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Cat Distribution System

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Updated Jan 06, 2023 at 07:01AM EST by Rebecca Rhodes.

Added Jan 04, 2023 at 04:14PM EST by sakshi.

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Cat Distribution System is a phrase coined by TikToker @hermes.the.cynic to describe the common occurrence of cats entering people's homes and lives unannounced and inadvertently getting adopted. This clichΓ© is an often-discussed aspect of cat ownership, and adds to the narrative that you don't adopt a cat, but rather, it adopts you. The phrase grew popular near the end of 2022 and continued to be used through January 2023.


While adult feral cats are often averse to human contact and difficult to socialize, some stray cats choose to interact with humans in hopes of food, shelter or companionship. "Friendly strays" are more often lost domestic pets, but there are several documented incidents of a stray cat "choosing" or "adopting" an owner, to the point where veterinary websites have released "What To Do" guides in the circumstance where an unknown feline enters your life or home.[1][2][3]

Some examples of cats "choosing" their owners can be seen in social media posts, including a December 29th, 2019 post by Redditor /u/fishnpoutine to /r/cats, gathering over 11,000 upvotes in three years (seen below, left),[4] and a November 23rd, 2020 post by Redditor /u/Dysteech to /r/aww, gathering over 19,000 likes in two years (seen below, right).[5]

11.6k B It was Christmas eve 2017 when baby Yeti showed up crying in our backyard. Two years later, she is still the best 'present' Santa has ever brought us. Here's her birthday portrait. Cat Picture ( submitted 3 years ago by fishnpoutine 33 115 comments share save hide give award report crosspost hide all child comments ↑ 19.5k This little stray cat wandered inside our house last week and made himself at home. We named him Tofu. ( submitted 2 years ago by Dysteech2 3 & 19 more 268 comments share save hide give award report crosspost hide all child comments

On November 25th, 2022, TikTok[6] user @hermes.the.cynic posted a video describing what he calls the "Cat Distribution System," which he describes as the process through which the "Universe" delivers kittens to you unasked. The video gathered over 2.4 million plays and 300,000 likes in over a month (seen below). @Hermes the video right after yours πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #cats #catdistributionsystem #wtfmoments #coincidence ♬ original sound –


On November 25th, 2022, TikToker[7] posted a video screenrecording the aforementioned video and scrolling to reveal a person who had received a cat through the cat distribution system. The video gathered over 2 million plays and 300,000 likes in over two months (seen below, left). On November 27th, 2022, TikToker[8] @billyrubino22.4 posted a video duetting Herme's upload and showing his cats, gathering over 1.9 million plays and 170,000 likes in over two months (seen below, right). @Hermes the video right after yours πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #cats #catdistributionsystem #wtfmoments #coincidence ♬ original sound –

@billyrubino22.4 #duet with @hermes.the.cynic #atheism @Friends of Strays i have ti come in for #tnr traps asap #cattok #catdaddy #kittentok #fyp #logic #foryou #genius #relatable #makessense #thisisyoursign #billyrubino #strays ♬ original sound – Hermes

On December 28th, 2022, TikToker[9] @lisaturtletok posted a video using the sound from @hermes.the.cynic's original video to show her cats, gathering over 50,000 plays and 6,000 likes in over two weeks (seen below, left). On January 5th, 2023, TikToker[10] @daniklaric posted a video claiming to be a beneficiary of the cat distribution system, gathering over 200,000 plays and 40,000 likes in a day (seen below, right).

@lisaturtletok OK universe, that’s enough for now. #catdistributionsystem #fyp #orangecat #catsoftiktok #straycat #cat #tortiesoftiktok ♬ original sound – Hermes

@daniklaric Replying to @razkrieg ♬ Walking in the Sunshine – Ella Fitzgerald

Various Examples

@socal420 The cat distribution system #socal420 #catsoftiktok ♬ original sound – Socal420

@crystalguidance The cat distribution system is at it again. Meet Nacho! This little guy showed up a couple of night ago and has barely left. Last night I was able to get him to walk into my cat carrier. I kept him inside so he would be safe and warm. Our local foster based rescue picked him up earlier today. As much as I’d love to keep him, I already have 4. I know they will find him the purrrfect furever home. 🐈❀️ #catsoftiktok #catdistributionsystem #straycat #straycatsoftiktok #kittensoftiktok #orangecat #pawportunities ♬ original sound – Crystal Guidance (Jen Faeline)

Search Interest


External References

[1] PetMD – What To Do When A Stray Cat

[2] Caticles – Adopting A Stray Cat

[3] Severn Edge Vets – Do You Choose Your Cat Or Do They Choose You

[4] Β  Reddit – /r/cats

[5] Reddit – /r/aww

[6] TikTok – hermes.the.cynic

[7] TikTok –

[8] TikTok – billyrubino22.4

[9] TikTok – lisaturtletok

[10] TikTok – daniklaric

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