2012 is the fifth year for About.com Readers' Choice Awards, and there are several categories this year for About.com Cats.
Nominations are now closed, and it's time to vote for your favorite finalist in each of six categories for Cats. Users are required to log in via their Facebook or About.com accounts to vote, and any votes not originating from the about.com domain will be rejected. For more information, see 2012 Readers' Choice Awards on About.com. Also see the FAQs about RCA voting.
Read the description, and follow the link for each finalist to learn more about them and to help you form your decisions. Then, return here and follow the voting link for each Cats Category.
Without the selfless work of non-profit cats organizations and their volunteers, the world would be a far worse place for blind cats, amputee cats, aged cats with special medical needs, and other unwanted cast-away cats. I support several of these organizations, and I count many friends in the cats community who do too. In alphabetical order, see the finalists in this category:
Best Non-Profit Cats-Only Organization
- Blind Cats Rescue and Sanctuary
From a nomination: "This group helps "unadoptable" cats who are blind or are FEL+ or FIV+, and create a safe, loving home for them. I think they provide an important service."
- City Kitties
"They're no kill, provide exceptional care to cats, and even rescue special needs kitties deemed unadoptable by the shelters."
- Friends of Felines Rescue Center
From a fan, "This rescue center is located in a small town in OH but yet in the last 2 years it has drawn an international following on her webcam with over 1.7 million viewers. The owner, Jacci Moss, was selected in 2008 as the Animal Planet "Cat Hero of the Year". I need more words to describe this center."
- Tabby's Place
From a nomination: "As a no-kill rescuer in a cat/dog organization for 12 years, I visited Tabby's Place and was AMAZED at the facility, the staff and volunteers, and what this group has accomplished in such a short period of time. They truly make an amazing difference in the lives of special needs cats."
- The Cat House on the Kings
From a nomination: "Lynea Lattanzio, who founded and runs The Cat House on the Kings in California is a remarkable woman, who has dedicated her life to saving thousands of cats, with no financial help except for donations. Marvelous organization!"
The ideal organization to be nominated will be one which is managed well, and offers the best advocacy for pets of all kinds, including cats, dogs, and other pets.
In alphabetical order, these are the Finalists for this category:
Best Non-Profit Pets Organization
- Alabama Spay & Neuter
From a nomination: "By far the most caring spay/neuter group I know of. With the cats they actually have volunteers that lay on blankets with the cats as they come out of anesthesia so they can be comforted."
- BC SPCA
From a nomination: "I have volunteered at my local BC SPCA for about five years now and have an inside look at what a great job they do looking after the animals in their care, advocating for animals, and fighting animal cruelty. "
- Best Friends Society
From a nomination: "I have long admired Best Friends, from the time it was "only" a sanctuary for animals, based in Utah. However, now it has evolved into an organization with tens of thousands of members, all working together to advance the understanding, care and welfare of all the animals."
- Petfinder.com Foundation
"For many years, Petfinder has been the banner-bearer for thousands of animal shelters and rescue groups, by helping to facilitate the adoption of homeless pets. Since 2003 the Petfinder.com Foundation has provided over $15 million in grants to animal welfare organizations and Petfinder.com member shelters and rescue groups. Over 95% of donations go back into these programs that help homeless pets. The Petfinder.com website also provides tons of information about care of these animals after adoption."
The ideal Website is informational and educational, teaching the importance of cats' claws to their health and safety, and offering humane alternatives to declawing. The site may be managed by an individual or an organization. In alphabetical order, the Finalists are:
Best Pro-Claws Website
From a nomination: "It is very informative and comprehensive, and written by a vet!"
- Educate! Don't Amputate!
"Contains links to articles by vets as well as numerous declaw horror stories - heart wrenching."
- The Cat Catalyst
From a nomination: "This blog is thorough and consistent in its pro-claw advocacy."
- The Paw Project
"They have done much to stop declawing and were responsible for the only anti-declaw laws in the USA."
The ideal Website should be informational, covering topics such as cat care, health, behavior, and other topics, but written in an understandable manner for the lay person. A touch of humor here and there doesn't hurt.
Best Website About Cats
- Cat Wisdom 101
"Cat Wisdom 101 is a stunning website with timely information covering all aspects of being owned by a cat!"
- Cats International
"It has many helpful articles that are easy to find with information that is easy to understand and put to use"
- Paws and Effect
"Excellent cat wisdom and practical help in an extremely accessible and humorous delivery!"
- The Conscious Cat
"Informative without being preachy, easy to follow (very important), entertaining, engaging (inviting readers to participate and provide feedback), down-to-earth and from the heart."
- The Daily Mews
"They're wonderful and run by a wonderful person. Warm and fuzzy and full of heart, like a kitty cat."
I know I'm not alone in seeking out information concerning cats' health on websites. I've visited every single one of the finalists' sites in this category, and they are all outstanding. The finalists are, in alphabetical order:
Best Website About Cat Health
- Ask The Cat Doctor, by Dr. Shelby Neely
"It has SO much information. Anytime I have a question about cats I immediately go to this website and can find the answer. If for some reason I can't find it, I ask the Vet and my question is always answered very quickly! I also love the contests they do - so fun!!"
- Cat Man Do, by Dr. Arnold Plotnick
"Dr. Arnold Plotnick is not only an outstanding veterinarian, his Website is beautifully designed, and a fascinating read. I'd be very comfortable if my cats were under Dr. Plotnick's care."
"PetEducation.com is a division of Drs. Foster and Smith, a commercial Website offering product for pets. PetEducation.com has a free resource library for cat owners, covering the gamut of medical conditions, and also explaining veterinary treatment of spay/neuter, vaccinations, veterinary exams, and such."
More cat owners are troubled by cat behavior problems than almost any other facet of cat care. Where do you go for help with a cat behavior problem? Many cat owners refer to books, to have a ready source of information when behavior problems arise.
In alphabetical order, the nominees are:
- Good Cat! Practical Answers to Behavior Questions, by Steve Dale
Comment in a Nomination: "Steve Dale is the consummate expert on cat behavior, and writes in a down-to-earth manner which is not intimidating to even the novice cat owner. If you have a cat behavior problem, Steve is the one to ask!"
- Naughty No More, by Marilyn Krieger
Book description from a reader: "Marilyn uses both clicker training and other forms of behavior modification in her practice and in this book. Although Naughty No More was written for the novice, it has something for even well experienced cat owners."
- The Cat Who Cried For Help, by Nicolas Dodman
From a nomination: "This book has just about anything a cat owner could need in dealing with cat behavior. Plus, it's easy for the layman to read and understand. I know this from experience."
Best Book About Cat Care
Inexperienced cat lovers need expert information, to raise strong, healthy cats, and many of them look to the professionals for guidance. Books about cat care make ready reference material, as well as information to know before even getting a cat.
There were only a few nominations in the category of Best Book About Cat Care and every one of them was for this book. Therefore, this book wins by default, and in my opinion, its author well deserves the honor. The winning book will be announced in March along with all the other category winners.