Great Websites for Cat Lovers: Facts, Photos, and Videos
In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.— Terry Pratchett
The Importance of Cat Websites
Having a cat in the family is very rewarding but is also a big responsibility. Luckily, answers to many of the questions that a pet owner may have can be found on the Internet. In this article I describe some useful, interesting, and often enjoyable websites for cat lovers. Some of the sites contain miscellaneous information about cats. The others list toxic substances or describe first aid procedures, which are both very important topics for pet owners.
It's a good idea to visit multiple sites when investigating a topic and to consider the reliability of information obtained from them. In addition, while a website may have a helpful overview of a disease or a pet problem, a sick cat must see a veterinarian. The vet will offer expert advice as well as provide a diagnosis and treatment that are tailored for the pet's specific situation.
I have three cats in my family. I've included photos of them in this article. I visit the websites that I describe below for fun and for education. Links to the sites are given in the "Resources" section at the end of the article.
ASPCA stands for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Animal Poison Control Center
The ASPCA website has lots of information about preventing and treating poisoning in cats and other pets in a section called the "Animal Poison Control Center". The center provides facts about poisonous plants, foods, and household products for cats, dogs, and horses. The site lists an emergency phone number that someone can call if a pet is poisoned, although there "may be" a fee for this service.
The site contains other useful sections, including a frequently-updated news section and one that discusses pet care. The organization also has a cat and dog adoption center that allows a visitor to enter their zip code to discover adoptable pets in their area. Visitors can sign up for a newsletter from the organization.
The website has an online store that sells gifts, clothing, accessories, and pet care items. Money raised by the store helps to support the ASPCA organization. The shop is located on the Amazon website. Visitors will be taken there if they click on ASPCA's "Shop" link.
I find the ASPCA site interesting. Some people may be irritated by the number of ads asking people to donate money to the organization in one form or another. It's understandable that a non-profit organization needs to raise funds, though.
The AVMA is the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Cat and Dog First Aid
The AVMA website contains a lot of helpful information, including first aid procedures for bleeding, burns, heatstroke, choking, fractures, shock, lack of breathing, and lack of a heartbeat. Although much of the site is designed for veterinarians, it also contains sections for the public. These can be accessed by clicking the "Public Resources" link on the home page.
It's important to visit a pet first aid website and become familiar with its contents before an emergency happens. If a cat (or another pet) has stopped breathing, action has to be taken immediately. There's no time to look for instructions on the Internet! It's also important (at least for me) to visit the site fairly frequently and re-read the instructions in order to remember them. It might be a good idea to print the instructions and post them in an area of your home that gets lots of traffic.
The AVMA website contains a link which enables a visitor to download a free brochure about household hazards for cats, dogs, and birds. This is another good item to post in a home or to keep in a reference binder. The site also contains articles about pet care and has links to podcasts, videos, and other useful resources.
Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet's life until it receives veterinary treatment.— AVMA
How to Brush a Cat's or Dog's Teeth From the AVMA
The Catster Website
I like the ASPCA and AMVA sites because they contain important information written or approved by veterinarians. I also enjoy visiting more generalist websites designed to appeal to cat lovers, however. Catster is one of these sites.
Catster is an informative and entertaining "Everything Cat" site. It has cat news, care tips, breed information, photos, videos, and forums. A companion site called "Dogster" exists for dog lovers. This site is equally entertaining and useful. Both sites have Facebook pages.
Exploring the Catster Site
The home page of Catster includes links to articles located at various places on the website. A visitor could explore the site by choosing one of the articles and then following the links in or under it to go to a new article. They could also click the menus at the top of the page to locate articles about specific topics that interest them. The eight menus are Cat Behavior, Cat Food, Health and Care, Kittens, Lifestyle, Cat Breeds, Videos, and Community.
The various sections of the website are enjoyable to explore. The cat behavior, health and care, kittens, and lifestyle sections are frequently updated with new articles. The latest article in the cat food and cat breed sections are quite old, however, as are the videos. The community section contains forums where people can (and do) share news and ask questions. Visitors to the Catster site can sign up for a newsletter.
Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.— James Herriot
The video below shows Lil Bub's visit to the Catster headquarters. People who don't know about Lil Bub may be alarmed by her appearance and movement, so some explanation is necessary. Lil Bub is a rescue cat who has a variety of genetic mutations. These cause her tongue to hang out, her legs to be short, and her movement style to be unusual. Despite these problems, she seems to be happy and to be enjoying life.
