CWA Announces Certificate of Excellence Winners

CWA Announces Certificate of Excellence Winners

The scores have been tallied, and it’s time to announce the CWA Communications Contest’s Certificate of Excellence winners for the calendar year 2017.

Judges — volunteers from CWA’s professional members — looked over the entries in each category and scored them according to strict criteria. Each category had three judges, and the entries that averaged 90 or above out of a possible 100 earned a Certificate of Excellence.

All Certificate of Excellence winning entries are now finalists for the MUSE Medallion in their category. MUSE Medallions (plus Special Awards) will be presented to the winners at the CWA Annual Awards Banquet, to be held on Saturday, June 9, 2018, in conjunction with the CWA Conference in Houston, TX. You won’t want to miss the conference and banquet: click here to find out details and register.

Congratulations to the following Certificate of Excellence Winners:

I.1 Monthly Magazine: National
Keiger, Teresa — Cat Talk magazine
• October 2017 issue
• December 2017 issue
• June 2017 issue

I.2 Magazine Article: Health & General Care
Thornton, Kim — New Advice on Sterilizing Kittens: Earlier is Better

I.3 Magazine Article: Behavior & Training
No entries

I.4 Magazine Article: Rescue/Advocacy
Jackson, Candine Lee — Hawaii’s Cat Sanctuary

I.5 Magazine Article: Any Other Topic
Drury, Lucy — Cat Genetics 101 – Part 1: The Basics
Drury, Lucy — Cat Genetics 101 – Part 2: Feline Genetic Testing
Jackson, Candine Lee — How’d They Do That? The Story Behind the “Cat Herders” Commercial
Mlynar, Phillip — Steppin’ Out with Adventure Cats
Mlynar, Phillip — Cat Lady Revolution
Reeder, Jen — Holy Guacamole

I.6 Magazine Column
Kelley, JaneA — Life with Cattitude: Keep it Clean

II.1 Newspaper Article: Health & General Care
No entries

II.2 Newspaper Article: Behavior & Training
No entries

II.3 Newspaper Article: Rescue/Advocacy
Reeder, Jen — Oldies but Goodies

II.4 Newspaper Article: Any Other Topic
No entries

II.5 Newspaper Column
Camp, Deborah —
The Best of the Pet World
Some Animals Rely on Strangers for Survival
Pets are Part of Our Family — vets are too
Lost Kitty Found through Social Media

III.1 Newsletter: Breed Specific
No entries

III.2 Newsletter: National Circulation
Eldredge, Deb M. DVM (with Cindy Foley DVM) — Cornell University CatWatch
Foley, Cindy DVM (with Deb M. Eldredge DVM) — Cornell University CatWatch
Holton, Louise — Alley Cat Rescue Winter 2017 Annual Report
Holton, Louise — Alley Cat Rescue Spring 2017 Newsletter
Holton, Louise — Alley Cat Rescue Fall 2017 Newsletter

III.3 Newsletter: Regional or Membership Circulation
No entries

III.4 Newsletter Article: Health & General Care
Eldredge, Deb M., DVM — Take Charge of your Cat’s Dental Health
Eldredge, Deb M., DVM — Senior Cats Need your Attention
Eldredge, Deb M., DVM — alitosis in Cats
Marek, Ramona — The Trigger for FISS Remains a Mystery
Marek, Ramona — Caring for the At-Home Cancer Patient
Thornton, Kim — Ticks become a Full-Time Menace
Thornton, Kim — Research looks at Skin Microbiome of Cats

III.5 Newsletter Article: Behavior & Training
Eldredge, Kate — Teach your Cat to Like her Carrier

III.6 Newsletter Article: Rescue/Advocacy
Carl, Matt — ACR Sends Team to Help Pets Affected by Hurricane Harvey

III.7 Newsletter Article: Any Other Topic
Eldredge, Kate — Traveling with your Cat
Marek, Ramona — Make Sure your Cat’s Microchip Works!

III.8 Newsletter Column
Garson, Lyn T. — Technically Speaking:
Can Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia Live Happy, Healthy Lives?
Timothy’s View
Keep your Pets, Get Rid of your Allergies

IV.1 Short Story
Barnes, Deborah — Jazmine’s Story… By Mr. Jazz
DeLouise, Debbie — The Path to Rainbow Bridge
Holm, Catherine — The Ragdoll’s Dance
Hunt, Mollie — The Dream Spinner
Kelley, JaneA — Belladonna: Sweet Sugar Kitty
Lapierre, Melissa — My Visit to the Rainbow Bridge: A Short Story
Richman, Lisa — Allie: My Fair Kitten
Willett, Susan — Jewish Cat’s Purr-spective on Hanukkah and Christmas

IV.2 Poem
Hunt, Mollie — Tyler
Willett, Susan — Haiku by Cat: Liquids
Willett, Susan — Haiku by Cat: Evil
Willett, Susan — Haiku by Cat: Broccoli

IV.3 Humor
No Certificate winners

IV.4 Brochure, Pamphlet, or Short Publication
No entries

IV.5 Annual or Long Publication
Gregg, Paula — 2018 Blogging Cats Weekly Planner
Kazmarski, Bernadette — Rescue, Foster, Rehome, Repeat 2018: Pittsburgh C.A.T. Calendar

IV.6 Opinion Piece, Essay, or Editorial
No Certificate winners

IV.7 PR / Humane Education / Press Kits
Grant, Brianna — Alley Cat Rescue calls on Australian municipality to reverse community cat bounty

V.1 Books: Fiction
Faber, Elaine — All Things Cat
Hunt, Mollie — Cat Call
McConchie, Lyn — Bastet’s Daughters
Murphy, Shirley Rousseau — Cat Shining Bright
Simon, Clea — As Dark as My Fur
Ward, Sandi — The Astonishing Thing
Watkins, Eileen — The Persian Always Meows Twice

V.2 Books: For Children
Redinger, Austin — Caring for your Kitty

V.3 Books: Health & General Care
No entries

V.4 Books: Behavior & Training
No entries

V.5 Books: Gift
Wilde, Layla Morgan — Black Cats Tell All: True Tales and Inspiring Images

V.6 Books: Poetry
Pittman, Vicky — Cat Haiku: Sweet Verses

V.7 Books: Other
Fleck, Denise — The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness
Garza, Janiss — Rescued Volume 2: The Healing Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes
Lerner, Sandy — Caticons: 4000 Years of Art Imitating Cats
Telson, Jeffyne — Cat Tails: Heartwarming Stories about the Cats and Kittens of ResQCats

VI.1 Video, DVD or TV Production
Carl, Matt — How to Trap, Neuter, Return Feral/Community Cats

VI.2 Broadcast, Audio — Any Format
No entries

VII.1 Online Magazine or Newsletter
No entries

VII.2 Online Article: Health & General Care
Bahner, Sally — Taming the Longhair’s Locks
Kelley, JaneA — Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?
Lapierre, Melissa — Mudpie’s Vaccination Scare… And What We’ll Do Differently Next Time
Marek, Ramona — Proper Feline Diet Is Not Vegan
Thornton, Kim — Skin Deep
Thornton, Kim — Kitten Fix
Thornton, Kim — Claw and Order
Willett, Susan — Almost as Good as a Spa Day: Taking Your Cat to the Vet Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
Willett, Susan — 8 Ways (And a Whole Bunch of Tips) To Make Your Cat Happy, and Keep Your Cat Healthy

