If you need a kitty fix, and want to play with some live kitties online, check out iPet Companion, a website created by the software company Reach-in.

ipetcompanionCat News Friday highlights iPet Companion, a website that gives online users an opportunity to control robotic toys in shelters and get a better understanding of how a particular cat might fit into their household. Users can choose a participating shelter of their choice and see the animals play with the robotic toys in real time. They can manipulate the camera and controls to interact with the animals by swinging around feathers or twirling other toys via remote control. The camera can pan around the room.

According to iPetCompanion’s website, the idea is to allow potential pet owners an opportunity to play with the animals to determine whether their personality is a good match for them. This might result in more people coming into the shelters, certainly a laudable goal.

From Cat News Friday’s perspective the toys were a bit cumbersome, but what was great was to have an opportunity to get an inside view of some of the shelters around the country. To those that Paws viewed, they got a paws-up. It’s a great idea that need a bit of tweaking.

For more info on iPet Companion, click on the following link.

Play With Cats In Real Time From Anywhere
Discovery News
Pets that have to spend their days in an animal shelter don’t always get the kind of attention or stimulation they need. Some don’t get much of a playtime at all. If you’ve got a few minutes at work, or wherever, and want to make a kitty’s day, check

In other cat news this week, we find a cat helping with a weather forecast. It’s a fun video to see this feline strolling across the set, unplanned. According to the report, this isn’t the first time this has happened. For more on this, click on the link below.

The Interrupting Weather Cat Denies An Interview, But Weatherman Doesn’t
ABC News
The Univision parking lot cats live a leisurely life. They are constantly fed, they sunbathe on Mercedes Benzes, they scare the security guards by walking past the motion-sensored doorways late at night. Basically, they’re snobs. After this week’s …

Seven children are in foster custody and 18 cats are in possession of the Henry County Animal Control following a box truck being stopped in route from Pennsylvania to California. Five of their children and 15 cats were riding in the back of an unheated box truck full of boxes and the family’s belongings. The couple pleaded guilty to charges of endangering the welfare of a child and was each sentenced to two years on probation, according to court records. He report below says the couple has been charged with endangering the welfare of the children before. For more, click on the two links below.

5 kids, 18 cats in truck: David, Rebecca Detjen arrested after police stop box
Police said two children were in the cab of the truck with their mother and father, along with three cats. According to court documents, an officer asked Rebecca Detjen if there were any children in the back of the box truck, and she said no. When the ..

Trooper: Couple hauling kids in moving van down on luck
… in the back of a moving van. budget truck with kids in back. Indiana State Police have two people in custody after finding five children and 18 cats Wednesday night in the back of a moving van on Interstate 70 in New Castle, Ind. (Photo: Indiana …

For more Cat News Friday, including some innovative shelter adoption ideas to capitalize on Black Friday, check out the following links to a host of other stories, some heartwarming, some horrendous.

African cats may still be allowed in Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge News
Leopard-like cats originating out of Africa could be legal in Maple Ridge if staff likes the idea and can find the right words to add to the Animal Control Licencing Bylaw. On Tuesday, council approved a motion allowing staff to see if ownership of

World AIDS Day 2012: Getting to Zero for Cats, Too!
WebMD (blog)
The World Health Organization marks December 1st as World AIDS Day. For 2012, the chosen theme is “Getting to Zero.” World AIDS Day remembers those who have died from this terrible disease and educates those at risk of contracting it. This year’s theme

The dangers cats face outdoors can lead to tragedy
Chicago Tribune
Dakota the cat came into our lives eight years ago. He was about 6 months old, with an infected toe that our vet had to amputate. He probably entered our home because he was injured and knew he needed to heal, and as soon as he did, he went back to

Deaf Cat Living in Ukrainian Treetop Makes a Soft Landing
Care2.com (blog)
“The shelter is not a safe place for a deaf cat,” Marina explained noting that this cat would require a special environment where the cat could feel protected from other animals who might take advantage of his vulnerability. She asked for a “Godmother

Comic pair’s cat vida purr-fect surprise
Boston Herald
A Billerica comedy duo has raised the bar on Internet pet videos — with a clip gone viral about dogs and cats that has no actual animals in it. “Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend” shows what happens when humans have cat and dog personalities

Cat owners say pit bull is attacking pets, terrorizing neighborhood
A second cat sleeping in her kitchen doorway had a close call. A third cat got away. Bob Stroozas, Zina’s owner, says he wants to make sure no one else in his Poinsettia Heights neighborhood comes ho