By Katherine Kern.
Cats are immensely popular pets worldwide. Many people are passionate about their feline companions, whom they view as part of the family. Cats also maintain a significant presence on the internet, where memes, videos, and images of cats entertain and engage audiences, showcasing the enduring fascination with these animals. Because of these conditions, cat-related content is extremely popular, relevant to readers, and uniquely positioned to evoke emotions in the people who consume cat content.
What is the role of a person who writes about cats in today’s complex world? Why should people care about cats and cat writers at a time when there’s so much ugliness and hatred in our world?
First, a note. By using the term “cat writer,” I do not just refer to people who write about cats. I also include the artists, podcasters, videographers, social media and blog content creators, cartoonists, illustrators, and book authors who use their work to showcase cats to the world.
Cats are funny, photogenic, and transform the lives of the people who live with them.
One of the beautiful aspects of writing about cats is that there are so many topics from which to choose. Writing about cats can, among other things:
- focus on their health, behavior, and care, providing valuable information to cat owners
- serve as a source of relaxation and entertainment for people
- focus on their therapeutic impact on mental health, stress reduction, and companionship, which is especially relevant in today’s world where mental well-being is a significant concern
- focus on education and awareness of responsible pet ownership, understanding cat behavior and needs, caring for feral cat populations, and protection of wild cats
Additionally, cats have a rich cultural history and have been depicted in art, literature, and folklore, making them a symbol of various attributes like mystery, independence, and companionship.
Writing about cats also creates a community of like-minded people, cat companions who sometimes feel as misunderstood as the felines they love.
The First Job of a Cat Writer
A cat writer’s job is foremost to communicate about cats in responsible and accurate ways. A cat writer should not use humor to further misperceptions about cats, such as the belief that cats are vindictive or do not need us.
At the same time, bringing awareness to common health issues experienced by cats helps to shatter commonly held beliefs that cats do not need medical care. Such information encourages our cats to be diagnosed and treated more quickly when small changes can reap huge rewards.
Humor and Entertainment
Cats are funny and magnificent creatures – full of bravado but also of love. It’s hard to watch a cat without finding yourself wishing you were that fearless.
I’m a cat blogger and focus on humor and entertainment. I’d argue that blogs like mine are ESPECIALLY important right now; there’s only so much serious doom and gloom and nonsensical political postings one can take. If your world is focused solely on ugliness and divisiveness, that becomes your reality – the lens through which you view everything else in your life – even the good things. Instead of focusing on what one does not have, we should focus on the good (and funny) little creatures who operate as our furry little overlords.
Humor is a coping mechanism for me, and I know I’ve done my job when our readers tell me we brightened their days or made them forget about the nastiness of the world for a little while. Not only do we produce humorous content – but we also consume quite a bit of it – and I can tell you for certain that humorous and entertaining cat blogs, videos, and other content have gotten me through a lot of the darkest periods of my life.
In this way, entertaining cat-related content can reduce stress, provide comfort, and help one feel less alone.
Many of our friends focus on the rescue or advocacy aspect of cats. What’s better to counter an ugly world than the uplifting stories of humans rescuing cats or vice versa? My Bear Cat saved my life – and I saved his – and I find our story life-affirming and a reminder that there is more to life than negativity and discord.
So many amazing people care for community cats or feral cats, foster cats in their homes, and make a difference by participating in Trap-Neuter-Return programs. These people tell amazing stories of resilience, transformation, and fortitude – not only from the people themselves, but the cats they meet.
Cats are an integral part of our lives. Today, cats are more popular than dogs in our homes. Focusing on giving our cats the best lives possible by consuming informational posts might seem less important than focusing on other issues. However, behavioral issues and health issues in our cats do impact our lives. Learning to do better for them improves the bond we have with our cats, which makes both cats and humans happier and healthier.
In a world where it seems so unlikely that one person can affect much change, you can impact your own life and the lives of your cats by being more present and providing your cats the best possible care. Cats are dependent on us, and we are the only ones with the control to make their lives better.
Focusing on what you love helps pull you out of the frame of reference of negativity. Our cats deserve our best no matter the world that surrounds us. Why not make our relationships with them the exception?
Which of these areas would you like to write about? What is standing in your way? The Cat Writers’ Association provides a community of cat-lovers, who also value quality information about the cats with whom they share their lives. Join CWA today and connect with other members who might offer guidance or their experience to make your cat-writing goals achievable.
Katherine Kern is an award-winning author and freelance writer focusing on cats. Her humorous tales about life with cats and feline-human bond stories appear in various anthologies. Kat’s cat, Bear, inspired her to write about the power of the feline-human bond and taught her that cats are more than they are given credit for. Her blog, Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat (https://www.mommakatandherbearcat.com), focuses on “Cats: Expect the Unexpected,” which celebrates the unique ways cats enrich our lives.
Kat serves as CWA’s Treasurer and Contest Chair. When not wrangling cats for CWA, she enjoys life with her cats, Ellie Mae and Latte.