VII.3 Online Article: Behavior & Training
Bahner, Sally — Clawful Behavior
Barnes, Deborah — With Cats and the Holidays, It’s Not About Who’s Naughty or Nice, It”s About Cat Behavior
Barnes, Deborah — Is your Cat Feeling Stir Crazy? 10 Tips to Relieve Boredom in an Everyday Environment
Barnes, Deborah — Cat that Doesn’t Like to be Hugged? He or She Might Be More Affectionate Than You Think
Garza, Janiss — Leash Training for a Happier, More Confident Cat
Garza, Janiss — How to Introduce Yourself to a Cat: 5 Cat-Centric Tips
Marek, Ramona — Get the Scoop on Litter Box Behavior
Marek, Ramona — Fraidy Cat? How to Recognize Signs of Fear, Anxiety and Stress
Munera, Jacqueline — Cat Training: “But it’s So Difficult!”
Nakchbendi, Yasaar — Why Food Puzzles are Vital to Cat Health
Thornton, Kim — Kitty Come Home

VII.4 Online Article: Rescue/Advocacy
Garza, Janiss — Change a Pet’s Life Today: The Art of Fostering Kittens
Kazmarski, Bernadette — TNR With a Side of Adoption and Outreach
Kazmarski, Bernadette — The Kitten Game
White, Dawn — A Haven for Cats on Long Island: The Patricia H.
Ladew Foundation

VII.5 Online Article: Any Other Topic
Ahrens, Tracy — How to Sing to your Cats
Bahner, Sally — A Kitty for Christmas? Preparation is Key
Barnes, Deborah — How I Overcame my Fear of the Veterinarian for National Take your Cat to the Vet Day
Barnes, Deborah — 10 Tips to Help Children with the Death of a Pet Cat
Dawson, Marjorie — The Cat DNA Test from Basepaws: A Journey of Discovery for Cat Health
Garza, Janiss — Therapy Cat Rules
Garza, Janiss — How to Travel with your Cat on an Airplane
Grant, Brianna — Anne Arundel County Residents: Ask your Council Members to Support Bill 96-17
Lapierre, Melissa — A Decade of Tortitude: The Magic & Mystique of my Heart Cats
Lapierre, Melissa — 5 Ways Catios Make Cats Happy & Healthy
Simon, Clea — Musetta in the Bardo
Stultz, Beth — 5 Tips for Purr-fect Cat-Sitting Visits
Thornton, Kim — Purr Therapy
Willett, Susan — What Happens to the Cat on Stranger Things? A spoiler for animal lovers

VII.6 Online Column
Lapierre, Melissa — The Purrfect 10
• The Purrfect 10: Things to Know about Microchipping your Cat
• The Purrfect 10: Ways to Keep your Cat Properly Hydrated
• he Purrfect 10: Fascinating Facts about the Devon Rex
Mlynar, Phillip — Social Cat of the Week
• Munster the Werewolf Cat Stalks, Leaps… and Naps
• Fredrick, Lilly and Franklin Are Painting Instagram Orange
• Instagram Fame Might Be Only a First Step for Two-Tone Yana
Mlynar, Phillip — Monday Miracle
• Pooh the Cat Lost His Back Legs — Then Got New Ones
• Meatwad, Missing 2 Legs and 1 Ear, Is a “Blur of White Fluff”
• Bullet the Cat Got His Name From What Almost Killed Him

VIII.1 Blog: Health & General Care
Fry, Patricia — Catscapades blog: Keeping your Cat Healthy
• Newsday Tuesday: Protect your Cat’s Health the Smart Way
• Newsday Tuesday: Cat Claws Laws and Care
• Thoughts for Thursday: Don’t Feed That to your Cat!

VIII.2 Blog: Behavior & Training
Hunt, Mollie — Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries and More blog
• How to Play with Cats
• 10 Ways to “Cat” in 2017
• Friday Feline Facts & Fancies, Sleight of Hand
Nakchbendi, Yasaar — Chirpy Cats blog: The Pathway to your Cat’s Heart Is Through His World
• 5 Essential Must-Haves for a Happy Chirpy Cat
• 7 Tips to turn your Bully Cat into a Team Player
• The Litter Box Rule that Cat Owners should Not Ignore

VIII.3 Blog: Rescue/Advocacy
Hunt, Mollie — Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries and More
• Adopting a Senior Cat
• Black Cat Appreciation Day
• Remember Me Thursday

VIII.4 Blog: Entertainment
Aurit, Anita — Feline Opines blog: The World From a Feline Point Of View
• Oliver and Alberto Get Fearless
• A Feline’s Guide to Treadmill Snoopervising your Human
• The Three Feline Rules Regarding Furniture
Nakchbendi, Yasaar — Chirpy Cats blog: Scratching Posts Secrets Revealed
• The Silent Treatment
• Cats Scratch Their Sticky Note Texts
• The Watercooler of the Cat World

VIII.5 Blog: Any Other Topic
Fry, Patricia — Catscapades blog: Series on Travel with Cats
• Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday: How to take your cat Anywhere
• Newsday Tuesday: The Cat’s Passport
• Mindful Monday: Cats Riding in Cars
Kelley, JaneA — Paws and Effect
• How can I Keep my Senior Cat Healthy?
• How to deal with Inappropriate Urination
• What Color was the Father of our Kittens?

VIII.6 Website
Fitzsimons, Helen — Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease

IX.1 Black & White Photograph (Single)
No Certificate winners

IX.2 Black & White Photography (Series)
Carl, Matt — Babies Bath Time

IX.3 Color Photograph (Single)
Carl, Matt — Diva Cat
Garza, Janiss — Summer Fun
Garza, Janiss — Making Friends
Richman, Lisa  — Groundhog “Job Shadow” Day
Willett, Susan — Elsa Clair rules the stairs
Willett, Susan — Calvin is shocked

IX.4 Color Photograph (Series)
No Certificate winners

IX.5 Photographic Art
Richman, Lisa — Maxwell’s Musings

IX.6 Cartoon
Piro, Stephanie — Me-Out
Piro, Stephanie — Attack
Piro, Stephanie — Align
Runcie-Unger, Marc-André (storyboards, blog, with Elisabetta Palmieri, drawing) — Three cartoon posts from Katzenworld blog
• Adventures of Oliver & Nubia: The Struggles of Nubia
• Adventures of Oliver & Nubia: Oliver and the @Amazonecho, what will he do?
• Merry Christmas
Palmierei, Elsabetta (drawing, with Marc-Andre Runcie-Unger) — Three cartoon posts from Katzenworld blog
• Adventures of Oliver & Nubia: The Struggles of Nubia
• Adventures of Oliver & Nubia: Oliver and the @Amazonecho, what will he do?
• Merry Christmas

IX.7 Illustration (Single)
Nakchbendi, Yasaar — 5 Ways to a Happy, Enriched Cat
• Happy Cat Month graphic
• Happy Cat Month pin

