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Reviewed by: Christine Oka, Research & Instruction, Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA
Formerly Cat Fancy Magazine, the premier issue of Catster Magazine welcomes readers with “thanks for supporting us through this evolution.” Many of the old features have been retained, including “the latest care and health advice. . . with more welfare content, humor, products, giveaways, and stores and photos from our readers.” The magazine also has a social media presence offering opportunities to connect using facebook, twitter, instagram and a webpage: http://www.catster.com/.
While cat owners are identified as cat parents and there is a section in the magazine called “Life with Catitude” with fun pictures and a “Spring Catwalk” section highlighting collars and harnesses, there also is a more serious side to the magazine. An article in the “Help Wanted” section has “The Finicky Cat: weighing in on feline chowhounds” with accompanying photos of a cat balancing on a cat perch and snagging some extra chow. All that cuteness does make it difficult for people living with an overweight cat to “implement a new policy in the family: Feed your cat only from her food bowl . . . Ignore her begging.” Besides the health issues extra weight can have on a cat, the article mentions another type of feline food behavior. “Typically, aggressive, food-seeking behavior can be due to endocrine or brain-related problems.” Some possibilities may be hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Another ”Help Wanted” article is for cat owners facing a life change in “Recessionista” which gives “advice on how to provide for your cat when you are unemployed.” Along with the usual shop around for bargains, consider less expensive cat litter, check on re-adjusting (not cancelling!) pet insurance, there also is the suggestion to check out pet food pantries. This is new--and the Catster webpage also has a search feature to locate pet food pantries.
Regular features in each issue include Catster HQ (news from the Editor), and information on how to understand your cat. In “A New Catitude,” there are “8 things you have to explain to people who don’t have cats.” A favorite “thing” was taken from the Catster cover, a picture of a cat on its back. Do not, repeat--do NOT -- try to give the cat a belly rub! Other continuing features from Cat Fancy include interviews and celebrity profiles of cat owners, such as actor Kurt Yaeger with his cat, Jammy, and Simon Tofield, the creator of Simon’s Cat, an online character in the cartoons, Cat Man Do. Another regular feature, “Who’s That Cat?” introduces cat breeds, in this issue, the Birman and the Donskoy are featured.
The social media side of the house is well-represented in the feature, What’s Online with products and advice on the page as well as a reminder to “get Catster in your inbox” and to join the Catster Community and create a personal webpage for your cat, post pictures, exchange stories and advice among members of the community and in the Forum and Answers area. Catster is a combination of fun and practical information for both print and social media cat lovers.