Spanning the Decades

CAT FANCY fills a need for 40 years, educating and entertaining cat lovers of all ages.

By Susan Logan

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Self-described as a magazine for anyone who fancies the cat, CAT FANCY from its inception has been devoted to the care, welfare and adoration of all cats. Although the publication has been under different editorial leadership throughout the decades, one thing remained the same: The readers made CAT FANCY what it is and were key to its longevity.

The 60s: Birth
International CAT FANCY Magazine was first published bi-monthly in 1965 by a company of the same name. Leslie Slawson Smith was the first editor-publisher and president of the company in Studio City, Calif. He and his wife, Elizabeth, filled CAT FANCYs pages with passionate pleas to keep cats indoors, spay and neuter and become a responsible owner. They often discussed animal neglect and abuse. They were ahead of their time and so was CAT FANCY.

In his column, The Responsibility of the Cat Fancy, Smith urged the entire cat community to unite to stop animal suffering. We want an immediate and complete moratorium on all experiments, which cause pain or injury, on all living animals used in experiments. He urged readers to write letters, obtain a thousand signatures and send them to CAT FANCY. His goal was to collect 100,000 signatures by Jan. 1, 1967, and that by Jan. 1, 1968, Humanity will be the law of the land, a phrase often used in his editorials. To accomplish his goal, Smith founded and sponsored the International Humane Society, which had 8,000 members by early 1967.

The 70s: Growing Pains
The business side of the magazine saw much transition in its first decades. Beginning with the March/April 1968 issue, CAT FANCY was published by Pet Magazine Inc. in New York. Smith remained editor/publisher, but vice president of the company. In the September/October 1971 issue, the Smiths announced a return to the West Coast and by the April 1972 issue, CAT FANCY was published by Slawson Communications Inc. of San Diego. Smith was chairman/editor/publisher.

June 1972 sported a slightly redesigned cover with blurbs along the left side, rather than listed in one block at the bottom. The cover tagline, The Worlds Most Widely Read Magazine About Cats and Kittens, first appeared.

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