IX.8 Illustration (Series)
Franco, Widad — Widycat Cat Calendar
Kazmarski, Bernadette — Book cover illustration and design: Klepto Cat Mystery Series 21-26
• Merriment, Mayhem and Meows
• A Christmas to Purr About
• Cattywampus Travels
• Cats in the Belfry
• CATalyst for Clues
• The Perilous PURRsuit
Nakchbendi, Yasaar — Caturday Doodles: Scratching Post Secrets Revealed
• Lexi Leaves a Message for Lola
• Lola
• Ollie
• Why your Cat Scratches and What it Means
• Doodle — Pixie
• Doodle — Pixie and Zorro: How Cats Send Text Messages
• Caturday Doodle: Zorro
Nichols, Karen — Cat Scouts 2018 Calendar
Redinger, Austin — Caring for your Kitty

Germinder Named Cat Writers’ Association Agency of Record With Goodnewsforpets/GNFP Digital Platform

Germinder and Associates
Lea-Ann Germinder
(212) 367-2170 or (917) 334-8682

Caitlyn O’Hare

(New York – November 8, 2017) – Germinder & Associates is pleased to announce the agency has once again been named official agency of record for the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA). The agency’s Goodnewsforpets and GNFP Digital Platform services will also be utilized for distribution of content. An immediate assignment will be to promote the CWA contest, banquet and conference sessions in Houston June 7-9, 2018.

“CWA is thrilled to be renewing our collaboration with Germinder and Goodnewsforpets/GNFP Digital. The agency and its Founder, Lea-Ann Germinder, are both well known and well respected for their public relations and social media expertise. I for one can’t wait to get started,” said Marci Kladnik, CWA President.

CWA will leverage Germinder’s expertise in public relations and social media in both the pet and vet sectors to promote and publicize the Cat Writer’s Association premier event in Houston. A secondary goal is to continue to elevate the CWA brand to the cat loving community, reminding the public of the journalistic integrity and expertise of its members.

“We welcome the opportunity to promote CWA. It’s a group we know well and respect its members,” said Lea-Ann Germinder, APR PRSA, President & Founder, Germinder & Associates. Germinder is also publisher of & Founder of GNFP Digital.

Germinder has been a member of CWA since 2000 and in addition to providing visibility for CWA and its members on the Goodnewsforpets site, has previously served as Publicity Chair and presented media relations training sessions with mock interviews at several CWA conferences. She is also scheduled to speak at the Houston conference.

About Germinder & Associates, Inc.
Germinder & Associates’ award-winning full-service agency provides strategic counsel, digital publishing content and campaigns for niche markets including vet and pet industries and organizations. Iconic initiatives the agency has helped create include Pets Need Dental Care, Too!, The Catalyst Council, KNOW Heartworms and the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor. The woman-owned agency is a member of the PR Council. Agency founder Lea-Ann Germinder has won numerous awards including the Kansas City Business Journal Kauffman Foundation Women Who Mean Business Award. She is a member of the national Women Presidents’ Organization and many other leading women’s groups. The agency will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018.

About Goodnewsforpets & GNFP Digital has been published since 2000. curates news of interest and importance to informed pet parents inclusive of the veterinary profession and pet industry. The site and related social media channels share the good news that pets, and the people and organizations who care about them and for them, bring to all our lives. GNFP Digital combines the power of Germinder & Associates and Goodnewsforpets to provide digital services. For more information contact Lea-Ann Germinder at

About The Cat Writers’ Association
The Cat Writers Association, Inc. (CWA) is an international journalism organization founded in 1992 to promote the interests of cats; to provide a medium for exchange of ideas, methods and professional courtesies; and to promote a high standard of ethics in the collection, creation, and dissemination of cat information. CWA is a dynamic professional group of passionate cat advocates composed of writers, bloggers, photographers, artists, and broadcasters. The Association promotes mentorship for new writers, provides writing/publishing educational opportunities, and seeks to improve the quality of cat information by recognizing and rewarding outstanding published work in its annual contest. See for further information.

CWA to Join BlogPaws in Myrtle Beach

We had such a great time together in Phoenix last June, that CWA is teaming up again with BlogPaws for our annual conferences! Mark your calendars for May 18-20, 2017 and make plans to meet us in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Learn: Many panels and sessions presented by experts will share their knowledge with attendees.

Sell Your Work: Sign up for appointments with editors and agents.

Network: Meet fellow bloggers, attract new members, schmooze with dozens of vendors.

Get Stuff: Win awesome prizes in the Cat Lounge, and bring home great SWAG for your fur babies, don’t forget them!

Bring Your Cat: All pets are welcome.


The image posted on-screen in Phoenix at the end of the BlogPaws banquet

As they did last year, BlogPaws will be handling the registration. Register now at the Early Bird price and get twice the value, two conferences in one! (We are still working out a special CWA member discount, and when that comes through anyone who has already registered will get a refund for the difference.)

Stay tuned for more exciting 23rd Annual CWA Conference and Awards Banquet news to come.

Cat Writers’ Association Announces Winners in its International Communications Contest

The 2016 CWA Awards Banquet Program is available as a PDF that can be downloaded at your convenience.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (all images Copr. Jerry Thornton, used with permission, unless otherwise noted)

CHANDLER, AZ: The 22nd annual Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contest drew more than 290 entries from all over the globe, with Catherine Holm taking home the “best of the best” CWA President’s Award for her short story entitled Sideways.

More than $11,000 in prize money and more than three dozen Muse medallion awards were presented in writing, photography and graphic arts categories at the special awards ceremony held at the joint CWA/BlogPaws conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Chandler, AZ on Friday.

Contests Chair Arden Moore provided an entertaining presentation event.

“Each year, we set new records for entry submissions and each year, the quality of submission improves,” said Arden Moore, founder of Four Legged, who served at this year’s CWA contest chair. “Some of the most competitive categories were for blog posts – a clear sign of the impact and influence online articles are having on the pet community.”

Among the highlights from the awards ceremony:

  • JaneA Kelley scored the only perfect score among all 290 entrants for her article entitled, “Recessionista.” She scored 100 from each of the three judges.
  • Leslea Newman won both the Books for Children category and the Litter-ary Award sponsored by World’s Best Cat Litter for her book Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.
  • The most competitive category – online article focusing on health and general care produced a tie. Sharing this category and each winning a coveted CWA Muse medallion were Dusty Rainbolt for her article, “Researchers Study Kitten Mortality” and Kim Campbell Thornton for her article, “Catch It Early.”
  • Kim Campbell Thornton was also recoginzed for her lifelong impact in the pet industry and was named the recipient of the Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award. Fran Pennock Shaw nominated Thornton and noted, “Kim is a professional in every sense of the word – an award-winning editor, author and journalist, an advocate for the betterment of cats and all animals, and a leader within the Cat Writers’ Association.”


