Messybeast.Com Cat Resource Archive FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Advertising and Links Policy (Items 14 & 15)
Version 4.2
Date: Nov 2013, Updated Jan 2020


1. Where is Messybeast?

The main contents page for the Cat Resource Archive http://www.messybeast.com/catarchive.htm
The gateway page to both Messybeast.com and sister site Moggycat is http://www.messybeast.com

In geographical terms, Messybeast.com is maintained in Britain.

2. What is Messybeast?

Messybeast.com ("Messybeast") is a privately maintained, not-for-profit archive of cat-related articles, information and clip-art. Messybeast is not a company, charity or non-profit organisation. Its main emphasis is cat care, cat welfare, feral cats and associated information for cat owners. It also contains general interest articles ranging from cloning and genetics through to the role of cats in idiom and urban mythology. A number of relatively scientific and technical topics are presented in plain English, making them accessible to those without a scientific background.

The archive is British, but tries to take into account differences in cat care and attitudes in major pet-owning societies throughout the world. There will be cultural differences evident in articles; where necessary, separate country-specific information is included and indicated as to its applicability. The information is presented without bias, but Messybeast reserves the right to express personal opinions and these are generally indicated by the first person singular (I, my, me) or by a qualifying statement. All attempts have been made to keep the articles accurate and up-to-date (except where marked "no longer maintained").

Just because an article includes two or more sides of an argument does not make it biased. Some of the facts and views expressed may be unpalatable due to breed society politics where they are more often "swept under the carpet". Ignoring facts will not make facts go away. Different societies/registries have different, but equally valid, opinions on topics such as "what is a deformity", indoors/outdoors etc. Some American breeders construe impartiality and presentation of multiple viewpoints as bias against them. Since Messybeast is not affiliated to a breed society or registry, it presents views other than the "politically" accepted one and does not sanitise articles to conform to registry politics.

3. Who runs Messybeast?

It is run privately by Sarah Hartwell in Britain. A contact email is provided on the main contents page. Contrary to some site reviews, Messybeast is not run or maintained by Cats Protection, nor by any other registered or private charity whose details appear in the archive or links.

4. Does Messybeast accept contributions?

The general answer is no. Messybeast articles are researched and written by S Hartwell and include personal observations/experience. Additional information, correction and comment is welcome for potential inclusion in articles e.g. short case histories. Articles will not be sanitised for the sake of national, breed or registry politics. Breeder photos appearing on Messybeast are provided for information and illustration only. A courtesy link is generally included to the breeder's site. This does not constitute an advertisement of any particular breed or breeder. Where possible, information is obtained from multiple independent sources to provide a variety of viewpoints; in the case of some topics/rare breeds there may only be a single source of information available.

Messybeast contents are restricted to informational and commentary. Fiction, stories, poems etc about cats and cat-related humour are held at Messybeast's sister site, Moggycat and includes some contributions.

Many of the earlier-dated articles on Messybeast and Moggycat were originally written for cat magazines and newsletters. Factual articles have been updated unless stated otherwise in the introduction.

5. Does Messybeast endorse featured breeds or breeders?

Articles about breeds are informational only. They are not endorsements of particular breeds or breeders. They detail the attributes and development of breeds. In newly developed breeds this information may be available from a single breeder or a small number of breeders. In short, Messybeast does not provide consumer reviews of breeds or breeders. Messybeast does not remove informational articles on the basis of single cats displaying an undesirable issue that is not representative of the breed in general. Any breed, whether new or long-established, may produce cats that have issues that are not representative of the breed as whole.

6. Does Messybeast rehome cats?

The definitive answer is "No". It is not a rehoming site or a shelter/breeder referral site. It is an information archive. To find details of your local cat shelter, humane society, animal rescue group etc, you should refer to your local telephone directory or Yellow Pages. You may find local information by searching using Google (www.google.com). Messybeast does not maintain a list of rescue organisations.

7. What advice is available from Messybeast?

While Messybeast will try to answer general email queries (or refer you to an appropriate source of information), it does not give detailed veterinary or specialist advice. Veterinary queries should always be referred to a qualified veterinarian or to a veterinary nurse/veterinary technician. There are plenty of cat care/health books available, look for ones which have been written or approved by a veterinarian, a humane society or by a recognised feline organisation. Cat care fact sheets are available from many veterinary surgeries and welfare organisations.

I have been studying genetics for over 30 years, most of that being specific to cat genetics and to hybrid animals. In that time I've built up extensive knowledge of cat inheritance genetics and hereditary conditions. I have a particular interest in making information about "anomalies" available to veterinary staff, breeders, rescues and owners. Some anomalies are so rare there is little freely available information about them. For detailed genetics advice, the book "Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians" is well worth getting hold of through Amazon or other online booksellers. I was a contributor to the 4th Edition.

I've also observed and studied cat behaviour for around 30 years. That includes working with all types of cats at a rescue shelter, taming feral kittens and taking on "unhomeable" cats. For more detailed behavioural advice, books by Peter Neville (behaviourist), Claire Bessant (behaviourist), Bruce Fogle (vet) or Roger Tabor (biologist) are available from on-line booksellers. Alternatively, look for books written by members of a recognised pet behavioural body (e.g. APBC in the UK). Cat owners in the USA might want to look out for books by Jackson Galaxy.

