You would be forgiven for thinking that there are a gazillion cat websites. There are actually not that many websites exclusively dedicated to cats above 1m Alexa. And there is only one dedicated to the very best pictures of cats supported by carefully researched facts. Yes, I promoting my own website Pictures of Cats and I shouldn't.
But the effort that has gone into getting it to the position it is in now has been awesome. And I am not saying that it is in a good position; just an OK position. Currently ranked about 620k in Alexa and falling (!) having risen to 608k.
The hard part is to keep building great content. It takes a long time and you cannot go too fast and skimp on production as you will, in the end, lose visitors.
The key is to deliver information that is really useful. My modus operandi is to combine the finest cat photographs (and art - yet to do this) with carefully researched facts supported by my thoughts covering wider issues.
If someone reads this (and I have no illusions believe me) then if you want to build a website think hard about it. Make sure that you are very interested in the subject matter of the website as this will keep you going (vital as sometimes it is hard to keep going as it is massively hard to to get seen no matter how well you have SEOed the site).
Keep disciplined and resolve to build pages regularly. Try and build say 200-400 pages (a lot) all of good quality. The search engines will reward you for it.
Don't try and trick the search engines. You can't beat father Google he is too good at this kind of stuff. But use Google and befriend him. Make it a symbiotic relationship.
I have been trying to get a page rank and am still unranked. I have 190 inbound links some from sites ranked in the 300-400k and I am on the home page of these sites. One day Google will be kind enough to page rank me. I've been going since June 2007.
Head down and press on. Like a golfer about to win a major championship it pays to not look at the scoreboard and just keep building quality content.