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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Cat People: An intro to the wild world of exotic animal ownership

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Hosted by Peter Frick-Wright and award-winning journalist Rachel Nuwer, Cat People examines the strange relationships some Americans have with big cats and the legal loopholes that have made this country home to more captive tigers than there are left in the wild. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Episode 1: No Law Against It


Investigative reporting


Peter Frick-Wright and Rachel Nuwer

Sound/production quality:


Rating/age suitability:


Approximate length of episodes:

30 minutes

Curricular ties:


Similar recommended pods:

Over My Dead Body: Joe Exotic

Podcast Librarian’s Review:

This pod is all about big cats and the people who keep them as “pets.” Some truly do keep them because they love these (and other) wild animals, but others exploit them. Because states have the power to allow and/or regulate the keeping of wild animals—like big cats—as pets, there are loopholes that allow people to obtain and breed these animals. If this sounds familiar, then you might be remembering another pod, Over My Dead Body: Joe Exotic, which focused on these issues, but more on the (eccentric) humans involved than the actual cats. I like that the hosts of Cat People represent both sides of the argument and interview those who believe that they should own big cats and that, by doing so, they are actually helping the populations, as well as those who believe big cat ownership is actually harmful to the cats--and, potentially, the owners. I can’t forget the part when the hosts stop by a roadside zoo and interact with the cats up close. Some of the material may feel redundant if you’re already familiar with the Joe Exotic/Carole Baskin debacle, but I still enjoyed it. With only 4 episodes, each between 20-35 minutes, this is a quick, interesting series to binge.

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