Kitten Cam Frequently Asked Questions
Last Updated: March 04, 2014
NOTE: We are not John and we have no control over how the kitties are fostered. We will not forward any messages to him. We are simply avid viewers.
Do you have a kitten cam concern? First read the FAQ. If it isn’t answered in here, then post it on The Critter Room on Facebook. Contacting Purrfect Pals directly is not necessary since many of the staff, including the director and vet, are also viewers of the cam.
Names based on The Ghostbusters comics / movies / tv show!
Mother - Janine
Biological Kittens - Peter, Egon, and Ray
Peter passed away on the fourth day of his life; he will be sorely missed.
Adopted Kittens - ?
DONATE TO PURRFECT PALS (money and Amazon wishlist options)
VOTE FOR PURRFECT PALS (search for Purrfect Pals in WA state)
Kitten Cam Etiquette (including associated FB pages):
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Away From Keyboard
Similar to BRB (Be Right Back), TTFN (Ta ta for now), BIAB (Back In A Bit).
Power goes out? Beyonce. Laptop dies? Beyonce. Frozen video? Beyonce. Ever since the Superbowl in 2013 she’s been sucking power and viewing capabilities away from everyone.
The blue and yellow kitten toy. It once housed a bird, hence the name. Sometimes driven by a kitten when it sits in it.
Is a bowl. Often used to weigh kittens. It eventually becomes a play thing.
Be Right Back
The saucer-like top of the Enterprise. Mama cats like to take control of the Bridge.
When one kitten attempts to push around another kitten using its head like a bulldozer. Bulldozed kittens generally falls over and goes boom.
When wrestling or play fighting, kittens and cats will pump their feet like rabbits. In more dangerous situations, this will seriously injure their partner. For kittens, it’s just cute.
A one-story tower. Kittens can sleep inside (“the cave”) or on top.
The yellow and red kitten toy. Named Chickenfish(HAIL) by the chatters because it resembles both a chicken and a fish. Often referred to as Uncle CF.
It may be found by looking for “Nobby Fisch”. For now it is only available from Germany and only shipped within Europe. ChickenFish Prayer. Followers of CF are called ChickenFishtians. Measurements are available if you want to make a CF of your own.
Aunt Chickenfish is the girl counterpart to Uncle Chickenfish. She is a little newer, a little less battle-scarred. You can tell her and Uncle CF apart because she has a pink baby inside her.
Orange super featherstick. Previous red featherstick was called the Fuzzy Chile.
Aunt Chickenfish’s baby
Online store through Cafe Press selling products with pictures of the Kitten Cam fosters on them, with all proceeds going to Purrfect Pals. Setup and maintained by Kitten Cam viewer (and Einy and Tesla owner) Joan.
Sometimes the comments on chat don’t go through. This is the work of the evil Comment Monster. He eats them. NOM NOM NOM See: My comments aren’t showing up on chat!
Comment Monster Fishbed
The Kookamunga orange and blue fishbed. This was purchased for John by a viewer. Available through Amazon and Dr. Fosters and Smith. Called Comment Monster Fishbed as it was first introduced during a period of Comment Monster feeding.
A kitten toy of two rings. Resembles the ring machine from the movie and book Contact by Carl Sagan. The thing in the middle has been dubbed the “Uvula” by John. Also called the Stargate.
When it seems like a kitten is walking sideways (like a crab)
See: Zoomies, The
A small orange toy that looks like a duck or a bunny depending on its mood and position. Good friend to Chickenfish
A piece of cat furniture featuring a scratching board base and a saucer-like bed top (called “The Bridge”). Called “The Enterprise” because it resembles the original Star Trek ship. Kittens can often be seen cruising in it.
When a Mama cat picks up a kitten by the scruff to move it to a more appropriate place (according to the Mama).
A social networking website. Loved and loathed by many.
Friends of the Kitten Cam
A Facebook page where the fans can talk about the cats and share their own stories about rescues and their pets
A green soccer ball. Loved most fiercely by Kayleigh. Other balls have been adopted, too, like Sunshine, Pinky, and Blue. I’m sure you can figure out their colors.
Chatters show devotion to our overlord, Uncle Chickenfish, by hailing it at an invocation of its name. A Chickenfishtian doesn’t have to hail every time, but several hails by the congregation are required as an offering.