Lil Bub's Visit to Catster HQ
Cat Fancy Magazine and Catster
Cat Fancy was until quite recently a popular print magazine that had been published for forty-nine years. In late 2014, the magazine announced that it was ceasing publication and that it was going to be replaced by a bimonthly print magazine called "Catster". A similar transition has happened to the Dog Fancy print magazine, which has been replaced by the new Dogster magazine. The plan is to publish Catster and Dogster in alternate months.
ThIs strange turn of events was possible because the same company owned both Cat Fancy and the Catster website as well as Dog Fancy and the Dogster website. A major reason for the change is not that there are fewer cat lovers—there seem to be more than ever—but because their interests have changed. In addition to cat information, many people want to see cute and amusing cat photos and funny memes. This amusement aspect was missing from Cat Fancy.
It remains to be seen how many people will buy a lighthearted cat magazine that also contains serious information when they could get this style of entertainment and education online.
The iHeartCats Website
Like Catster, iHeartCats is a website that covers many topics of interest for a cat lover. The heart in the website's logo is used to symbolize love and contains an outline of a cat's head. The site includes information about health, behavior, training, breed facts, and rescue information. Visitors can sign up for a free email newsletter.
In the website's current incarnation, there are four menus at the top of the page: Shop, Read, Community, and Impact. Clicking on any of these menus will display submenus that link to more specific topics.
The iHeartCats site doesn't have a forum, but it does have a Facebook page where people can leave comments. Followers are invited to leave a photo of their cat on the page's timeline.
The website has recently reorganized its home page. Now the visitor is greeted with shopping advertisements and has to either scroll down the page to see cat articles or use the menus. The shopping ads may be annoying for some people. The site says that part of each sale is used to help cats and other animals, however. This may be of interest to certain visitors. I don't know how much "part of each sale" is, though.
Blog Posts From The Conscious Cat
This site is slightly different from the websites described above. The Conscious Cat is a woman's blog about cats. The writer aims to promote "health and happiness for cats and their humans". She used to be a veterinary hospital manager and is now a professional cat writer. She is also a Reiki Master Practitioner.
The website contains interesting posts that cover a range of cat topics, such as cat news, behavior, safety, and book reviews. It's frequently updated with new information. The site includes guest posts and has a Facebook page. It also offers a free newsletter, which requires a subscription.
When I visit the site, I often scroll down to the "Categories" section on the right side of the screen in order to find the topic that I'm interested in. The "Archives" section in this area allows a user to see posts by month.
I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them cats.— Eckhart Tolle
Other Useful Sites
The five websites that I've described are the ones that I visit most often. I find them both educational and interesting. I find the two sites described below useful as well, but I visit them less frequently.
Poisonous Plants: Facts From The Cat Fanciers' Association
I find the Cat Care section the most useful part of this website. If you're interested in cat breeds and breeders and in showing cats you will probably find the whole site very useful.
This website contains a long list of plants that are poisonous for cats, plus articles about other cat dangers, including antifreeze, holiday decorations, and flea products. It's a good reference site to look at before buying a new houseplant or placing a new plant on a balcony or in a garden. It's also a good site to help a cat owner decide on an anti-flea product if one is necessary.
I find that it's useful to look at several websites to get a list of poisonous plants. Some sites omit a plant that others include, or they add a plant that other sites lack. If there's any uncertainty about whether or not a substance is poisonous for cats, I always assume that it is.
The Spruce Cat Site
Until recently, the cat section of the About website provided lots of miscellaneous cat information as well as photos and videos. The woman who wrote most of the articles had a great deal of experience with cats and seemed to be very knowledgeable about them as well as very fond of them.
In February 2017, About transitioned into a group of specialized websites with different names. One of these websites is The Spruce, whose overall theme is homemaking. The website includes smaller and even more specialized sites, including one about cats.
The cat site contains a lot of articles on its home page. The ones that I've explored are either new or are older ones that have been updated recently. I'm glad to see that the main cat writer at the About site is writing for the new site (or at least she was when I last checked). She's won awards for her work. The search box on the cat site explores all of The Spruce, but I've discovered that by using "cat" or "feline" at the start of my entry I can get relevant results.
There are no ordinary cats.— Colette
Exploring Pet Sites
Exploring websites about cats or other pets is often great fun and can be very helpful for pet owners. I like to explore a variety of sites. Even though they often cover the same general topic, such as health, the specific subjects covered in the articles are sometimes different. The best sites to visit are those that are interesting as well as educational.
- The Poison Control Center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- Pet first aid procedures from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- The Catster site
- The iheartcats.com website
- The Conscious Cat blog
- Poisonous plants for cats from the Cat Fanciers' Association website
- Cat information at thespruce.com
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2012 Linda Crampton