CWA 2015 Communication Contest

Muse Medallion Winners

Teresa Keiger (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Magazine National Circulation

Teresa Keiger – Cat Talk

 Magazine Article/Health & General Care

Fran Pennock Shaw – An Aggressive Foe

Magazine Article/Behavior & Training

Sophia Yin, DVM – Young Cats, New Tricks

Magazine Article/Rescue & Advocacy

Bethany Wynn – Three Mascoteers

Magazine Article – Any Other Topic

Catherine Hess – The Cat’s Meow

JaneA Kelly (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Magazine Column

JaneA Kelley – Recessionista

Jen Reeder (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Newspaper Article/Rescue&Advocacy

Jen Reeder – Cat Crusader

Newspaper Column

Ewing, Susan M. – The Pet Pen

Louise Holton (L) receives Muse from contest chair Arden Moore.

Newsletter/Regional Or Membership

Louise Holton – Alley Cat Mews

Newsletter/Health & General Care

Sally Deneen – Can Treats Make Them Pack on Pounds?

Newsletter Article/Any Other Topic

Ramona Marek – Estate Planning and Your Pets

Newsletter Column

Lyn Garson – Technically Speaking

Catherine Holm (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Short Story

Catherine Holm – Sideways

Linda Mohr (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.


Linda Mohr – Morning Visitor


Allia Zobel Nolan – Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much

Contest Chair Arden Moore (L) presents Muse to Jen Reeder.

Opinion Piece

Jen Reeder – Let’s Discuss Pets During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Humane Education Press Kits

Bernadette Kazmarski – Homeless Cat Management

Books – Fiction

Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat In A Yellow Spotlight

Books for Children

Lesléa Newman – Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed

Kim Thornton (L) presents Muse to Amy Shojai

Books Health & General Care

Amy Shojai – Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia

Books – Other

Dahlynn and Ken McKowen and Margie Yee Webb – Not Your Mother’s Book on Cats

JaneA Kelly (L) presents Muse to Lisa Richman.

Video, CD, DVD or TV Production

Lisa Richman – Our Wish

(L-R) JaneA Kelly, Kim Thornton, Dusty Rainbolt, Arden Moore.

Online Article/Health & General Care (tie)

Dusty Rainbolt – Researchers Study Kitten Mortality

Kim Campbell Thornton – Catch It Early

JaneA Kelly (L) presents Muse to Janiss Garza.

Online Article/Behavior & Training

Janiss Garza – 5 Myths About Cat Walking

CWA President Marci Kladnik (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Online Article/ Rescue & Advocacy

Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit

Online Article/Any Other Topic

Camille Dodero – Corporate Cats Still Suck

Online Column

Phillip Mlynar – Monday Miracle Column

Lisa Richman (L) receives Muse from Dusty Rainbolt.

Blog Entertainment

Lisa Richman — A Tonk’s Tail

Blog/ Any Other Topic

Melissa Lapierre – Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows

Jerry Thornton (L) receives Muse from Kim Thornton.

Color Photograph Single

Jerry Thornton – Jaguar – Wild Cats of the Americas

President Marci Kladnik receives Muse from Kim Thornton.

Color Photographs Series

Marci Kladnik – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit

Kim Thornton (L) presents Muse to Christine Booras.

Photographic Art

Christine Booras – Me, My Ferals And I


Stephanie Piro – Dream

Illustration Single

Bernadette Kazmarski – Snowy Morning

Illustrations Series

Ewa O’Neill – I Want A Cat: My Opinion Essay



AAFP Cat Friendly Award – Sponsored by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “One More Reason to Book Your Cat’s Next Vet Checkup Today.”

Deb Barnes (L) is presented with the Adopt A Shelter Award from Dusty Rainbolt

Adopt a Homeless Cat Award – Sponsored by AdoptAShelter.Com. Winner: Deb Barnes for “Oct. 16 – National Feral Cat Day: Any Cat Can Be Feral…Even Yours.”

Amy Shojai (L) is presented with the Dr. Jim Richards Cornell Feline Health Center award by Contest Chair Arden Moore.

The Dr. Jim Richards Cornell Feline Health Center Veterinary Issues Award – Sponsored by Cornell University’s Feline Health Center. Winner: Amy Shojai for “Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia.”

Lea-Ann Germinder presents the Human Animal Bond Award from

Human-Animal Bond Award – Sponsored by GoodNewsForPets.Com. Winner: Ramona Marek for “The Strength of the Human-Animal Bond.”

JaneA Kelly accepts one of three gorgeous Hartz awards on behalf of the winner.

Hartz Every Day Chewable Vitamin Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Deborah Camp for “Cats Are Subject to Mental Changes.”

Hartz Glamour-Puss Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Debbie DeLouise for “Brush Your Cat for Bonding, Beauty and Better Health.”

Hartz Milk Replacement for Kittens Award – Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation. Winner: Valerie Sicignano for “The Cats On My Block.”

JaneA Kelly (L) presents the Kari Winters Rescue and Rehabilitation Award from TICA to the CWA President Marci Kladnik

The Kari Winters Rescue and Rehabilitation Award – Sponsored by The International Cat Association (TICA). Winner: Marci Kladnik for “A Blind Kitten Finds a Friend and Eventually, a Home.”

The Litter-Lifter Litter Box Awareness Award – Sponsored by Preferred Merchandizing. Winner: Phillip Mlynar for “Why Do Cats Act Weird When It Comes to Litter Boxes?”

The Litter-Lifter Newcomer Responsibility Award – Sponsored by Preferred Merchanizing. Winner: Leslie Goodwin for “Cat Skills: Loving Care for Cats.”

Michelle Mullins (L) presents the PetSafe Lori Huston Health Award to Andrea Dorn. Accepting on Andrea’s behalf is Deb Barnes (R).

The Lorie Huston Health Award – Sponsored by PetSafe. Winner: Andrea Dorn for “Don’t Let Plants Be Pet Killers.”

Contest Chair Arden Moore accepts the Sleepypod Traveler Award for Nancy Peterson.

The Sleepypod Traveler Award – Sponsored by Sleepypod. Winner: Nancy Peterson for “8 Tips to Make Sure Your Cat Is Prepared for a House Fire.”

Nancy Schmid (L) presents the Smart Cat award to Janiss Garza.

The SmartCat All Natural Litter Training Award – Sponsored by Pioneer Pets. Winner: Janiss Garza for “5 Myths About Cat Walking.”

The World’s Best Cat Litter-ary Award – Sponsored by World’s Best Cat Litter. Winner:  Lesléa Newman for “Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.”

The Kuykendall Image Award – Sponsored by CWA.    Winner:Amy June Bates, Illustrator, for “Ketzel: The Cat Who Composed.”

Amy Shojai (L) presents the Shojai Mentor Award to Carole Nelson Douglas (not pictured). The winner was nominated by Dusty Rainbolt (C) and accepted by President Marci Kladnik (R)

The Shojai Mentor Award – Sponsored by Amy Shojai, co-founder of CWA. Winner: Carole Nelson Douglas.

President Marci Kladnik (L) and Teresa Keiger from CFA (R) present the Michael Brim Award to Kim Thornton (C).
The Michael Brim Distinguished Service Award – Sponsored by CWA. Winner: Kim Campbell ThorntonCatHolm-MarciKladnikCat Holm (L) receives the President’s Award from Marci Kladnik.

The CWA President’s Award – Sponsored by CWA and chosen by CWA president Marci Kladnik. Winner: Catherine Holm for the short story “Sideways.”



