Nature Cat

Ages: 3 - 8Producer: Spiffy Pictures

Nature Cat, an animated series that airs on PBS Kids, reveals the secret life of an everyday housecat and what he really does once the humans are out of the house.

Fred may seem like an average indoor cat to his owners–docile and devoted to sleep–but once the humans leave for work, he escapes to the great outdoors and assumes his Nature Cat alter-ego. In the episode “Mighty Mountain Climbers,” Nature Cat resolves to improve his modest climbing skills and as he and pals embark on a hiking expedition, they learn about the training and skills required to safely scale a mountain. In another episode titled “Bug Eating Plants,” all shrink to be insect-sizes and discover the characteristics of carnivorous plants— as they try to escape being eaten by them! In “Welcome to the Vernal Pond,” Nature Cat meets a salamander and learns why some ponds appear each spring; and in “Return to Mighty Mountain,” an overnight trip under the stars sounds great, but Nature Cat and friends realize camping out requires close attention to planning and safety rules.

From learning what makes a puddle evaporate to understanding what makes bullfrogs croak to explaining bioluminescence, Nature Cat offers useful information that will entice kids to head outside for exploration and adventures of their own. The age-appropriate episodes reveal interesting and instructive material the intended audience will easily understand, and they’re baked into amusing plotlines and smart scriptwriting that keeps the focus on entertainment as much as on education.

The producers add to the chemistry with powerhouse voice-over talent: including Taran Killam (Nature Cat) and Kate McKinnon (Squeeks the mouse), Bobby Moynihan (Hal the dog), Kenan Thomason as Nature Cat’s arch-nemesis Ronald, and Kate Micucci as rabbit Daisy.

Gina Catanzarite ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.