Catnip Nation, Award Winning Documentary, Now Available on DVD | Lola The Rescued Cat
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Catnip Nation, Award Winning Documentary, Now Available on DVD

In May of 2017, I introduced Catnip Nation to my readers. As I waited (not so) patiently for the film, Director and Producer Tina Traster contributed thought-provoking and heartfelt articles for my blog. (The Catnip Nation series won a Certificate of Excellence in the Cat Writers' Association Communications Contest last year.) When the time finally came to see the film I was SO excited, and it did not disappoint. Catnip Nation is now an award-winning film, and it is also available on DVD. 

catnip nation dvd

The official trailer can be viewed here, and you can purchase the DVD here. I'll definitely be purchasing mine. Warning: have a tissue (or two) handy. 

I have another update from Tina about the film which I'm sure you'll enjoy reading. I'm honored that Tina shared the journey with my blog and readers, and as long as the Catnip Nation team has information to get out to the public, I'll share it. 

If you are a caretaker for a community cat colony, tell us about it in the comments. 


Award-winning Documentary Now Available On DVD

Catnip Nation Director Tina Traster Talks About Why She Made The Film

“There are about as many feral cats in the United States as there are pet cats. So that would put them anywhere from 70 to 90 million.”
Kathleen O’Malley, Director of TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) Education, NYC Feral Cat Initiative

Catnip Nation, an award-winning 75-minute documentary, addresses the fates of these millions of feral cats, and the human conflicts that determine those fates. The central conflict is between compassionate people who want to care for the cats by providing food, water, and shelter, and those who want to make these acts of compassion illegal.
The film has played at several film festivals; it will be screened at the Garden State Film Festival (March 25-29) in Asbury Park.

catnip nation dvd

"I have lived with and loved cats for ages. Cats have it rough. There are too many in shelters who are never adopted, and millions who are euthanized. Those cats that are lucky enough to be found and adopted usually bear the physical and emotional scars of a difficult beginning.

The idea to make a documentary on cats began as an ode to these enigmatic, graceful creatures, but my journalist’s compass quickly led to a darker place. Little did I know there are an estimated 90 million feral cats living wherever they find a food source. Nor was I aware that so many well-meaning people who are trying to help these animals are oppressed and persecuted by outdated laws or uneducated politicians.

We trained our cameras on four individuals who have put everything on the line to fight for a voiceless population. Our characters show us what it’s like to be punished for acts of kindness. They are willing to risk arrest and imprisonment. They’ve transformed their own lives in the fight to teach others about humanity and the responsibility we as a human race have to care for creatures who live in a netherworld between pets and wildlife.

catnip nation dvd

Catnip Nation’ is not a pedagogic platform to preach about a movement known as TNR (Trap Neuter Return), in which cats living in groups are overseen by caretakers who fix and vaccinate them and feed them until they die off. But the film is inadvertently designed to enlighten. The goal of TNR, a spreading practice worldwide, is to winnow down cat colonies until the closed-system fades away. TNR is complex because it requires buy-in from government, law enforcement and grassroots citizens, who almost always do the real work.

In ‘Catnip Nation’ we learn about this national crisis through the adventures of four main characters. I made a conscious decision to let our characters’ lives and the hurdles they face tell the story. It is effortless to get swept up into their stories – seeing firsthand what it’s like to risk jail to feed and water cats. Or to feel the wrenching pain of being separated from a group of animals that you’ve become attached to. Naturally we see these people as trailblazers, as human rights activists because in essence they are fighting for their own rights to help cats. We see these people fight, try to work within the system, and find ways around it in order to elevate their causes.

Film goers crave inspirational role models. We love Erin Brockovich because she fights the system. We admire outliers who move the needle. We celebrate caped crusaders who perform daring feats of bravery. Our characters do all these things.

Sometimes a documentary maker, or a journalist, knows the story she wants to tell. I believe it’s more powerful when an artist learns the story as she goes, when the horrific details and inspirational revelations tell you where the story is lurking and its drumbeat leads you to a place of darkness and light. Then you feel the privilege and the responsibility to make that story your own. That is what I hope I’ve done with ‘Catnip Nation’."

To purchase a DVD, click here:

Tina Traster is a socially-conscious, award-winning journalist, author, and filmmaker. Her 30-minute documentary, This House Matters, is an examination on historic preservation in the Hudson Valley. The film has screened at the YoFi Film Festival, the Kingston Film Festival, the Hoboken International Film Festival, and the Nyack Film Festival. Traster's work has appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines and literary journals including The New York Times, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Redbook, Family Circle, Parade, Time Out New York, Audubon, Ski Magazine and many others. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother's Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder. Since 2006, Traster has written the "Burb Appeal" column for The New York Post. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow, thanks for getting the word out on this, I'll pass it along. TNR and its benefits is such an important message.

  2. I'm sure it's most wonderful but I'm not sure we could do the sad parts.

    1. That is my thought too. I want to have it but I can't take cruelty and abandonment and all the attendant things though I know they happen. But to see would stay uppermost in my mind always. I try to help in other ways.

    2. the film is not like that. There's a real focus on the people, the heroes. No gratuitous violence or abandonment.

  3. OH! I've wanted to see this film since I first heard of it!
    Think I'll get a copy, then invite all of my cat-loving friends over for a watching party!

  4. It makes me sad that caring for God's beautiful creatures can be so difficult because of other humans.

  5. I love what Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said. It completely echoes what I think...through and through.

  6. We want to see this one. Thanks for the info

  7. Excellent blog post. Thanks for introducing me to this film. I want to see it.

  8. I need to get a copy of this. We need more films about 'smaller' superheroes from the real world.


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