Thanks by Stephanie Piro
Original artwork from CWA member Stephanie Piro
Angel CWA Thanks
Angel-CWA pendant design by CWA member Wendy Christensen (Image courtesy of Amy Shojai)
Amy Shojai (L) surprised with retirement honors by CWA President Marci Kladnik.
Amy Shojai retirement bracelet
Retirement gift from CWA Council, designed by CWA Secretary and artist Wendy Christensen. (Image courtesy of Amy Shojai)
Amy Shojai retirement bracelet
This custom commemorative sterling charm bracelet includes Amy’s recent book covers, charms with her pets’ names, typewriter, cello, paws, Muse Medallion, CWA logo and more! (Image courtesy of Amy Shojai)


MuseThis is a message from your CWA Contest Chair, Arden Moore.

And the certificate goes to….possibly you! We have just tabulated the judging scores for the entries for the 2015 Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contest. This annual contest drew nearly 300 entries in 37 categories – and yes, one person did earn a perfect score.

If you haven’t done so, please book your reservations now to attend the annual CWA conference June 23-25 at the Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler, AZ (near Phoenix). We’re teaming up with the 2016 BlogPaws Conference – double the opportunity to network and bolster your journalistic skills.

And, remember, the top score in each category will win the coveted Muse medallion. MUSE medallions and other CWA awards will be presented at the 22nd annual CWA Awards Banquet, to be held on Friday, June 24, 2016, during the conference.

We give “paws and applause” to all of you CWA professional members who graciously stepped up to serve as judges for this year’s contest.

We are pleased to announce that the following entrants scored 90 or higher (based on averaging from three judges in each category) to become finalists and earn Certificates of Excellence:

CWA 2015 Communication Contest
Certificate of Excellence Winners

1.1 Magazine National Circulation (no entries)

1.2 Magazine Article/Health & General Care
Bahner, Sally E. – Grooming Longhaired Cats
Barnes, Deborah – New Kitty on the Block
Dorn, Andrea – Don’t Let Plants Be Killers
Griffin, Brenda – What’s That Bug in Your Ear, Kitty?
Marek, Ramona – Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats
Sharp, Michael – What Goes Down
Shaw, Fran Pennock – An Aggressive Foe
Shaw, Fran Pennock – Little Kitty, Big Appetite

I.3 Magazine Article/Behavior & Training
Yin, DVM, Sophia – Young Cats, New Tricks

I.4 Magazine Article/Rescue & Advocacy
Antoniades, Kate – She Longed to Be Part of Their World
Fry, Patricia – Chose Your Cat’s Godparents
Funkhouser, Maggie – From Loved Companions to Vilified Killers
Hettinger, James – Change for the Better In Chico
Hettinger, James – The Road to Happy Returns
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Spectacular Seniors
Lange, Karen E. – Fostering Hope
Peterson, Nancy – The Purrpose of Life
Wynn, Bethany – Three Mascoteers

I.5 Magazine Article – Any Other Topic
Bangs, BJ – Visit 50 Places for Your Cat Fix
Hess, Catherine – The Cat’s Meow
Kennedy, Bianca Lundien – A Bond Beyond Illness
Shaw, Fran Pennock – The Meaning of Meow
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Wild Cats of the Americas

I.6 Magazine Column
Kelley, JaneA – Recessionista
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Who’s That Cat?

II.1 Newspaper Article – Health & General Care (no entries)

II.2 Newspaper Article – Behavior & Training (no entries)

II.3 Newspaper Article/Rescue&Advocacy
Reeder, Jen – Cat Crusader

II.4 Newspaper Article – Any Other Topic (no entries)

II.5 Newspaper Column
Ewing, Susan M. – The Pet Pen

III.1 Newsletter/Breed Specific (no winners)

III.2 Newsletter/National Circulation (no entries)

III.3 Newsletter/Regional Or Membership
Holton, Louise – Alley Cat Mews

III.4 Newsletter/Health & General Care
Deneen, Sally – Can Treats Make Them Pack on Pounds?
Shaw, Fran Pennock – Special Renal Diets Can Lengthen Lives
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Living Fully to the Last Moment

III.5 Newsletter Article/Behavior & Training (no entries)

III.6 Newsletter Article/Rescue/Advocacy (no winners)

III.7 Newsletter Article/Any Other Topic
Funkhouser, Maggie – Cats and Coyotes Living in Harmony
Marek, Ramona D. – Estate Planning and Your Pets

III.8 Newsletter Column
Garson, Lyn T. – Technically Speaking

IV.1 Short Story
Holm, Catherine – Sideways

IV.2 Poem
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Upon Seeing Himself in a Mirror
Mohr, Linda A. – Morning Visitor
Willett, Susan C. – Haiku By Cat: Drifting
Willett, Susan C. – Haiku By Cat: River
Willett, Susan C. – Haiku By Cat: Counterintuitive

IV.3 Humor
Nolan, Allia Zobel – Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much

IV.4 Brochure, Pamphlet or Short Publication (no entries)

IV.5 Annual or Long Publication (no winners)

IV.6 Opinion Piece
Rainbolt, Dusty – January Is Celebration of Life Month
Reeder, Jen – Let’s Discuss Pets During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

IV.7 PR/Humane Education Press Kits
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Homeless Cat Management

V.1 Books Fiction
Boneham, Sheila Webster – Catwalk
Douglas, Carole Nelson – Cat In A Yellow Spotlight
Powell, Lisa Annette – Catskill: First of Catskill Trilogy
Shojai, Amy – Show and Tell

V.2 Books for Children
Newman, Lesléa – Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed

V.3 Books Health & General Care
Holton, Louise – Alley Cat Rescue’s Guide to Managing Community Cats
Robins, Sandy – The Original Cat Bible
Shojai, Amy – Cat Facts: The A-to-Z Pet Parent’s Home Care Encyclopedia

V.4 Books: Behavior & Training (no winners)

V.5 Books: Gift (no entries)

V.6 Books: Poetry (no entries)

V.7 Books – Other
Barnes, Deborah – Purr Prints of the Heart
Booras, Christine M. – Me, My Ferals And I
Garza, Janiss – Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats Through Their Eyes
Hodges, Pamela – Color the Cats
McKowen, Dahlynn – Not Your Mother’s Book on Cats
McKowen, Ken – Not Your Mother’s Book on Cats
Reichenbach, Rick – How to Take Beautiful Pictures of Your Cat
Webb, Margie Yee – Not Your Mother’s Book on Cats

VI.1 Video, CD, DVD or TV Production
Richman, Lisa – Our Wish

VI.2 Broadcast, Audio – Any Format (no entries)

VII.1 Online Magazine or Newsletter (no entries)

VII.2 Online Article/Health & General Care
Eldredge, DVM, Deb M. – Eye Problems in Kittens
Eldredge, DVM, Deb M. – Bad Breath Solutions for Pets
Eldredge, DVM, Deb M. – Common Eye Problems of Old Cats
Eldredge, DVM, Deb M. – What to Expect With Kitten Teething
Eldredge, DVM, Deb M. – What to Expect When A Young Cat Is In Heat
Kladnik, Marci – How I Lost JD – My Heart Kitten
Kladnik, Marci – How to Help Cats with Skin Cancer
Palika, Liz – Helping Your Cat Through a Feline Upper Respiratory Infection
Peterson, Nancy – One More Reason to Book Your Cat’s Next Vet Checkup Today
Rainbolt, Dusty – Researchers Study Kitten Mortality
Reeder, Jen – Missing
Richman, Lisa – The Weird Science of Cats’ Ears
Richman, Lisa – Blindness in Cats Comes From An Unexpected Source
Richman, Lisa – 5 Facts You Need to Know About Injection Site Sarcoma
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Happy Kitten Vet Visit
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Feline Diabetes
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Catch It Early