Hammock of Destiny
A black kitten step/ramp with mesh. Made by SportPet, it comes with a privacy tent (Walmart). A favorite toy among the kittens.
The Kitten Cam chat butler. Mind you, he only brings virtual sustenance, so he cannot be relied upon to actually sustain you during your endless hours of kitten viewing.
Kitten feet. They resemble pink jelly beans.
Kitty Condo, The
See: Tardis, The
Kitten Standard Time
Refers to the time it is where the kittens live. It’s equivalent to Pacific Standard Time.
The website that hosts the stream.
When a cat or kitten moves its paws back and forth as if they are kneading bread. Also called Happy Feet.
See Solar System
Cardboard tubes that are placed in the enclosure. See Wormholes
This is where the kittens nurse. Sometimes mama will close the milkbar when she feels that nursing is done for the time being.
John’s son, Chris.
The area in John’s legs when he sits down that kittens love to play in.
A mysterious kitten that lives inside the cam. Only speaks when the cam readjusts focus.
Kittens on their back. Paws (and claws) are the the air, hence the phrase.
Pillar of Progress
The scratching post with a platform on the top.
The cat rescue John volunteers for.
A kitten toy featuring a bridge and three planets. The planets have been referred to as: Jupitpurr, Mews, Niptune, in addition to other names. Can be purchased, among other places, on Amazon.com. Also called The Mewniverse.
Toy that looks like a levitating clown nose. It goes SPROING.
When a kitten or cat arches it back, puffs out its fur, and crab walks to appear larger and more ferocious than it actually is
See Contact Rings
A bigger bowl. Purchased at the Super Market. See Bowl.
A blue fish toy. Still in production and can be purchased at [to be added when refound].
A cat tower with three holes. Thought to have an elevator and swimming pool. (Nuh uh!) Maybe. Also called The Kitty Condo or The Tower.
The Critter Room
A Facebook page dedicated to John’s rescues.
See Tardis/Kitty Condo.
Hairy cat toys popular during the Mythbusters fosters.
Do not feed the trolls. "Trolls" are people who will say mean or cruel things to try to provoke a response from you. Interact with them and they will keep interacting with you. See UBD
Under Bridge Dweller
See: Contact Rings
A kitten slap fight.
White Circle of Doom
Initializing.... initializing... initializing...
Z-tower or Ziggurat
A cat toy that has two platforms offset from each other.
The yellow zip tie that hangs on the left side of the cage. A toy for distracting young kitties.
When the kittens start running about the enclosure so fast that they blur on camera. Often a result of a John visit. He is to kittens as Red Bull is to humans. Also called The Crazies.
Various toys unique to the litter may have been named.
LOLcat words are sometimes used in chat. Here are the most common ones:
Forever (as in furever homes)
Neutered cats are without these (hairballs)
Martini (for mama cats only)
A cat/kitten rolled up in a blankie
No. All fosters are rescues and associated with Purrfect Pals. John does not receive money for doing this. It is all volunteer.
No. This camera is meant to show the kittens as they are. Let them sleep. You can watch the DVR at times where they were more active.
Ultimately, John (the foster dad) chooses the names (unless they come to him already named). Generally they’re based around a theme like scientist names or Irish names. Sometimes he takes suggestions and after they’re named he’ll allow one name change if the viewers object to what he’s chosen.
First they are spayed/neutered. For this procedure they must be at least two pounds and two months old and healthy. Assuming the kittens remain healthy, after that they go to an adoption event. Each kitten gets a featherstick from John to take to his or her furever home. Despite John’s extensive experience with fostering, it never gets any easier letting them go.
This is a point of contention among some Kitten Cam viewers, especially because different countries and cultures may define different ideal ages for cat spays/neutering. Before any adoption, Purrfect Pals makes sure the cat is spayed/neutered to prevent any future unintended kittens. These procedures are being done earlier because procedures are less invasive than before, it’s been shown that doing them before puberty is best, and that there are no long term health implications. There are always advantages and disadvantages for any surgery, but in the long run, the pluses outweigh the minuses. Remember that John wouldn’t do something if it would adversely affect the fosters.