8. What is the Messybeast breed list?

This is a world-wide list of all formally recognised breeds, plus unrecognised breeds, varieties, variants, extinct breeds, experimental breeds and a number of notable mutations and cross-breeds. It originated in the mid 1980s and was maintained in association with the members of Yahoo's "newbreedcats" mailing list and later with Facebook. It is not affiliated to any individual organisation or registry. The breed list is now used by many other sites, both with and without prior permission. Many copies found elsewhere on the web are historical versions of the list.

Messybeast does not maintain a list of breeders. Breeders can be found via cat magazines and by using a search engine e.g. www.google.com. Not all breeds will be found in all countries.

There is an associated breeds time-line which is more difficult to maintain because different breeds achieved recognition in different places at different times and under different names.

The Plain English guide to cat colours is a non-genetics list of different colours and patterns. It is largely a cross-reference guide since some colours/patterns have different names in different countries or in different breeds.

9. Where has the clip art collection gone?

The royalty free clip-art had to be removed due to problems of traffic. This caused the server to come to a halt and prevented people accessing the informational articles. A few clip art images have been left online as these are used to illustrate Messybeast's own articles.

10. What about using Messybeast articles and clip-art in my newsletter or on my site?

An email contact is provided on the archive's contents page. In general, non-commercial use e.g. club newsletters is fine provided the copyright is left intact (inclusion of the Messybeast URL is appreciated). Use in commercial (profit-making) publications is by agreement of Messybeast only and a courtesy copy is appreciated. The clip-art is royalty free and provided for use on websites, in newsletters, school projects etc.

If you want to include an edited or adapted version e.g. adapting the euthanasia articles to dogs or to produce a hand-out fact-sheet or a reference source for a particular age-group, please ask first. There are already some adapted versions elsewhere on the web which may save you time!

11. What about linking to Messybeast?

There is no restriction on linking to individual pages within the site. As with all web sites, there is the possibility of those pages being updated or moved.

12.Why can't I link directly to Messybeast photos?

Hot-linking my images to include them in your own pages or on forums uses up my bandwidth and costs me money. Messybeast is a not-for-profit site so I don't want to pay for other people to use my bandwidth. If you want to feature a single image on a forum or bulletin board, you will have to copy that image to your own webspace and link to it there; that way you will be using your own bandwidth.

13. What is the Messybeast magazine list

This is a list of the main cat-related magazines in Britain, North America, Australia/New Zealand and parts of Europe, providing a subscription/contact address or a link to the magazine's web site. Any price details are for guidance only and may be out of date. It is restricted to those magazines sold in booksellers, news-stands and newsagents and is provided purely for the convenience of people wanting to locate magazines in their own, or in foreign, countries. Discontinued publications are listed for information only. It has not been possible to include details of Russian or Japanese cat magazines. Breed society magazines are not included.

14. What are Dragonqueen, Moggycat, the History pages, Rare & Extinct pages and "Me and My Bus" pages?

These are my other projects. Moggycat is where I put my cat stories and verse. Dragonqueen is where my non-cat-related items are kept. The History pages mostly relate to dogs, horses and other animals, but also include old farming photos from the Colchester area of Britain [Essex/Suffolk]). The farming photos were found during a house clearance and the originals donated to a museum. The are tentatively dated to the 1940s. "Extinct & Rare" pages began when I photographed museum specimens of animals that were either extinct, or close to extinction. "Me and My Bus" is about one of my other hobbies.

15. How do I get added to the Messybeast links?

The links are generally restricted to the HQ sites of major British cat charities (e.g. Cats Protection, Cat Action Trust) and to one or two representative cat-related humane societies in North America. Commercial links are, in general, not accepted. There are several links to link-banks, other pet resource sites and link directories; these are at the discretion of Messybeast and will provide you with links to many other sites, charities and humane societies.

Some articles e.g. Disabled Cats, have links to suppliers of specialist cat care items. These are provided purely for the convenience of readers and in response to numerous emails requesting "Where can I get ...". They do not constitute an endorsement of any particular manufacturer and, as far as possible, several alternative suppliers are listed to avoid bias.

16. Advertising, Traffic Monitoring & Traffic Ranking

Apart from Google Adsense on some pages, Messybeast does not carry advertising, pop-ups or invisible web-traffic monitoring gifs (web-bugs). Google Adsense is only used to help pay for webhosting. Links to commercial sites (reciprocal links) will not be added unless they form part of an article e.g. specialist veterinary items. Form letters requesting reciprocal links to commercial sites are treated as spam.

Wherever possible, Messybeast has opted out of traffic ranking engines as they have resulted in excessive spam from would-be advertisers who don't read Items 14 & 15 (above). The server already suffers during peak traffic times (and may result in time-outs) and does not seek to link to sites to improve its traffic ranking. As a non-advertising, non-profitmaking site, providing people with accurate cat-related information is more important than attracting more traffic.

17. What are the Messybeast/Moggycat April Fool Articles?

Almost every year, there is an April Fool article that combines plausible and detailed genetics with a "fun" topic. These are especially appreciated by those with an appreciation of genetics. Read those articles closely and there are clues in the article date, the author name or buried in the "references" (citations). So far the April Fools have covered imaginary cat breeds and imaginary mutations (two-tailed, green fur etc)



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