VII.3 Online Article/Behavior & Training
Ahrens, Tracy – Does Your Cat Ever Hide His Toys Around the House?
Garza, Janiss – 5 Myths About Cat Walking
Mlynar, Phillip – My Cat Fought My Plants – And My Cat Won
Shenold, Carol – Does Your Cat Have Any Behaviors That Drive You Crazy?
Shojai, Amy – 9 Litter Box Problems and How to Fix Them
Shojai, Amy – Can Cats Use Dog Doors?
Shojai, Amy – How to Manage Food Aggression in Cats
Shojai, Amy – How to Train Your Cat to Use an Automatic Litter Box

VII.4 Online Article/ Rescue & Advocacy
Bahner, Sally E. – Community Kitty Casualty of Harsh Winter Conditions
Barnes, Deborah – Any Cat Can Be Feral…Even Yours
Becker, Dr. Marty – Adoption Action
Becker, Mikkel – Adoption Action
Garza, Janiss – PJ Was Abandoned Because He Was Too Fat for His Litter Box
Kelley, JaneA – My Cat’s Christmas Wish Came True
Kladnik, Marci – Blind Kitten Finds a Friend and Home
Kladnik, Marci – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit
Kladnik, Marci – How to Properly Feed a Colony of Feral Cats
Mlynar, Phillip – Opie and His Feral Colony Were Saved in a Daring Rescue
Mlynar, Phillip – How to Get a Chill Cat
Palika, Liz – 8 Ways To Held Adjust a Newly Adopted Cat
Peterson, Nancy – It’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month
Peterson, Nancy – Helping Feral Cats Is Up to You
Reeder, Jen – Undercats Get a Second Chance from Milo’s Sanctuary
Thornton, Kim Campbell – Adoption Action
Willingham, Kezia – Meet Grace June

VII.5 Online Article/Any Other Topic
Ahrens, Tracy – Does Your Cat Go Through Life on His Back? Mine Does
Bahner, Sally E. – From Russia With Love
Barnes, Deborah – My Cats and Our Shared Water Cooler Moments
Dodero, Camille – Corporate Cats Still Suck
Garza, Janiss – Hotel Cat: 10 Tips
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Sometimes This Is What Cat Rescue Looks Like
Kelley, JaneA – Want to Bring Your Cat To Work?
Mohr, Linda A. – 5 Halloween Safety Tips for Cats
Mohr, Linda A. – What My Terminally Ill Cat Taught Me
Mohr, Linda A. – Aftermath
Palika, Liz – Pet Loss: The Five Stages of Grief
Palika, Liz – 7 Fun Facts About Your Cat’s Purr
Peterson, Nancy – 8 Tips to Make Sure Your Cat is Prepared for a House Fire
Peterson, Nancy – Keeping Out Old Man Winter
Pittman, Vicky – Introducing Cats to Children
Rainbolt, Dusty – Random Acts of Kindness
Thornton, Kim Campbell – The Eyes Have It
Willett, Susan – 15 Things Robot Designers Can Learn From Cats

VII.6 Online Column
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Homeless Cat Management Team Volunteer Profile
Mlynar, Phillip – Monday Miracle Column
Rainbolt, Dusty – Ask Einstein

VIII.1 Blog: Health & General Care (no winners)

VIII.2 Blog: Behavior & Training – 3 blog posts (no entries)

VIII.3 Blog: Rescue & Advocacy – 3 blog posts (no entries)

VIII.4 Blog Entertainment
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – The Creative Cat
Richman, Lisa – Feline Film Noir

VIII.5 Blog/ Any Other Topic
Garza, Janiss – Sparkle Cat Featuring Summer
Hodges, Pamela – Pooh Hodges
Lapierre, Melissa – Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows

VIII.6 Website (no entries)

IX.1 Black and White Photograph (Single) (no entries)

IX.2 Black and White Photographs (Series) (no entries)

IX.3 Color Photograph Single
Garson, Lyn T. – Open Wide and Say Meow
Richman, Lisa – Post-Holiday Fangs
Thornton, Jerry – Jaguar – Wild Cats of the Americas

IX.4 Color Photographs Series
Kladnik, Marci – How One Massive TNR Project Broke My Heart and My Spirit
Richman, Lisa – Rules of the Game

IX.5 Photographic Art
Booras, Christine M. – Me, My Ferals And I
Rainbolt, Dusty – Coming Soon To TV: Catnado
Richman, Lisa – Inspire Your Art with Heart

IX.6 Cartoon
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – One Long Kitty
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Fun Things Bella Does With Her Tail
Piro, Stephanie – Picky
Piro, Stephanie – Dream

IX.7 Illustration Single
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Kennedy
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Snowy Morning
Solomon, Cori – Jake and Bailey

IX.8 Illustrations Series
Kazmarski, Bernadette E. – Klepto Cat Mystery
O’Neill, Ewa – I Want A Cat: My Opinion Essay

Congratulations to all Certificate of Excellence winners! You will receive your Certificates in the mail, soon.

Remember – check out all the details about the BlogPaws Conference and the associated CWA seminars, events and speakers You must register for the Conference and Awards Banquet separately. (The Awards Banquet is free, but you must register.)

Congrats to all the certificate winners! We will see YOU in Arizona in June!

Arden Moore
CWA Contest Chair




Cat Writers Association president Marci Kladnik explores learns more about THE INTERNATIONAL CAT ASSOCIATION (TICA) and cat shows in a live GOOGLE HANGOUT interview event broadcast Wednesday April 27, 2016 from 2:30-3:00 pm Eastern Time. The event is available to the public, and also will be recorded and available on YouTube to view and share following the live broadcast.

TICA slide

CHERYL HOGAN, an Approved Speciality Judge with TICA, has been judging since 1986, and is very involved in the world of cats, not only attending shows but also pet expos and veterinary conferences. Among other things, you can expect the interview to cover:
  • What is TICA
  • Ways Cat Shows Bring Families (Kids, too!) Together
  • How TICA advocates for the welfare & health of all cats (not just pedigree cats)
  • Cat Personality & How Kitty Matchmaking Helps Keep Cats in Homes
  • Why (and How) TICA Partners With the Cat Writers’ Association

The CWA hosts this interview in appreciation that the TICA qualified as an “early bird” sponsor of our conference events and a prestigious contest award, the KARI WINTERS RESCUE AND REHABILITATION AWARD presented at the CWA conference events, held in conjunction with BlogPaws Conference events in June.


“Kari Winters lived here in Albuquerque and she worked with me each year to put the Mayor’s Dog Ball together. She used to send a shout out to the CWA members to send books, cds, whatever to contribute to the silent auction. Nancy Marano also lives here in Albuquerque and has been a member of our cat club for years. She recruited me for the CWA award judging.