The mama cat is spayed at the same time as her kittens. She will go to that same adoption event to find her furever home.
No. The kittens have their own room with a door that is always closed.
They are only allowed in one room only for them. Initially, the very young kittens and mama cat are placed in a two-story kennel. The mama cat has access to the “penthouse” which has a litterbox, food, and water. Once she is more settled and the kittens are older, John will open up the top of the kennel to the room so that the mother can enjoy more freedom. When John decides they are ready, he will open the kennel to a small enclosed play area. This play area will gradually get bigger as the kittens are more active and need a larger area to run around in.
No. The webcam is just very good at picking up low level light. A 40-watt light bulb is in the room’s lamp. In March of 2013 John installed in the kennel two LED white light strips with half of a semi-opaque plastic binder cut in half and rolled up as a two-pass diffuser. Cats don’t need the same light/dark conditions that humans do. Cats sleep 16 hours a day regardless of the brightness of where they are. Ever see a cat sleeping in a sunbeam coming through a window? If you’re concerned, day/night cues do come from the natural light coming in the window.
Sometimes the cam is positioned such that their food and water bowls aren’t visible. The kittens always have food and water available so that they can eat and drink whenever they want it.
Johns weighs the kittens daily up until they reach one pound. This is to make sure they are making appropriate gains and growing at the right rate. After one pound weigh-ins are reduced to every other day. John keeps track of the weigh-ins using a Google Spreadsheet. Here are links to current and past litters:
John doesn’t weigh the mama cats because the mama cats are bigger than what the kitten scale can handle and too small for an accurate reading on a bathroom scale. Instead, John gets updates on her weight when she goes to vet visits.
Don’t worry just yet. There are plenty of reasons that a kitten may not have made a gain during weigh in. If a kitten consistently loses or does not gain weight over several days, then John will begin supplementing the kitten’s diet.
John is looking for specific behaviors before introducing anything new to the kittens. For example, before moving the kittens from the kennel to a small enclosure, he’s examining how well they walk and run. Before giving them a litterbox, John is making sure they’re going on their own and that their eliminations are happening in the same area. Trust in John.
Again, John makes sure the kittens reach specific benchmarks before giving them certain toys. The first toys for the kitties are springs and balls. Once they start walking some, the ChickenFish comes out! Sometimes toys are removed due to misuse. By misuse I mean that the kitties are using the toy to escape (*cough* CMF *cough*)!
Kittens are like babies. You get the cute parts... and the not so cute parts. This camera is live, so you get the real deal with the kittens. They aren’t like humans where they always consider their location as bodily functions occur. If your system is too delicate to handle these everyday occurrences, the kitten cam may not be for you.
There are a number of possible answers to this question:
Kittens aren’t born with the ability to go the bathroom on their own. The mother cat has to stimulate that area to help them go. Also, while they are young the mother cat licks away any liquid or solid waste from her babies. In the wild this would prevent predators from smelling where they’ve hidden.
Don’t worry. This is a normal part of kittens growing up. They’re teaching one another to play nice. If they play too rough, a kitten will squeak letting the other one know that they’re playing too rough. The mama cat is teaching her kittens how to hunt and fight. She isn’t hurting them. Her claws are retracted and her bites are very measured.
That mysterious “other side of the room”. There are various pieces of cat furniture over there. There are toys, too. In the mama cat’s case, she usually wants some time away from her darling kittens. Some ME time.
Don’t worry if the kittens get the outlet plugs out. The plugs are there for aesthetic reasons rather than safety reasons. Unlike toddlers, kittens aren’t prone to sticking things in electrical outlets.
They are chasing a pet-friendly laser pointer. Not all laser pointers are pet-friendly because the intensity of the beam could damage their eyes. The highest safest intensity for cats has been cited to be between 1mW and 5mW. NEVER purposely shine a laser into your cat’s or any other animal’s eye. John uses a hand-held laser and an automatic laser (when they’re older, I believe).
Purrfect Pals has implemented a new procedure for adopting cam kittens. Before the adoption date, those seeking to adopt will be asked to submit an application. Applications submitted prior to the announcement will be discarded. Keep in mind that you have to pass the requirements set by Purrfect Pals. A maximum of two kittens at a time are allowed to be adopted. Also, adoptees only go to Washington state homes. There are so many rescued cats out there that need homes that PP urges you to look into your local shelter if you’re looking to adopt.
