David Giovanni hugs his cat Lucky in New York City in Cat Daddies documentary

Cat Daddies Review: Paws-itive Purrspectives

A sweet look at men who love cats

An ode to fellas that love felines, the new documentary Cat Daddies is a portrait of the men who can’t get enough of their kitty companions.

Writer-director Mye Hoang trains her lens on a number of men across the U.S. who want to ensure the stereotype that “real men” don’t love cats is thoroughly quashed. Her film will likely appeal to those who already love cats but will have a much harder time winning over anyone else.

Haphazardly constructed through vignettes of various men—all of whom have welcomed cats into their hearts and homes, the film contains no natural narrative thread. Sure, the cats are cute, and a few of the men have interesting stories, but the arc of the film wears thin quickly without much to draw the viewer in. It often feels like Hoang wanted to cram as many stories about cat-loving dudes as she could into the film’s 89-minute run time—all to prove her thesis that many, many guys are crazy about cats. I watched this one with my own feline companion, Finnegan, and he seemed more captivated by the cats on screen than I was.

Where Hoang’s film is most powerful and interesting is in the story of David, an undocumented and unhoused former Georgian immigrant construction worker living on the streets of New York City with his cat, Lucky. After saving the abandoned 5-month-old kitten from inevitable death, Lucky has become his constant companion and best friend. As he waits for emergency housing, his cerebral palsy is getting worse, but his only concerns are for Lucky. Speaking with his friend and police community worker, we learn that David’s story is a common one when it comes to unhoused people putting their pet’s needs ahead of their own.


Professional truck driver David Durst carries his cat Tora on his shoulder while stopping in Flagstaff, AZ.
Professional truck driver David Durst carries his cat Tora on his shoulder while stopping in Flagstaff, AZ. – Robert Bennett/Vortex Media Inc.

Throughout, Hoang finds subjects that are associated with predominantly masculine careers like truck drivers and firemen who count themselves among the movie’s “cat daddies”. Men like firefighter Jordan share how stray cat Flame became his South Carolina fire station’s mascot after slowly winning over even the burliest of men.

There is no denying the intentions behind Cat Daddies are pure and sweet. There just isn’t as much depth or perspective to the doc as there is with other feline-focused films like Kedi, but maybe that’s just fine when all you want to do is spent an hour and a half watching cute cats on the screen. It’s certainly hard to be grumpy while watching men gush about how much they love their cats.

Cat Daddies becomes available on VOD starting February 17.