true crime

A Cat Lover’s Guide to Don’t F**k With Cats

Deanna Thompson in Don’t F**k With Cats. Photo: Netflix

This story contains descriptions of animal abuse and murder in Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.

The Netflix docuseries Don’t F**k With Cats sounds like it’s about the love-hate relationship cats have with humans. But no: It’s about an animal abuser and convicted killer named Luka Rocco Magnotta. Starting in 2010, Magnotta posted three videos online of himself killing kittens, much to the intrigue and disgust of a few keyboard detectives. Don’t F**k With Cats follows their hunt and includes clips of the infamous cat murders right in the first episode. It’s violent and upsetting, but if you’re at the center of a cat-lover–scaredy cat–true-crime-fan Venn diagram, the clips shouldn’t keep you away from watching something so specific to your interests.

So let’s gingerly walk through what you’ll see in Don’t F**k With Cats — or, if you’d prefer, which scenes to outright skip. (The enemy of fear is information, right?) The docuseries primarily focuses on the 2012 murder of Jun Lin, a Chinese student living in Toronto, that Magnotta recorded and posted online. But before Magnotta killed and dismembered Lin, he recorded videos of himself killing kittens. Those videos reached a niche online community on Facebook, where users were immediately outraged. A few of them, including Deanna Thompson (who goes by “Baudi Moovan” online) and “John Green” (no, not that John Green), made it their mission to find the cat killer in the video. Don’t F**k With Cats chronicles how their journey led to Magnotta’s arrest.

Magnotta posted three videos of himself abusing and killing kittens: one in which he suffocates two kittens, one in which he drowns a cat in a bathtub, and a final one in which he feeds a kitten to a snake. All three are excerpted in the first episode of Don’t F**k With Cats, but each clip has enough lead-up to give you time to cover your eyes, hide under a blanket, or do the fingers-in-the-ears, eyes-shut combo.

While the series doesn’t show any explicit animal abuse, the footage is still bone chilling. Toward the beginning of the first episode, from the 6:45 mark to the 7:50 mark, Thompson narrates Magnotta’s first video, titled “1 Boy, 2 Cats,” which shows the moments before he puts two cats in a vacuum-sealed bag and suffocates them. Although the footage fades from the screen while Thompson describes the violence, you can hear the vacuum sucking the air out of the bag.

Toward the end of that episode, from the 53:50 mark to the 54:20 mark, we see an excerpt of Magnotta’s second video, “bathtime lol,” which Thompson calls “one of the worst videos” she has ever seen. Magnotta holds the cat up to the camera and then the documentary switches to Thompson and Green, who explain what happens next: “And then you see the cat being lowered into the water and the person holding the cat underwater until it drowns.”

The third clip comes right afterward, from the 54:44 mark to the 55:50 mark: While Magnotta plays with a kitten on a bed, a python slowly creeps out from under the pillows and attacks the cat. The snake video is heavily blurred, but it’s still a huge snake, so it’s not exactly left to the imagination.

The rest of Don’t F*ck With Cats is focused on the tactics internet sleuths like Thompson and Green used to try to prevent Magnotta from escalating his violence as well as the international manhunt that led to his conviction. The remaining two episodes are free of cat killings, but again, they do focus on the murder of an actual person, so don’t expect an easy binge.

A Cat Lover’s Guide to Don’t F**k With Cats