It varies. John will send out an email inquiring about their status a month or two after the adoption, but not all new kitten/cat parents will respond. Since the cam has gone “viral”, some new parents have decided to set up Facebook pages about their new family member. Links have been provided throughout the FAQ where appropriate.
John lives near Seattle in Washington State. For privacy reasons, that’s all you’re going to get.
John is a computer programmer for AT&T.
We want to keep John’s personal life personal, so the FAQ isn’t going to go into that. Remember that John isn’t a thing for public consumption, he’s a regular guy.
It’s a single digit number.
They don’t care. John’s done this enough times that it’s old hat to them.
Sorry, but John has a strict policy on not adopting his fosters.
As of March 2014, it’s been 41 sets of cats and kittens since 2008.
In 2003 he fostered for a friend whose cat had kittens and fostering got into his blood. Five years later he contacted Purrfect Pals and began fostering kittens and cats through them.
On a year-round basis. After one set of kittens have been adopted, John has about a one week gap until the next litter begins foster care. This one week gap gives him time to recover from the previous batch and to set up for the new ones. Also, a week will give the room and toys time to air out and any potential bugs to die. Of course, time between litters is dependent on whether a litter is available to be fostered (whether it’s “kitten season”).
Chris is John’s son. He is often referred to as “The Minion”.
John prefers that you donate any money or goods to the Purrfect Pals organization. They will know where it is needed the most. Any unsolicited donations or gifts will be given to Purrfect Pals.
Nope! This is all live.
People all around the world watch the cam! Purrfect Pals staff-- such as the director, foster coordinator and vet-- also watch the cam. To get an idea of the scope of the viewership, visit our Map of Kitten Cam viewers! Add your own flag, if you’d like!
The Kitten Cam is in the Pacific time zone of the US. In general, 3 hours behind the East Coast and 8 hours behind London. It is also known as Kitten Standard Time (KST). For a more specific answer, you can visit The World Clock webpage.
Yes. The kittens are pretty quiet unless playing gets a little rough or they bump into the walls (kitten brakes are notoriously unreliable). Mama cats are usually the loudest with mews and chirps, especially when John enters the room.
John’s positioned the camera for the most coverage of the area. Remember, this isn’t just for entertainment, John uses this camera to monitor the cats. You’ll just have to wait for the kittens or cats to come back into frame. Sorry.
Put your cursor at the bottom of the video and a timeline should appear. You can select any of the times along there to watch what happened then.
That’s a Livestream issue. The developers have heard our requests to add this feature. At this time you cannot choose a specific time. Also, as the time accumulates on the DVR, the times you can choose get further and further apart.
The stream is automatically reset every 24 hours. John has control of resets where he can do a reset at an earlier time to ensure an event can be watched by worldwide viewers for hours after it occurs (rather than fall into the reset abyss).
See: What’s a reset?
Currently, the camera is a Logitec HD Pro Webcam C920.
This is a John-only camera that is not streaming and gives him a birds-eye view of the room. This gives him the ability to see more than the viewers of the webcam. For an example of what he sees, click here.
First of all, Livestream does not support dual-streams. Second of all, it would cost even more money every month for another account. Not going to happen. Also, the second camera isn’t very good quality.
No. However, the chatters are very open to transcribing videos and events as they happen, so just type into the chat that you need CC and it will happily be provided!
This website has complete instructions. In brief, on a Windows machine, use PrtScrn button, open Paint, and Ctrl-V to paste. Ctrl-S to save your capture. Choose to save it as a JPG rather than BMP to cut down on file size.
The cam shuts off. The page for the litter will always remain up so that you can watch all archived videos. If you “follow” Foster Dad John on Livestream* then you will get a text and/or email notifying you when it’s gone live again with a new litter!
*To do this, log in to your LiveStream account. Go to Foster Dad John’s profile page and click “Follow”. You have to have your email or mobile number specified in your account settings to receive notifications. You can manage which notifications you want to receive and where in your account settings.
Anyone with a Livestream account is more than welcome to join in! We don’t bite! hard We get silly sometimes. English is the primary language in chat, but given our wide viewership, other languages are sometimes used.
