Katzenworld is the brainchild of Marc-Andre Runcie-Unger and Iain Runcie-Unger and was recently named the number one pet blog in the UK. Together with a team of cat-lovers (cat-obsessives!), the pair cover everything feline from cat cafes and reviews to products and poetry. We caught up with Marc-Andre who told us about the blog’s development, the cats’ personalities and working with PRs.
How has your blog changed from when you first started?
When we first started our blog it was a very simply blog hosted on WordPress.com and we quickly realised that in order to get it known and out there we needed to increase its usability, content and design. Initially, we moved to a custom domain and WordPress-own themes to improve this but eventually our blog outgrew what WordPress.com can offer even on their paid-for packages.
We did a lot of research and decided to self-host with a UK hosting company called 34SP that specialises in dedicated WordPress hosting. They helped us move our blog and its readers, and it enabled us to completely overhaul our theme and blog features. Today the blog runs on a custom designed themed that allows us to interchange blocks and create engaging and visual sections for our readers.
Content-wise our blog has always stayed true to its key principals of providing the cat-loving people with a place to mingle and interchange their views and opinions, find product reviews, read the latest cat news and more!
But we didn’t just stop there… we actually took our Blog out on the road and have been running stalls at various cat shows and big events like the National Pet Show to talk to people about our Blog, provide them guidance on all things cat as well as sell some of the products we as a team loved the most!
What’s the best thing about being a pet blogger?
Well apart from that our pets are an integral part of running a pet blog and being our family there is also the people you get to meet! Networking is such a fun and important part of any blogger’s life. The pet industry especially seems to be full of amazing individuals.
How conscious are you of the animal’s personality as opposed to your own when writing?
The personalities of our cats are the most important thing to me! This is why most of our product reviews and advice posts are written from the view of our cats. It’s all about getting into the mindset of what our cats would have to say about things.
What are better cats or dogs?
Well as cat bloggers one could say we are biased on this… but I truly believe cats are better as they are much more independent and us humans have to earn their respect!
Do you dress up your pets for Halloween?
We don’t. It’s just much more difficult with cats than with dogs and most cats don’t appreciate the extra ‘coat’. Though one of our guest bloggers dresses up her cat regularly and her cat looks happy and doesn’t mind at all!
Did you have a pet growing up?
I had fish as a child as my mother was highly allergic to cats and dogs but I always wanted a cat as a pet. Iain, on the other hand, grew up with cats and it was him who got us to adopt our first cat (Oliver the Tuxedo) shortly followed by Nubia (the black cat), Renegade (the oriental) and Freya (the straightcoat Peterbald).
What’s the best tip you have for pet owners?
Cats are trainable! Many people think cats can’t be trained but you just have to take a slower and different approach to how to train a dog. It’s all about finding the right reward for good behaviour with them. Oliver, for example, will come when called.
How do you work with PRs and brands?
For me it’s important to understand the company/project I work with fully. A collaboration should be about mutual benefit and you can’t achieve that if you don’t fully understand the brand or product you are working with.
What are the best collaborations you’ve worked on?
One of the best collaborations we have done and in fact do every year is awareness of the effect of fireworks on pets. The dog of one of Iain’s sisters was never the same after he got scared by fireworks and thus we wanted to raise awareness of preventative measures on this anyway! Each year we work with a selection of companies around top tips and advice including herbal remedies
Do bloggers need their own industry association?
Yes! We are lucky as there is the international Cat Writer Association that we are part of to provide us with important journalistic resources, but a dedicated Blogger association would be able to address specific topics that only come up for Blogs even better.