Are Facebook and Wikipedia Good Or Bad For Cats?

Are the internet giants Facebook and Wikipedia good or bad for the domestic cat? Facebook is the number 2 website in the world by visitor numbers (after Google) and Wikipedia is around number 6. They provide information about the cat in different ways.

Wikipedia is purely informational. It is meant to provide hard facts. I actually like Wikipedia and for the people criticize it for being inaccurate you should recognize that at least they do provide full references as to where the authors got their information from so you can check it and decide for yourself.

Facebook provides a platform for billions of exchanges of chatty cat talk between people. Within these exchanges are some pearls of wisdom and good factual information. Also, there are piles of cat rescue webpages that can only be good for the domestic cat.

On the face of it everything they do can only be good for the domestic cat. However, there is a downside. They dominate the internet on all forms of information no matter how it is delivered.

If you search for cat information – say about the cat breeds – Wikipedia is always at the top of page one of search results. 99% of people looking for information about cat breeds will read what Wikipedia says. I don’t think this is good because it is like always buying your groceries from a large supermarket out of town rather than one of the independent shops in town.

There is real value and worth in the small independent trader and the same situation can be said about the internet. All independent owners of cat websites are shut out on the cat breeds and also, for that matter, the wild cats.

Almost all chat about cats takes place on Facebook. This sucks the the energy out of small cat blogs and independent start-ups. Some of these are very high quality and deserve to be recognized. They deserve an audience and a good fan base but can they be seen amongst the billions of webpages which are dominated by Facebook?

It is as if Facebook is an internet within the internet. Look what big business – i.e. the banks and they are the biggest – did to the world 6 years ago. They totally messed it up with their greed. The wrecked the lives of millions of ordinary working people. We shouldn’t rely on big business.

There should be more room on the internet for the small website. The independent voice is important. There is danger in relying all the time on the big players such as Facebook – and they don’t get any bigger than Facebook – because they are hard-nosed businesses at heart. They present a different face but behind that veneer are the men in grey suits (or T-shirts in the case of Mark Zuckerberg). They can do what they like with all the information on their site and all decisions are based on profit. Sites like PoC are based on cat welfare not profit. What is better for the cat? Can you trust Facebook and is it too addictive?

Wikipedia is genuinely non-profit. They avoid placing adverts on their site and occasionally ask for money. However, we don’t know who the authors are (unless you dig around) and we don’t know how good they are. If they simply take information from the internet and rework it into their own words, what good is that? They are just collating webpages.

On sites such as PoC, we have real personalised experiences based on years of cat caretaking and enlightened informative comments. What is better?

Believe me, I am not griping or complaining. The internet is a competitive, business market-place. I accept that. I just feel that Google should place greater recognition on smaller cat informational websites. And I also feel that the big meg-sites should be curtailed a little bit to allow the smaller independents to breathe and grow.

Cat caretakers are known to be independently minded people. I believe they should express that characteristic in supporting the small cat websites, independently owned by an intelligent individuals who are truly concerned about cat welfare.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • just read that story that poor women i feel so much for her, she was doing a good deed. its shocking to read things like that

    • Thank you Rudolph. I think we are the best but if you think we can do better please tell me and I'll try and accommodate.

      • No p.O.C is the best nice friendly people who are cat lovers and good articles that make you think and challenge your beliefs.

  • Like everyone else, I think POC is the best source for interesting stories and for getting valid information. I use facebook but find it more of a recreational site.
    Wikipedia is decent for finding some general information.

    • yea i agree with waht most people are saying. Facebook had become too dominant in our lives. I like the idea of smaller sites. Be great if there was sometheing different.

  • Very disturbing story Michael. I wish that all folks who rescue and neuter/spay would have the tip of the ear clipped to prove they have been returned to a colony. This would save a lot of heartache and grief.

    From the news article I suspect there is a lot mote to this story that has not yet been revealed.

    As far as the internet and cat info I prefer to come here where info is accurate and researched. I also go to vet school websites and
    CfA for breed Ruth I direct folks to this site constantly.

    Lots to think about here.

    • Thanks Jo. I am one of those who have a healthy dislike of big corporations although that does not mean I shun them all the time. I use FB as well but we should not get hooked and dependent on FB etc.. And I love the small independent sites. There are some great little sites run by very concerned and skilled people.

  • Most of the writers on "P.O.C" are from Europe and America and hence i thought it would be relevant to post this sad tragedy concerning a cat that resulted in a veterinarian committing suicide in New York.The Veterinarian Dr. Shirley Koshi was of Indian origin having her veterinary practice in the Bronx locality of New York. Read the link as also my personal comment :-

    • Rudolph, I read this news article twice just to be sure I got as complete an understanding of this tragedy as I could.
      My understanding is that the cat was a stray as opposed to being a feral and was living in a TNR'd colony that had a caretaker.
      The cat fell ill, and a good samaritan took it to the vet who treated it and chose to keep and house it.
      Then, a custody battle broke out between the caretaker and the vet.

      This may surprise some people here, but I would have to side with the vet for the following reasons:

      The cat appeared to be capable of domestication. Both the good samaritan and the vet and were able to handle it.
      The caretaker lost sight of what may have been best for the cat. She was claiming ownership (MY cat, as opposed to "under my care"). It's an easy thing to do. It, also, appeared that the caretaker had no interest in taking in the cat herself, but didn't want the vet to. She was selfish enough to want the cat to stay out in the elements as opposed to having a good, safe home with the vet.

      I caretake many ferals and know how hard it is to let go of cats. But, we have to love them enough to do what's best for them. Personally, I would have praised and kissed that vet if she wanted to take one of my cats out of a colony and provide a home.

  • I keep trying to direct cat loving facebook friends by links to PoC because this is the most honest and educational cat site on the internet and it helps cat charities too.
    But I think for a lot of people facebook is a sort of chit/chat place, for a quick exchange of comments and there's a chat box facility for contacting another person immediately if they are on-line.
    I like it for cats for the anti declaw groups mostly and for sharing links to PoC and for posting and signing petitions.
    Also to keep up to date with what is going on in the local animal Sanctuaries we support.
    I spend more time on those than looking at family stuff, their latest news and photos I'd never know or see otherwise.
    I think all these web sites have their place but I make no secret of it that PoC is my favourite.

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