Even though I am not a charity, but as long as you are working in the animal industry, you will always end up being involved with animal rescue. Simply because your website is out there, people in desperation will contact whatever that comes up on Google search. I guess I am doing my SEO properly so I often end up receiving calls from people who needs help with cat rescue mission.
Also, after being in this business for over a decade, I often got calls from various cat charities who might be in need of help. I always try my best to help as much as I can.
But over the years, I realise one problem. Sure, we can go out and help one cat, two cat, three cats, or even a colony of cats. But why are those cats there in the first place? Why are cats being abandoned?
When I first turned 30, my mission was to start a cat business and work for myself. I have just turned 40 this year. (FYI: my original plan was to go to Paris with a good friend to celebrate for a weekend, but then the pandemic hits….so here I am. I will celebrate it when the pandemic is over)
In my 40s, I want to get into education, so to raise the awareness of the public on cat welfare. I strongly believe that with education and public campaign, there should be less and less cats needing rescue in the long run. And that’s going to be my mission for the next decade.
As one of the first steps of me starting this journey, I have created this infographic about TNR (Trap-and-Release or Trap-and-Return). Please feel free to share this far and wide. The more people learning about the best practice in cat welfare, the better chance for cats to have a better life everywhere. If you want to print this out, click on the download button below to download a PDF file.
We are having a different kind of summer this year. Are you trying to figure out something for the kids to do? Do you have a little cat lover at home? If the answer is yes, you might want to check this out!
5 days of fun and activities, accessible from anywhere in the world, to learn to be a responsible cat guardian.
We have experts from the cat industry to be our camp leaders – cat behaviourist, vet nurse, sanctuary volunteers, cat trainer and pet massage therapist.
What is syllabus?
Day 1 Lesson: introduction, the origin of cats, and cat physiology. Adventure: tell us what your cat does that could come from Africa wild animal origin!
Day 2 Lesson: Where to even get a cat? What should we check before getting one? Cat care basics and your responsibility as a guardian. Adventure: DIY cat enrichment project
Day 3 Lesson: Cat behaviour: body language, vocalisation, “cat problems”. Adventure: cat training basics for kids – learn how to get your cat to come when called and teach them to do “high five”!
Day 4 Lesson: Chronic illness and how to manage, basic first aids. Adventure: learn how to do a short cat massage for your cat’s daily well being. How to get your cat used to the cat carrier for future vet visits?
Day 5 Lesson: How is it like working in the cat industry? Adventure: ask the experts! You will have the opportunity to ask any questions on how to start a career with cats!
Each camper will also receive a camper pack in the post full of goodies for both human and cat!
What is included?
*A downloadable workbook with more activities!
*A camper pack (this should arrive one week before the event)
–> Camper t-shirt
–> Cat ears headband
–> Cat wallet
–> One exclusive Made in USA cat toy
–> Cat treats
–> Certificate of achievement
–> “I am a responsible cat guardian” ID card
* A Facebook group for parents to connect and participate in a giveaway for their kids! (Everyone will have access to the Facebook Group one week before the summer camp)
*** Space are limited to ensure each child have enough opportunity to interact with others. So sign up soon to avoid disappointment! ***
If you don’t have little one at home, think about buying a ticket for your little family members whom you might or might not get to see this summer, show them you are thinking of them.
Did you know vets and behaviourists around the world are bracing ourselves for the wave of post-pandemic separation anxiety cases coming to hit us in the next few months?
Reason is simple, many of us have been at home with our cats for months at this stage! In Ireland and around the world, the lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted, and many people are returning to work.
Although we know that cats are reasonably independent animals, the sudden drastic changes this year (both directions!) can still be a dramatic experience for them.
Government regulation varies, depending on where you are, if where you are is still pretty “restricted” with you spending most of the time inside, you might want to read the previous “during the pandemic” post.
If where you are is “opening up”, then this post now is what you need.
As a cat behaviorist and cat parent myself, I know how important it is for cat owners to make their feline family members happy! And I want to help you and your cat cope with 3 useful tips for post-pandemic feline separation anxiety:
1. I’m sure your cat received tons of attention and extra love from you the past few months! And now that you’re going back to work, they may be expecting the same amount of attention. It’s important that you establish a routine for your cat so they when to expect attention from you. Studies shown that having a routine is helpful for all forms of anxiety – both humans and cats! You don’t need to make it super complicated. Try to incorporate the cat’s routine with your routine. For example, play with them a couple of minutes before and after work everyday. The key is – be consistent.
2. Your cats have also got used to the noise around the house and having people around. Another tip is to have a timer on your TV or radio, so it can be set up to turn on and off at certain times in the day when you’re not at home. I have clients who use voice recording of their own voice. You might want to explore that option if you can use voice recording to incorporate with your smart home technology so that your voice will come up a few times a day.
3. Try to use a cat camera! Camera is a bit of a misnomer at this point as pet “cameras” these days can serve many functions. Some of them allow you to play with laser pointer games your cat (always stop your laser point on a toy so that your cat can successfully “catch” their prey in order to prevent frustration) There are also cameras where you can drop your cat treats using an App on your phone. This will be a great interactive way to see what they’re up to, talk with your cats during the day so they can hear your voice. Check out this one and this one.
4. Think about hiring a cat sitter for a few weeks to do mid-day drop in. Not only you are giving your local cat sitter some much needed work (they haven’t worked for several months at this stage!) it will also help your cat slowly “wane” off human attention.