No, humans can chat, too. Besides, cats are terrible typists and have the worst grammar. Oh! You mean topics! We often veer into non-feline-related topics. There are only so many ways to say “SO CUTE!”, especially when they are sleeping or off-camera. If this isn’t to your liking, you can always expand the screen or go full-screen and come back at a later time when chat is more to your liking.
While the troll will eventually be banned by John, the best recourse is to ignore. Only John and LiveStream employees currently have the permissions to ban trolls. If John isn’t there, you can try contacting Jae (@JaeSalinas). Trolls thrive on attention, so ignoring them is the best way to bore one.
This is The Cult of the Chickenfish. Once Uncle Chickenfish’s name is invoked, it must be hailed. (HAIL!) You don’t have to hail every time (that would get crazy), but at least a couple hails must be offered up. We have a ChickenFish prayer. Chickenfish, sadly, is no longer in production, but John has provided some measurements for fans that wish to make their own.
Chatters are referring to specific times on the DVR where something interesting occurred. In most cases, the first number refers to the hour and the second number refers to the minutes. If a chatter wants to refer to minutes, he or she will say “10 minutes” or “15 minutes”.
These are silly things chatters add to their own name. In your Livestream profile, you can add your own right after your name.
The chat disallows URLs. But to get around that, put a space after the periods (and leave off the http and www). For example: http://www.google.com would be google. com.
Only if he has his iPad with him.
We recently discovered that every person has a unique account number. The number is available on everyone’s profile page. To see what someone’s account number is (yours or someone else’s), there are a number of ways of doing it:
This is a way of verifying your friends if you know some of the numbers of their account number.
Purrfect Pals is a no-kill shelter devoted to rescuing cats. You can read more about them on their website. John is associated with this rescue and volunteers there on a regular basis. The kittens are a part of their foster care program.
There have been several methods suggested to fix this:
Try clicking back on the DVR timeline and then “Live” again.
This happens from time to time. This is a Livestream problem, but usually a reset by John cures the hiccups.
There can be a couple reasons for this.
First, the camera automatically focuses, so this could be a streaming thing. Move your mouse over the video and go to the bottom at the timeline that pops up. You can choose a quality level from one bar to HD. Try a higher quality. Note that Livestream defaults to the best quality for your internet speed, so a higher quality may result in more buffering and Circles of Doom.
Or, the kittens licked or nose-booped the camera, causing smudges. When he notices, John will come in with his Itty Bitty Kitty Squeegee to clear things up.
John keeps the camera volume turned down due to the ambient noise of the house and outside. Using headphones is the best way to hear what John or Chris is saying or to hear the kittens purr.
Advice from Kitten Cam viewer April:
Can't hear what's going on? If you are finding the volume low on Livestream but not when using other things like Youtube or games here is a trick someone (likely John) showed me a while ago.
Windows users (I use windows 7) - Right click on your speaker/volume icon then select 'playback devices'. In the box that pops up highlight 'speakers/headphones' and then click properties. From here go to the Enhancements tab and click the 'loudness equalization' box. Apply changes and close the boxes. This should bring the volume of the livestream feed up to a point where you can hear without headphones.
An echo can happen if John accidentally leaves a browser up on the Kitten Cam computer. He’ll usually fix it pretty quickly. Your system is fine.
Unfortunately, sometimes Livestream and the iPads do not play nice together. Sorry! You should put in a support ticket with Livestream.
Sometimes the chat lags a few seconds before showing your comment. Or, this is the work of the evil Comment Monster. Sometimes you get the error message “Comment could not be posted”, but not always. This hiccup in the system occurs intermittently. Refreshing the page sometimes works. Or, if you have a long comment to make, hit Ctrl-A and Ctrl-C to copy it in case it doesn’t go through. Paste your comment again with Ctrl-V. Hit enter, and cross your fingers.
Press Ctrl+0 (zero) (Cmd+0 for Mac users) to reset your zoom. If that doesn’t work, notify the chatters for additional tips.