I was president of TICA at the time and had thought about TICA being a CWA sponsor. When Kari died, I contacted you all – I think through Nancy. The CWA members were planning to institute an award in Kari’s honor and I offered that TICA would sponsor it in her honor.

I’m hoping that TICA continues to sponsor the award and its support for CWA for many years to come!”


Cat Writers Association President Marci Kladnik Interviews American Association of Feline Practitioners

Cat Writers Association Google Hangout BannerUPDATE! Watch the video REPLAY.

Cat Writers Association president Marci Kladnik explores the American Association of Feline Practitioners in a live GOOGLE HANGOUT interview event broadcast Tuesday April 5, 2016 from 6:30-7:00 pm Eastern Time. The event is available to the public, and also will be recorded and available on YouTube to view and share following the live broadcast.

aafp-logoDr. Elizabeth Colleran, a veterinarian specializing in feline medicine, will answer questions about AAFP and address some of the most pressing issues for cat lovers, including:
  • Myth-Busting Common Cat Behaviors
  • Surprising “Secrets” About Cats You Never Knew (you’ll want to write about these!)
  • Why Cats Get Fewer Vet Visits (Ways to Make the Trip Angst-Free)
  • The benefits of a CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE
The CWA hosts this interview in appreciation that the AAFP qualified as an “early bird” sponsor of our conference events and a prestigious contest award, the AAFP CAT FRIENDLY AWARD. Dr. Colleran also will be part of the “FEAR FREE HOT TOPICS FOR PET-CENTRIC WRITERS at the CWA conference events, held in conjunction with the BlogPaws in June

Cat Writers Featured in Wall Street Journal

L-R: Deb Barnes, CWA President Marci Kladnik and Janiss Garza at the CWA Booth at the BlogPaws conference.
L-R: Deb Barnes, CWA President Marci Kladnik and Janiss Garza at the CWA Booth at the BlogPaws conference.

It’s not a cat fight, but purring praise for the Cat Writers Association’s ability to foster and attract the CREAM of the cat writing world. On March 1, 2016 a front page story of the Wall Street Journal examined the pro-and-con arguments for including cat characters in novels, and several award-winning CWA authors weighed in.


All of the quoted authors–Patricia Fry, Clea Simon, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Amy Shojai, Carole Nelson Douglas–as well as other talented member writers have not only won the coveted CWA Muse Medallion for their work, but generously shared expertise with other writers during the annual Cat Writers’ Association Conferences.


CWA has also partnered with other organizations in the past, holding its annual conference with major cat shows, as well as other pet-centric organizations including hosting a “Writers Track” with the last BlogPaws conference.


This year, the CWA again rubs furry elbows with BlogPaws and will hold a collaborative CONFERENCE that offers educational seminars and workshops for aspiring-to-experienced writers, bloggers, photographers, videographers and authors.

Anyone with a “furry muse” whispering in their ear (virtual or literal) is encouraged to attend! Learn more about the Cat Writers Association Conference partnership with BlogPaws here. And find out who will win the coveted Muse Medallion awards at the annual CWA Banquet!

Read the WALL STREET JOURNAL article here: “In the World of Cat Fiction, Fur Flies Over Whether Stars Get Speaking Roles.”

The CWA Conference and Awards Programs are made possible by the generous support of our amazing sponsors. 

For inquiries about sponsorship and getting YOUR company name out to our pet-centric audience, please email the CWA President Marci Kladnik and/or the CWA Conference Chair Amy Shojai.



CWA Speakers


CWA is pleased to announce the PAW-some speakers for the CWA Annual Conference, held in partnership with BlogPaws Conference. You can find the tentative CWA schedule on this page and the speaker bios on this page.

You’ll also want to check out the entire CWA and BlogPaws speaker listing just posted by the BlogPaws folks at this link.
The live LINK will be posted soon, with the confirmed times for each session, as well as the other events.
Also–be aware that the CWA CONTEST DEADLINE is this Tuesday (get your entries postmarked no later than January 19 to qualify!).  Also, the Awards Banquet registration fee goes up the next day on Wednesday, so for those entering the contest and attending the conference, be sure to get your discounted ticket at this link asap.

I want to send a thank you to all the CWA members and others who either applied to speak, or encouraged colleagues to apply. We wish we could have invited everyone, there were so many terrific proposals.


PLEASE SHARE the pages with all your writing friends. See you there!

2016 Cat Writers’ Calendar of Cat Holidays and Causes

Rolz-2016-quoteHappy 2016! May the year be filled with fabulous endeavors and passionate musings devoted to our favorite subject – the cat. Here is a calendar of the special days, weeks, and months devoted to them (and others) to help bring awareness to their causes and challenges:

Please be aware that this calendar is subject to change. To advise of corrections or additions, please leave a comment.

Walk Your Pet Month (for those that partake in leashes, harnesses, and strollers).
January 2: National Pet Travel Safety Day.
January 22: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.
January 24: Change a Pet’s Life Day.

National Cat Health Month.
Beat the Heat Month.
American Heart Month.
National Spay/Neuter Month (Humane Society of the United States).
National Prevent a Litter Month.
Pet Dental Health Month (AVMA).
Responsible Pet Owners Month.
February 14: Pet Theft Awareness Day (Last Chance for Animals).
February 20: Love Your Pet Day.
February 21 – 27: National Justice for Animals Week.
February 23: World Spay Day (Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States – held the last Tuesday of February).

Poison Prevention Awareness Month.
March 2 – Dr. Seuss Read Across America Day.
March 3 – If Pets Had Thumbs Day.
March 6 – 12: Professional Pet Sitters Week.
March 20 – 26: National Poison Prevention Week.
March 16 – 22: National Flood Safety Awareness Week.

Animal Cruelty Prevention Month (ASPCA).
National Heartworm Awareness Month (American Heartworm Society).
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month (Created by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know specialized pet first aid).
April 9: FIP Awareness Day (Mr. Swanson’s Day).
April 11: National Pet Day.
April 10 – 16: National Volunteer Week.
April 10 – 16: National Animal Control Appreciation Week.
April 17 – 23: National Pet ID Week.
April 17 – 23: Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week (Humane Society of the United States).
April 17 – 23: National Environmental Education Week (National Environmental Education Foundation).
April 18: Pet Owners Independence Day.
April 19: Pet Owners Day.
April 22: Earth Day.
April 24: National Pet Parents Day
April 26: National Kids & Pets Day
April 27: Free Feral Cat Spay Day (Alley Cat Rescue).
April 29: Hairball Awareness Day.
April 30: National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
April 30: World Veterinary Day (World Veterinary Association).

National Pet Month.
Responsible Animal Guardian Month.
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
Pet Cancer Awareness Month (Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research).
Chip Your Pet Month (Home Again Pet ID).
May 3: National Specially-abled Pets Day.
May 1 – 7: Be Kind to Animals Week (AHA).
May 1-7: National Pet Week (AVMA).
May 8: Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.
May 20: Endangered Species Day.
May 23: National Heat Awareness Day.

