened in New York, and it looks like the trend is beginning to spread all across America.

Cat YouTubers

No one beats internet sensation Maru. Mostly known for fitting himself into impossibly small spaces, this handsome fella’s most recent video involved a very uncooperative rice-cake box. Another personal fave is HenriLeChatNoir, an existential cat going through a series of moral crises. He is saying everything we know our cats are thinking, from lamenting the family dog to bemoaning the tedious boredom of cat food. The videos are black and white and in French (subtitles included), so you get a li’l bit of cat, and a li’l bit of culture!

Cat charities

If you really want to go that extra mile for kitty love, consider donating to some charities to benefit our whiskered friends. There’s the ASPCA, Alley Cat Allies, and Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, to name a few (a more comprehensive list can be found here). In order to keep our feline companions prowling cafés and making videos, we have to first make sure they are healthy. By supporting any one of these charities, you’re allowing the antics of one more cat to end up in your inbox!

[Images via herehere, here, here, here, herehere]