Animal Practice #FAIL

***UPDATE: Since writing this post, NBC has announced that “Animal Practice” is being cancelled. Now I’d like to think we had something to do with this, but I have a feeling it has more to do with a little known group called PETA. Regardless, I couldn’t be happier!***

When I first heard about “Animal Practice,” the new NBC sitcom that takes place in a veterinary hospital,  I had high hopes. What a great opportunity to show the world how amazing animals and animal people can be. Especially cats and cat people of course!

Upon watching the pilot episode, I was left in awe of the terrific feat achieved by the show’s writers. One that might previously have been deemed impossible, and is unlikely to ever be rivaled.

What achievement you ask?  That of alienating half their target audience in the first two minutes of the episode by being tasteless, perpetuating stereotypes and endangering cats because people see things on television and try to recreate them. (Just wait until you see the picture after the jump)

Animal Practice

This post was originally titled  “Animal Practice, Three Strikes and They’re Out!” until I realized they struck out way more than three times. Let’s do a quick tally shall we?

Tally of cat-related offenses in pilot of “Animal Practice”:

1) Cat jumps off high-rise in the opening scene

2) Cat’s name is Giggles 

3) Depiction of cat owner as Crazy Cat Lady complete with sweat-pants, bathrobe, house slippers. And of course in order to be completely realistic, she is she is single and depressed.

Animal Practice Pilot


4) Cat survives fall from high-rise because as we all know, cats always land on their feet.  Or as the vet on the show so expertly explains to the crazy cat lady, due to a phenomenon known as “highrise syndrome, cats that fall automatically twist their bodies into a riding reflex (whatever that means).”

5) Vet explains Giggles was just trying to get laid because she’s in heat. His advise? Well it certainly wasn’t “get her fixed so she doesn’t try to kill herself by jumping off your balcony again.” No, the medical experts advise was to “set her free” to experience the joys of cat sex.

“Animal Practice” cat consultants


6) Vet tells Crazy Cat Lady that she too needs to get laid (I’m paraphrasing but there was no room for interpretation on that one).

It’s shocking to me that in this age of consultants and focus groups the show made it to air with so many gross offenses.  What a huge disservice to cats and cat lovers. NBC should be ashamed.


A new episode of “Animal Practice” airs tonight on NBC at 8pm EST. I implore you, DO NOT WATCH IT. If you want to see and hear the stupidity first hand, watch the pilot online but let’s not give the networks the pleasure of high ratings. Please.

Instead of this drivel, NBC should produce a show like “Pets In The City,” a reality show featuring real vets and animal lovers (some are celebs!) portraying animal lovers realistically.  Oh, and it was created and produced by my friend and animal-advocate (and hot NYC singleton) Lisa Alexander!

Lisa’s been shopping her idea around to no avail, though she got close with OWN and Oxygen.  So instead of watching “Animal Practice” watch “Pets In The Cityand tell the networks to produce it instead!


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66 Responses to Animal Practice #FAIL

  1. AGlamourSoldier says:

    Thank you for your article. I’m very glad I didn’t watch it. I hope to god that it doesn’t make anyone do anything stupid. I hope they realize they are doing a huge disservice to cats and animals by their idiot show. I say we organize a cancel the show group.

  2. Bernadette says:

    I can’t believe they hit every negative stereotype down to not spaying the cat! What a dumb idea. This is why I don’t have a TV.

  3. Wtf. Was this show supposed to be a comedy?

  4. Sparkle says:

    This is just thoroughly disgusting! Interesting fact, though: did you know that when my human hears about this sort of misrepresentation, she literally sees red and steam comes out of her ears? I have seen it happen! She wants to strangle somebody right now! If you need me, I will be UTB.

  5. Linda says:

    I lost the audio track on the video clip at 2:59. Too bad because I liked the show.

  6. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. What I could watch was awful. I hope this show goes down in flames.

  7. Jane H says:


  8. Zoey says:

    Thank you Tamar for the brilliant critique of this horribly written show. You could not have put it better. Now send this post to the network so perhaps they can rethink their direction!