5. Some workplaces are required to do that due to social distancing rule and that they can’t have full staff back in the premises yet. If possible, explore the option to work from home part of your week.
6. Keep your cat busy by doing “hunting games” with them. Use commercial food puzzles like this or this or DIY options.
7. Spending quality time with your cat when you can. Catnip, treats, playtime can do always do a lot of good.
8. If you notice significant anxiety, think about Feliway.
9. If you are in need of professional assistance, contact a behaviourist. I now offer virtual consultation globally to anyone who is in need of help. I offer 10 minutes FREE assessment before you decide if you want to book for a full hour consultation.
More resources: I explained more about post-pandemic anxiety and gave some extra tips on my Youtube channel. You can check the video here.
A lot of vets are implementing COVID-19 pandemic policies. These changes are meant to protect you, your pet, and the entire veterinary staff. For example, some policies that are seen in many vet practices are: No human inside the clinic, drop off and pick up outside the door, no cash payment, etc.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE follow these instructions. This is to protect your beloved vet clinic staff. You don’t want them to be sick. If they are sick, they can no longer take care of your animals. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call them ahead of time and follow their instruction to the T. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Animals and COVID-19
Even though there is no evidence that cats and dogs can catch COVID-19, certain precaution is necessary:
Include your pet in social distancing. Do not allow them around anyone when they are outside. Someone who is a silent carrier could touch your pet and you will be at risk if you touch your pet afterwards.
Decide on an Emergency Pet Guardian. This is someone who will take care of your pet if you are not able to take care of them. Please download this FREE document, give it a serious thought, speak to a suitable person and follow the included checklist accordingly.
If you become sick, have the person listed above start taking over your pet as soon as possible and have them give your pet a bath. Cats and dogs can’t catch COVID-19, but their fur could be carrying droplets, the same way your hands can be carrying droplets.
Keep a 4 week supply of food and medications on hand for your pet.
If your pet requires home-cooked meals, consider finding a commercially available alternative or freezing meals ahead of time.
If you do not have anyone to take care of your pet, please let the doctors/nurses/government know that you have a pet. Consider carrying a card like this.
Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccines, this has nothing to do with COVID-19, this is to keep them healthy if they have to be boarded somewhere.
Cat specific tips:
Cats love their routines, and obviously there is a drastic change in our routines right now. If you are working from home and the kids are off school, cats could be stressed by the extra noise and extra movement at home. Please make sure there are places for cats to hide if they want to be away from it all (don’t we all sometimes at this stage?) High places, extra cardboard boxes for hiding. If you have a spare room, consider making it a “cat room” so that the cats can go in there if they need some quiet time alone.
Working from home with a cat has its challenges, it takes coworking and hot-desking to another level. You might need to consider a decoy keyboard…
On another note, it is important for us to stay healthy so that we can take care of our furry friends. You need to help yourself before you can help others. Thankfully, our furry friends are giving us strength by being always there for us. However, if you feel you need to speak with someone, please check out the list of phone numbers of this link. We are all in this together.
It’s hard to believe Catsmas is just around the corner but here we are…
I don’t care for Christmas very much myself. Especially since I started working as a cat sitter, Christmas is always a stressful time for me. Holiday season usually means 16 hours day for those of us in the pet sitting industry.
Having said that, for a bit of fun, I have complied a list of gift list for you all – both for cat lovers and cats! Enjoy!
Da Bird is a best seller cat toy featured on Jackson Galaxy’s show. An incredible thing about Da Bird is the range of refill head available so to keep it interesting for your cats. There are sparkly heads, furry heads, different kinds of feathers and so on.
Check out these cute Christmas theme Valerian pillows? They are straight from a German family business – Aumueller. These pillows are made with great care using the best ingredients. Herbal remedies such as valerian root in German pharmacies quality and well-controlled German Spelt. The intense aroma of valerian attracts cats and magically animate them to play. Valerian is more efficient than catnip and will work on cats who don’t react on catnip.
The good old laser pointers ensure your cat to have hours of fun. Do make sure to end your session by landing the laser pointer to a toy of which your cat can pounce on so that your cat can have the satisfaction of a successful hunting session. Don’t just end the session with turning the laser off. It could cause frustration to your cat and eventually behavioural issues.
The AMAZING Maow Calendar! Yes, it’s my work. I do that every year to feature the amazing cats I know around me. I invite entries from my Facebook followers and have been producing these lovely calendars for a couple of years now. People love these calendars because they are all real cats, no stock photos and it comes with a little background stories from their humans.
2. Cat book
Books always make thoughtful gifts. If you have a cat lover in your life, book is nearly always a safe item to buy. I plan to do book review on this blog in the future. In the meantime, check out the Purrfect Library for my recommendation to get some inspiration.
These beautiful, stylish and soft cat scarf are very suitable for all seasons. These scarf are not the average little fabric around the neck kind of scarf. With generous size of 160cm x 70cm, it will be big enough to cover your shoulders really well. Keep this in your bag and use it on your commute. Subtle cat print, very office friendly for cat ladies. Very easy to be stored in the handbag.
So that’s it for this year’s Catsmas shopping guide, I hope you enjoyed. I might plug in here a little bit to share some Catsmas cat sitting frustration. I don’t see you before the New Year.