Ah, yes. This is what I like to call John’s Theory of Kitten Time Relativity. You think that you’ve been with kittens for just 10 minutes when, in actuality, 30 minutes or more have passed. Kittens are so cute they create a time dilation effect, like objects with large mass, wherein while you’re in their vicinity, time for you seems to pass normally, when, in actuality, more time has gone by relative to the rest of the earth. Unlike objects of large mass, this time dilation can occur when simply viewing kittens, even at exceptionally big distances. Therefore, viewers have found themselves affected by Kitten Time Relativity.
WARNING: By viewing The Foster Kitten Cam, you may experience one or more of the following side effects: giggling, loss of productivity, sleep deprivation, new friends, drinks spurting from nose, and a general improvement in your mood.
Have you noticed a decrease in productivity? An inexplicable urge to pet something fuzzy? Do you keep the cam in your browser 24/7? You may be addicted.
The good news it that you are absolutely not alone. Many viewers have been known to keep the cam on in their browser at all times. The chat room is often seen as a support group for the cam addicts, except you don’t get the free coffee and cookies. Now, get up and go shower since you probably haven’t done that in a while, so you probably smell pretty bad. Also, go get something to eat. You need to keep up your energy if you want to keep up with the kittens. Make sure any sons /daughters /pets are still alive.
Sorry to startle you. First, calm down. John has entered the kittens’ room and you forgot that you were logged in to the kitten cam and your volume was turned up. You may or may not get used to this.
John has fostered many, many kittens and cats (41 sets since 2008!); however, this section only refers to those that have been on camera. Photos of all previous cats and litters can be found at The Critter Room. M/F refer to whether the cats/kittens were male or female. Ages given for mothers refer to age when the kittens were born.
Background: Miranda and her kittens were surrendered to Purrfect Pals three days after
she gave birth (March 16) and they were transferred into my care until they are ready for neuter/spay and adoption. Cagney McKitten has four white paws. Cassidy McKitten has white back paws and white front toes. Casey McKitten and Corey McKitten have dark paws but Casey's fur has light stripes. A fifth kitten, Runty McRuntenson, is with another volunteer for more round-the-clock care. Cassidy is the only boy.
Background: Mamacat Marie (1yr) was found as a very pregnant stray (also very hungry & underweight) and taken to a local shelter where she gave birth on July 21st to her four kittens, three boys and one girl. The family was transferred to Purrfect Pals and then into their foster care program.
Background: These kittens came without a mother. They were only about four weeks old and caring for them turned out to require more time than John could give. They stayed only a day or so with John. They were at the same adoption event as the Spice Kittens!
Background: Rosemary was a stray that gave birth at Purrfect Pals on October 5, 2012. NOTE: We are aware that these names are mixture of herbs and spices, but Spice Kittens is catchier than Herb and Spice Kittens, okay?
Background: Ripley was found as a stray and taken to a local shelter where Purrfect Pals took her and her kittens. Born December 13, 2012. Ripley and her kittens were fostered by Connie, the Purrfect Pals director, until she gave them to John to care for.
Background: Laika was found on a front porch pregnant and abandoned. A kind lady rescued her and brought Laika into her home where she gave birth on Valentine's Day, 2013.
Background: Kari was abandoned by her owner at a PetSmart. The kittens were born on May 8, 2013.
Background: Hazel was found as a stray and taken to a kill shelter, where she gave birth to her kittens on July 23rd, the family was then transferred to Purrfect Pals.
Background: Glados gave birth to Hal, a litter of one, on August 30th. Their family seemed incomplete so they adopted three little boys (Holly, Jarvis and Eddie) who were part of a litter of nine that was born on September 4th
Background: Dory and her kittens Sulley & Dash (tabby) were found under a barn. They were found and brought inside to be warm and then surrendered to Purrfect Pals. The kittens are 9 weeks old and Dory approx. 2 years when they came to John.
Background: Janine was brought to Purrfect Pals from an overcrowded shelter so she could give birth in safety. She was found as a stray in the Tulaip, WA area. Born mid day on Feb 25.
Written by Kitten Cam viewer Jessica S.
Hail Chickenfish, full of stuffing,
the kittens are with thee;
Blessed art thou amongst the intertubes,
and blessed is the protector of thy Critter Room, John.
Holy Chickenfish, Guardian of Floofybutts,
watch over us with your reattached eyes,
now and at the hour of adoption.