Overworked, exhausted, already up to Christmas Eve on your chocolate advent calendar?
You need some fluffy therapy, stat. Yep, if watching cat videos is scientifically proven to make us happier and more energetic (and it is), then surely watching livestreamed kittens (or puppies, or penguins) regularly has the potential to stave off stress long-term. It’s worth a try, and there are plenty of cams to choose from (although there’s a real gap in the guinea pig market: someone get on that, please). Check out 7 of our faves…
The original cat cammer, it’s rare that FDJ isn’t broadcasting a cat or litter of kittens 24/7. He fosters for the Seattle area branch of no-kill shelter Purrfect Pals and is known for his on-cam napping. Right now he’s playing host to his 50th guests: Smooch and her 11-week old kitten Smudge, who are both learning to play for the first time. If you miss any of the action, devoted fan BrookIvy2 captures key moments on YouTube, so you can catch up later.
Set up by Shelly Roche in Langley, Canada, Tinykittens takes in abandoned or feral pregnant cats and gives them a safe place to give birth. It’s also home to #MiracleKitten Cassidy, a sweet and feisty tuxedo kitty who went viral in September when Roche released a video of him walking for the first time using a tiny wheelchair. Cassidy was found emaciated, infected with E.coli, and missing both back feet (making him a “bipawd”, naturally). After nursing him back to health, Roche is now raising money to buy him bionic legs.
Langley Animal Protection Society cares for 1500 dogs, cats and large animals each year. They run a programme with Tinykittens to neuter or spay feral cats, which helps ensure there are fewer unwanted kittens in the world – just one in 12 of all kittens born ever finds a home. They also livestream some of the cats and kittens they take in. Right now, you can watch the sweet and lively Great Catsby (ha) litter, actually two litters that were combined when six stray kittens were orphaned on the same day mama cat Zelda gave birth.
The Orchard Hills Puppies (Red Haven, MacIntosh, Sunny High, Braeburn, Bartlett, and Concord) are a litter of black and yellow Labrador retrievers born on 16 November. When they’re older, they’ll go through training to become service dogs for disabled children and adults, including people with hearing difficulties, mental illness, behavioural issues and balance problems. For now, you can peep at them sleeping and feeding. In a couple of weeks, they’ll start standing, walking, and playing, and the fun/chaos will really begin.
If you’d have enjoyed March of the Penguins more without the arctic chill and devastating loss of life, this is the cam for you. Tune in to watch the outdoor exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific in California, which features Magellanic penguins, some of whom were rescued from their native Brazil after becoming stranded. The feed can be a little fuzzy, but when it’s clear you’ll see them eating, swimming, napping, and otherwise living the good life.
Such puppies, many cuteness, much webcam. (OK, I’ll stop.) Real life Doge Chiyoko gave birth to five Shiba Inu pups (Fuyuka, Fumiyo, Fate, Fusami, and Fuji, AKA: The F Team) on 10 November. They’re still pretty sleepy right now, but you can watch them get bigger, stronger, and more rambunctious every weekday until they go to their new homes (and then you can miss them horribly. Sniff).
Sarah livestreams the antics of the cats and kittens she fosters in her Los Angeles home. Her signature is Sunday afternoon “story time” sessions, where she reads a children’s book to her cats and cat cam viewers – a great way to indoctrinate kids into appreciating kittens and books. She just found “furever” homes for the Cocktail Kittens (Julep, Jack, Martini, Amaretto, and Bailey) but you can watch re-runs while she waits for her next litter. Paws crossed it’s soon.
Main image: iStock/ImagesByTrista