When I first conceived this article, a number of developments over the past decade immediately came to mind. However, the more I wrote, the more I realized that increased education for cat guardians was the key factor in all of these elements. In some areas, such as declawing, knowledge of the true nature of that procedure can lead to more informed decisions for each cat "parent." In the developmental areas, such as safer pet foods and cat litter, increased consumer awareness has led to increased demand for these products. The humane movement has benefited by increased awareness of animal lovers.
The Internet has largely been the driving force behind all this new awareness and education. We no longer have to rely on television commercials and magazine articles and ads, often offering one-sided information, at best. If we want to learn more about a particular brand of cat food, we can search the Web for reviews of that food. We can also go to the manufacturers web site to locate the specific ingredients and nutritional information.
We can join forums of groups with the same interests, such as the About.com Cats Forum. Or we can join one of the many specialized email lists, such as those found on Yahoo. An example is the Yahoo Group on Cats with CRF. With a computer and some training, we can even set up our own web sites to share the information we've learn, to campaign for our own particular interest about our cats, or simpler yet, with a personal blog, just to entertain visitors with photos and stories about our cats.
Truly, thanks to the Internet, the first decade of the 21st century has been the Age of Awareness for cat lovers.