Information on the Internet:
Can It Be Trusted?
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Everyone with a computer, a laptop, a tablet or a cellphone has access to almost FIVE billion pages on the internet as of January 2017.
There are more than 3 BILLION users of the internet.
With the increased presence of social media, there is more and more information available to everyone — all at the simple click of a mouse or tap on your touchscreen.
Almost anyone can share their opinion online . . . and there are plenty of opinions to go around.
With so much on the internet, the question must be asked . . . how reliable is all this free information? There is both information and mis-information aplenty. Just because something is published on the internet, it doesn't mean it is true. Perhaps even more importantly, not only might information be false — believing it to be true may be dangerous.
How This Impacts The Cat Breeder
Obviously, the better informed and well-educated we are about all health and husbandry issues involved with owning and maintaining a cattery, the better we can care for our beloved felines, save on vet fees and raise healthy, happy kittens.
With so much information available on the internet, however, how do you know if the advice you have found when searching online is the right thing for your cat?
How Credible Is The Source?
While you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, you can sort fact from fiction if you follow a few easy guidelines. First, consider the quality of the source of the information. For example, an article published on the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine website is more credible than an article on the same subject published on Auntie Mame’s Kitty Blog.
How Informed Is The Source With Respect To Cat Breeding?
Even credible sites are not all created equal with respect to the needs and concerns of the cat breeder. While a veterinarian is the medical professional we all turn to when our cats have a health issue, a vet may not be as informed as an experienced and knowledgeable cat breeder regarding some issues.
For instance, when presented with a female cat with pyometra, most vets routinely suggest that the cat be spayed — but there is a very successful protocol for treating pyo (See Pyometra: Saving A Queens Reproductive Career) that every cat breeder should know.
Another example is when a queen is having a problem delivering her kittens, most vets will suggest a c-section. The experienced breeder may have a better option learned through experience on how to deliver the kittens naturally.
A vet may not be experienced with dealing with other issues specific to a breeding cattery such as Fading Kitten Syndrome or Caring For A Kittens Born With Twisted Legs.
So, especially when you are online searching for information about the breeding, pregnancy and labor of felines, look for websites specifically dedicated to helping cat breeders. Naturally we recommend PandEcats.com or ShowCatsOnline.com.
Fact or Opinion?
When you are evaluating information on the internet, is it supported by scientific studies and research or is it someone's opinion?
When it is a person's opinion, is the info misleadingly presented as fact? Or does the writer make it clear that it is their opinion based on their own experience?
Is The Website Well-Designed?
Professional websites should have a consistent look and feel as well as quality, high-resolution graphics and an easy-to-use menu.
A professional site will almost always have an "about" section to explain who they are. There should also be a contact page with the information you need to get in touch with them.
There are sleek and slick websites that are total frauds in the content and product departments, but most scammers don't spend a lot of time on a site's look and feel.
Grammar And Spelling
If an article is poorly written, there’s a good chance the information isn't credible. Misspellings, bad grammar, or sections in all capitals should raise red flags regarding the value of the website's content.
Is The Information Updated?
When researching a topic, it is best to look for a website that is updated frequently. Information can become out-dated, so when looking for information on the internet, note how old it is.
Avoid Websites With Pop-ups, Lots Of Advertising & Cookies
What Are They Selling?
People can have an online sales business and still be truthful, but if a website is selling a cat supplement, don’t let them be your only source of information about cat supplements.
The is a wealth of information on the internet that will help you be a better cat breeder — and with thoughtful research you can find the best online resources for your kitties . . .
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