There are many options for putting your cat on social media these days, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram established as the three most cat-friendly networks.
But before you go ahead and post up eight trillion pictures documenting the wacky shenanigans of your favorite feline, there are a few precautions you should follow.
Take a minute to consider these important safety warnings before you post your adorable feline online for all the world to see.
1. Keep Personal Information Private
You know that adorable picture of your darling, little furball lounging daintily across a pile of mail that’s been left spread out on the table? Well, before you blast a pic to your social media followers, it’s smart to make sure that your address isn’t visible on any of the letters.
If some of your personal details are visible in the picture — like, say, an address label on a cardboard box that your cat has claimed — try and crop them out or use a filter or effect on your app to blur them out. In this world of identity theft, cat-nappers, and internet bullies, it’s the smart thing to do.
The same goes if your cat wears a collar with an ID tag. Make sure only their name, if anything, is visible on the tag in your pictures. Blur or crop out any collar tags that display your personal info.
This point also applies to the geotagging setting in your social media apps. Do you really want strangers knowing the precise location of where you live or where you are? Turn off geotagging in the settings for all your pictures that you post on social media.
It’s especially important to turn this function off if you’ve called out sick from work but are secretly binge-watching Stranger Things on the couch with your cat.
2. Prepare To Receive Hater And Troll Comments
The internet is great at connecting people, but the anonymous nature of much of it also imbues certain people with the feeling that they have a right to publicly criticize and moralize about what other people share with the world.
So be aware that the picture of your cat strutting across the kitchen countertops or pretending to drink from your beer or wine glass might end up attracting some nasty comments on your post.
Sometimes these comments will come from people who are genuinely concerned for animals, and sometimes they’ll come from internet trolls and bullies. Just make sure you have thick skin, or change your settings so you’re only sharing pictures with real friends and followers.
3. Remember That Things Change In The Future
It’s often said that when it comes to posting photos of your own children on social media, you should ask yourself what they’d be happy with seeing about themselves online when they’re older. This doesn’t really apply to cats, but do remember that your cat might, at some point, become sick or even pass away.
Remember, once things are posted online, they’re pretty much there forever. So if you think suddenly receiving a notification about a picture of a cat who’s no longer with you might upset you, consider reigning in how much you post online or the extent of the personal details about your cat you reveal to the world.
Like all things with social media, pause and think twice before hitting “post” on that picture of your cat.
Are you careful about sharing pictures of your cat online? Are there any kinds of cat pictures that you avoid posting? Let us know in the comments below!