National Pet Preparedness Month (Timed for the first month of hurricane season).
Adopt-a-Shelter Cat Month (ASPCA).
Adopt-a-Cat Month (AHA).
June 5 – 11: Pet Appreciation Week.
June 4: International Hug Your Cat Day.
June 9: Meezer Colors Day.
June 11: Just One Day (One day of no-kill in shelters worldwide).
June 12: World Pet Memorial Day.
Mid-June: Animal Rights Awareness Week.
June 19: International Box Day.
June 23 – 25: Cat Writers’ Association Annual Conference (Wild Horse Pass Sheraton Resort – Phoenix, AZ)
June 24: Cat World Domination Day.

July 4: While not a feline recognized holiday, please keep in mind that our cats (and all pets) can become highly traumatized during the 4th of July festivities. Keep your pet safely indoors and recognize the fact that they can panic or hide from the sounds that fireworks cause.
July 15: Pet Fire Safety Day.
July 21: National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day.

National Immunization Awareness Month.
August 8: World Cat Day.
August 15: Check the Chip Day.
August 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day.
August 20: International Homeless Animal Day (International Society for Animal Rights).
August 22: National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day.
August 28: Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day (Purr Prints of the Heart and Zee/
August 30: National Holistic Pet Day.

Catalyst Council’s Happy Healthy Cat Month.
National Disaster Preparedness Month (Led by FEMA’s ReadyCampaign, Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council, this effort encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for disaster emergencies).
National Food Safety Awareness Month.
September 11: National Pet Memorial Day (International Association of Pet Cemeteries).
September 13: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day (MBJungle Foundation).
September 19: International “Meow Like a Pirate Day” (not a cause, but somehow cat bloggers love this day!)
September 22: Remember Me Thursday (Helen Woodward Animal Center).
Sept. 28: World Rabies Day (Global Alliance for Rabies Control).
Last full week in September: Deaf Pet Awareness Week (

National Animal Safety and Protection Month (Emergency Animal Rescue Service).
National Pet Wellness Month.
First full week of October: Animal Welfare Week (AVMA).
October 9 – 15: National Veterinary Technician Week.
October 4: World Animal Day.
October 12: National Pet Obesity Day.
October 16: National Feral Cat Day (Alley Cat Allies).
October 29: National Cat Day.

National Pet Awareness Month.
Adopt a Senior Pet Month (ASPCA).
National Senior Pet Month
Pet Cancer Awareness Month.
Pet Diabetes Month.
November 6 – 12: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week (HSUS).
November 17: National Black Cat Day.

No recognized awareness days in December, but this is a good time to share information on preventative safety measures for our cats during the holidays because many of the foods, plants, and decorations that are part of our festivities can be dangerous or even lethal to them. For information on the Pet Poison Hotline, please click here.

About the Author:

Deborah Barnes resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida with her fiancé and feline family of seven. She is the author of the 5-star rated books, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary and Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond as well as the award winning blog, Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles that continues to cover the everyday journey she shares with her cats along with topics from the humorous behaviors of cats to very serious subjects on pet responsibility.  Deborah was awarded 2013 “Writer of the Year” by Friskies Purina on behalf of the Cat Writers’ Association and she is also the Secretary of the nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane, Inc. of Miami, Florida, whose mission is to create public awareness and reduce the numbers of animals on the streets and in shelters through an extensive educational campaign.


Google Hangout Answers CWA Contest Questions!



Arden Moore, contest chair, will offer information and field questions about the contest in a special Google Hangout being hosted by Amy Shojai. The hangout will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8 (11 a.m. CENTRAL time). Anyone (member or not) can enter this contest. Entries must be “cat” focused work published by Dec. 31, 2015. All entries for the CWA Communications Contest must be postmarked by Tuesday Jan. 19. Let’s set a record for the number of quality entries this year!

You’ll need a Google-Plus account to view the live broadcast and connect with Amy here and/or Arden here. Then you’ll simply follow this link and enjoy the presentation.

But don’t worry! Here’s the recording! And check out the quick overview written below.



  • Eligible entries must have been published or broadcasted between June 16, 2014 AND December 31, 2015.
  • All entries must be postmarked by JAN. 19, 2016. They must arrive to contest chair Arden Moore within 7 days of the Jan. 19, 2016 postmark deadline.
  • Arden Moore’s address: 726 Deep Well Drive, Allen, TX 75002.
  • CWA Conference is June 23-25, 2016 in Phoenix in partnership with BlogPaws.
  • AWARDS BANQUET JUNE 24, Friday evening, 6-10:00 pm at the Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa outside Phoenix, AZ. Member Registration Rate $75 (Nonmember $85) until Jan 19; Jan. 20 until June 10, 2016: $95.00. REGISTER TODAY!


  • Each entry can only be submitted to ONE regular category. Type or print each entry form so that it can be easily read.
  • Each entry submitted for the Special Awards category MUST be entered in the REGULAR category.
  • An entry can be submitted in more than one SPECIAL Award category (more chance to win a money prize!)
  • There is an additional $5 fee for each Special Award entry you submit.
  • Volunteer to judge and receive the discounted entry rate for regular categories at $8.50 (versus $15). Judging is a much-appreciated way to show your support as a CWA member.
  • Submit THREE copies of each regular entry with ONE copy of the entry form per entry. These copies will be mailed to three judges.
  • Checks are to be payable to Cat Writers’ Association. You can pay by mail or use the PayPal option posted here.
  • This annual contest is open to CWA members and non-members. Encourage your colleagues to join our organization!


  • There are 55 regular and 19 Special Award categories, but there may be categories with NO winners due to low scores, no entries or disqualifications.
  • An individual must score an average of 90 or higher among the three judges to be a finalist and receive a CWA Certificate of Excellence.
  • Please judge the entry for its merits and score fairly. Example: If one judge scores the entry 100; another scores it 80 and the third scores it 88, the combined average is 89, one point BELOW being a finalist.
  • The contest chair will do her best to honor your request on judging specific categories and will make sure you are not a judge in a category for which you have submitted an entry. Expect to judge 2 (and in rare situations), 3 categories.
  • Please take the time to read the contest rules posted on CWA before posting a question to the contest chair.



CALLING ALL SPEAKERS! CWA Seeks Topics on Writing/Publishing for 22nd Conference

Pro Writer/Publishing Presenters Please Apply
Pro Writer/Publishing Presenters Please Apply
Calling All Speakers–Apply to Speak at CWA Conference!


The Cat Writers’ Association seeks speaker proposals for our 22nd Annual Writers Conference! Please submit your proposed presentation, along with credentials and other pertinent information on the SPEAKER PROPOSAL PAGE.

We seek topics relevant to ALL writers interested in perfecting their craft in areas of writing, publishing, blogging, promotion, marketing, and more. We encourage CWA members as well as non-members to submit proposals. Details can be found on the SPEAKER PROPOSAL PAGE here.

CALL FOR SPEAKERS will close on December 20, 2015, so get your submission in as soon as possible! The speaker lineup will be announced in January 2016.

Please note: the EARLY BIRD reduced rate ticket for the AWARDS BANQUET has passed, but the discount rate of $75 member and $85 nonmember will remain through January 19, 2016 (contest deadline). Register for the awards banquet here.