'Kitten Bowl' coming to Hallmark Channel on Super Bowl Sunday; Animal Planet cries out 'Copy cat'

kitten-bowl-puppy-bowl-animal-planet.jpgHallmark Channel is edging in on the "cute animals on Super Bowl Sunday" market that Animal Planet was once thought to have cornered.

The network announced on Friday (April 5) that it will air a three-hour "Kitten Bowl" special on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2, 2014) to directly compete against Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl," which, it should be noted, includes a "Kitty Halftime Show."

Hallmark is billing "Kitten Bowl" as "the greatest feline showdown in cable television history." The cats, who will be from animal shelters and available for adoption, will compete in an obstacle course including "hurdles of varying heights, A-frame Alpine Scratchers, tunnels, hoop jumps, and weave poles. Lures, like laser pointers, and toys on a string will be used to get the kittens through the course, but food will not [be] allowed." The network notes that "any form of cuteness is the key to the game."

Animal Planet, tail surely a-wagging, issued a response at news of their competition. "You've GOT to be kitten me!" the statement reads. "With the record-breaking success of Animal Planet's 'Puppy Bowl,' our famous Kitty Half-Time Show and the huge viewership for our new live Kitten Cam, we're not surprised by a 'copy cat.' After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We're just happy that pet adoption is being promoted and more animals are finding their fur-ever homes."

"Kitten Bowl" will premiere at noon ET, followed by repeat airings at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. "Puppy Bowl," on the other hand, premieres at 3 p.m. ET and repeats continuously until 3 a.m.
Photo/Video credit: Animal Planet