  9. Laura Rottmann says:

    Hey Tamar… I agree the pilot opener was in bad taste BUT I didn’t think it was as bad as you thought. To clarify a few plot points — she’s not a crazy cat lady, she’s depressed because her boyfriend left her. And when the doc tells her to set the cat free, he’s not talking about the cat, he’s talking about her (trying to pick her up). He actually says that cats have a “righting” reflex (which totally is not true, no cat could survive that fall!!!). But I think the whole point of the story is to portray the doc as an ass who hits on all the women who come into his practice (the got that part right). Anyway all that being said I agree with you it was in poor taste and promotes negative stereotypes about cat lovers. I will certainly not be watching this show or letting my kitties see it!! However I am a huge fan of Jessica Makinson (the cat lady) from a show called Halfway Home which was hilarious, so she just makes me laugh. Wish she was in more shows with better roles than this!

  10. Oh boy, thanks for warning us, Tamar!

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      No worries. It was like a car wreck…couldn’t turn away..kept getting worse…i’m bummed there hasn’t been more coverage on how ridiculous this show is!

  11. Dorothy Abernathy says:

    Anyone who is as disgusted by this show as I am might make your feelings known to NBC and post your feelings on the shows Facebook page. I posted a good rant and while I won’t stop them, I feel a little better.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Absolutely agree! I’m saddened that more ppl – esp cat lovers – haven’t lodged complaints! I was so surprised no one had covered how terrible this show was before!

  12. kittylovespretzels says:

    I don’t understand why you think the cats name was offensive?

  13. Cindy says:

    I like the Pets in the City but video did some type of skip and restarted with no sound. Would love to see it on television that’s for sure! NBC sucks. The Today Show has gone down in flames and there’s no way I’m watching Animal Practice. The Voice is the only thing keeping them alive these days.

  14. Bela Cat says:

    Thanks for your article. I didn’t see the show and now I won’t. I am a cat owner, I’m single & although a bit fun crazy, I am no cat lady crazy. I will check out Pets in the city. I did like the one called Dogs in the city (I think that’s what it was called). It’s bad enough we have so many cats & dogs in shelters because of bad owners not getting their pets fixed. Some people are not that bright & believe the things they hear on tv, so now we are going to have people letting their in heat cats out to have kitty sex, then they will take those poor kittens to a shelter where they could get gased. So wrong NBC, so wrong!

  15. Offensive not only to us cat lovers, but to women! Oh, yeah, you’re depressed so the solution is for you to get laid…that’ll solve all your problems! Isn’t that the same line we’ve been getting from men for, well, forever?

  16. catchatcaren says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. When I watched the pilot I vowed I would never watch again and I haven’t.

  17. Finally somebody wrote about this awful, awful show! As a veterinary student (and fan of all the lead actors), I was also looking forward to Animal Practice, only to be horrified by the pilot’s completely irresponsible, misogynistic, sexist plot line and characters. I want to love Crystal (the Capuchin and highlight of this otherwise dismal show), but I also know her stardom is likely to lead to people wanting monkeys as pets, too. Yuck!

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      THANKS for the encouragement. Wow, i can’t imagine how annoyed YOU must be as a vet. You are probably right about Crystal too 🙁 Thanks for loving the animals and going into a field to help them!!! yay!

  18. #5 is what did me in. I can accept people making fun of cat people because that is the way of society. I don’t have to like it and I don’t have to watch, but I don’t find that nearly as offensive as saying that the cat needs to get laid. The ONLY reason cats have sex is to make babies. We certainly do not need any more kittens in this world. The mass killing of companion animals is shameful, and the idea that cats need to be in tact and want to have sex (they don’t want to, the hormones in them MAKE them do it) is too pervasive in this world as it is. I was willing to give it another chance until I saw a commercial where they said pretty much the exact same thing for a dog. I was completely and utterly done and I so hope that it is canceled pronto.

  19. jmuhj says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on this one, and I sincerely hope it gets pulled asap. I never watch broadcast television except when I need to see a local news item not covered on national/international news channels, because I am offended by hostile, vicious comedy, narrow-minded proselytising, and poorly acted, poorly scripted series. All of it is dreck.

  20. Sparkle says:

    I also want to add that my human knows someone who actually had two cats DIE falling out of a high rise! Irresponsible does not even begin to describe this vile show.

