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SXSW Interactive 2015

"CAT"astrophe: Good, Bad and Ugly of Internet Cats

The Internet has an insatiable appetite for cats. Grumpy Cat and Lil’ Bub are household names, “I Can Has Cheezburger” is an Internet empire, and real-life cats are active on a social networking site called Catster. Unfortunately, the popularity of cats hasn’t translated into more adoptions. Of the 8 million dogs and cats that enter US animal shelters each year, about 4 million are euthanized. Sadly, cats are more likely to be euthanized than dogs. The country’s leading “cat-alysts” will gather to discuss new data and reasons why cats, despite their Internet popularity, don’t get the same respect as dogs. Cats don’t visit the veterinarian as often as dogs and more cats are euthanized after landing in animal shelters than dogs. We need to change this attitude because let’s face it; cats don’t really have eight more lives to live. It’s time to take the obsession and fascination we have for Internet cats, use the power of social media and advocate for change so that more lives are save

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  1. What, if anything, have Internet cats done for cat adoption or shelter cats?
  2. Do Americans really love dogs more than cats?
  3. How can cats be so popular online, but not in real life?
  4. How can we get cats better PR?
  5. And most importantly, how can we leverage social media to spark positive change for cats?



Jennifer Kepler, Media Manager, Golin

Meta Information:

  • Tags: internet
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Non-Profit and Activism
  • Level: Intermediate
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