Pet sites abound on Web

Resources: Information on anything from dogs and cats to snakes and rats is a few clicks away.

July 26, 1999|By Bill Husted | Bill Husted,Cox News Service

There's more than one way to name a cat.

If you're a pet lover, the Web is littered with sites that can help -- whether your pet of choice is a Chihuahua or a king snake.

Let's start with a good general purpose site called, located understandably enough at

The first thing you'll notice is a rather busy page filled with text. But the absence of graphics means the page loads fast, and the text is an elaborate system of links for almost every type of pet you can imagine.

For instance, if rodents are your thing, you'll appreciate the links for rats, mice, gerbils, squirrels and chinchillas. For more popular pets like cats or dogs, you'll find a series of links to everything from shelters to trainers.

There's also a nice search feature; if you aren't sure what category to check, you can use a search word to find your topic fast. There's also a link for a live chat section, where you can have typed real-time conversations with other pet fanciers.

The next site -- called the Tame Beast -- is also a general collection of pet links. It can be found at The organization is a bit different here. Instead of a list of possible pets on the starting page (and you'll find that as well), there are links for topics such as "working animals," "fun sites," "live cam sites" and for searching articles about pets.

There's an impressive amount of information here, most of it to be found in links to other sites outside the Tame Beast. For instance, if you click on "cat," you'll get hundreds of links to other sites.

It's hard to believe that even the most passionate cat fancier would have the time or the inclination to visit each of the sites. But since there's a capsule summary of each site, you can winnow down the list to just the sites with the information you want.

Our next stop is a commercial site sponsored by Ralston-Purina. You'll find it at petquarters.petkare. com/.

This site focuses strongly on cats and dogs. The good features here include meaty sections on choosing a veterinarian, essays on basic care for dogs and cats, a pet column and -- as you'd expect from a pet food company -- lots of data about nutrition.

While you need to keep in mind that this is sponsored by a company that would love to sell pet food to you, the nutrition information is in-depth and seems unbiased. You'll learn about special diets for cats with urinary tract problems and ways to keep an older animal healthy.

One of the places where the Ralston-Purina connection helps is in a section that explains the ins and outs of reading the label on a pet food can. There's an amazing amount of information to be mined there.

Finally, let's go back to that notion that there's more than one way to name a cat.

If that's what you have in mind, take a look at a site called 2,000 Cat Names. It borrows a theme from several sites that offer a list of names for new babies. It is located at /catnames/.

Some of the names are fairly strange -- Jabberwocky and J. Edgar, for instance -- but then, so are cats.

Pub Date: 07/26/99

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