  21. Disgusting and nauseating! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  22. 8cats says:

    I can’t believe you are writing my exact thoughts about this awful, offensive attempt at comedy. I too was complete disgust within the first few minutes of watching what I had anticipated as being a great show! Such a moral disappointment. Oh…and yes, I have 8 indoor cats and care for 4, neutered ferals that I trapped, neutered and committed myself to 6 years ago. I HATE that show and anyone who finds it amusing in the least!!

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      I’m so happy to hear i’m not around. Cross post and feel free to complain to NBC – I know I have! Seriously, if cats make the internet then how is there not a bigger outcry about this. sad.

  23. No wonder I don’t miss my disconnected cable TV…

  24. Yeegawds, folks. We were going to try to watch this show. (We’re already told TiVo to save it for us)

    But really, #5 & #6 in particular are offensive to cats, women, single women, and most men.

    Dare we hope this show was reworked after what we assume was the pilot? We do note that there seemed to be a long gap between the pilot and the next episode (that we found, anyway)

  25. anneisanne says:

    I was appalled by the encouraging of the cat sex as well. They fully could have offensively insinuated that the single cat lady needed a lay and still have thrown in a nod to the reality of needing to spay your cat, lest you have 50 kittens in your house by next winter. I guess I could go on about how this grates on my feminist sensibilities, but others have and will do so better than I.

    However, what I will bitch about is that this stupid show was that it was thrown in during the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, and I had to pay to get Tunnelbear so I could see the London Ballet portion on the BBC. Eff you, NBC.

  26. Kristine says:

    They seriously told her to let her cat get out to have sex?? Really?? Can the writers be that ignorant??
    I am so disappointed and horrified to hear this. I saw the show advertised a few weeks ago and was excited to see a primetime show featuring animals. There are no words to describe the shock I would have received if I’d watched the pilot before reading this post. Now I am just mad. NBC is not a network I watch very much anyway, but I plan to steer clear permanently. And I will urge others to do the same. This show sounds offensive on every level.

    • Tamar says:

      yes. and they described it as if they were describing human sex b/c of course the double meaning was intended for the cat lady. blech.

  27. indy_girl says:

    here is the web form for a complaint:
    You may have to use the “other” tab where the shows are listed, I couldn’t find this show’s title.

  28. I was hoping it would be a good show too. that is soooooooooooo stupid, sterotyped, moronic, and just plain not funny or entertaining, as well as being dangerous to cats and offensive. DUH TO NBC Cuteheads unite on this one BOYCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Dorian says:

    Ugh. Can cats ever win? What is it that people have so set against them? They are animals — just like dogs or any other “more acceptable” pet. And really… can they not keep pushing this absurd stereotype? It’s never going to be “socially OK” to have cats if this is what keeps being portrayed of people who have them.

    Tamar – remember my idea a long time ago about the campaign? How can we do it? For real.

  30. cat cat cat cat cat says:

    Pff, I saw the previews for that waste of air time and knew it’ll be one of those “yanked in 4 episodes” shows.

  31. Texas, a Cat in New York says:

    Well, we didn’t watch the pilot episode and are now glad we didn’t.

  32. I was so looking forward to this show, but we turned it off after the first 5 minutes.

    • ihavecatnyc says:

      Some people have said the second episode wasn’t as bad but really it’s too bad they played it so wrong in the first episode. i’m not willing to support the show in any way by giving it a second chance.

  33. Edgar Allen says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Tamar, but I never knew cat people
    were so sensitive. Seriously, there are stereotypes for everything and it’s
    absurd to get upset just because you have a kitty. I am sure they will offend
    everybody equally. I work late nights at DISH, and I hate missing new shows, so
    I got one of those Hopper DVRs so I could record the whole night with Primetime
    Anytime. I watched last Tuesday’s episode this morning and I thought it was
    pretty good (and this is coming from an animal lover who spent years in the pet
    business.) Don’t take things so seriously, it’s just a TV show.

    • ihavecatnyc says:

      The pilot was so offensive I had no interest in watching the second episode. I urge you to watch the pilot. I fear stupid ppl will believe what they hear and believe cats can survive falls from skyskrapers!

  34. Debra Winchell says:

    I’m so happy to find this post. You had the same reactions as I had. It was just so incredibly misdirected. There’s enough trouble with the treatment of animals without Hollywood getting involved.