Enrich Your Cat's World

The pathway to a happy cat life.

We are passionate about understanding what makes cats happy within their home environments. We share tips and ideas on environment enrichment in multi-cat households in order to help foster harmonious relationships between cats and their people. Follow us on our fun journey with our ten cats as we explore the world of cats and bring you closer to finding the pathway to your cat's heart. By increasing awareness of what cats need in order to be themselves, we hope for fewer cats in shelters and more cats in forever homes.

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Marvellous Monday Haiku: Someday my Spring will come!
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How to survive trips to the vet with your head held high
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Beware: This cat is cold and aloof!
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Are you letting your cat walk all over you?
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Celebrating 20 years of TNR at South African University
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It’s a merry white Christmas
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5 things I learned about making a bed with cats around
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I see the world through my heart
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Cat Calendar that will help care for African ferals
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A cheekful of Autumn Vine
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Keep it Short and Sweet
12
The Cats and the Squirrel and the Chirpy Toons
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Preparing your Kitty Salad Bar
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Marvellous Monday Haiku: Fall Interrupted
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What is your cat teaching you about the purrfect scratching post?

Marvellous Monday Haiku: Someday my Spring will come!

It’s the first day of Spring and we are marking this fresh new beginning with some Marvellous Monday Haiku to get you started on the right footing. If you’re anything like The Big Lady Cat, you are still recovering from the Daylight Savings Time clock change debacle and your Mondays will still be tinged with “meh”. There is nothing worse than a blue-tinged Monday, except I think, when your catio is still paw-deep in snow and you have to wade through it because the humans won’t shovel it. But never mind, we are positive and looking on the bright side; we will soon be seeing the buds on the vine and saying goodbye to our white-tinged catio.

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How to survive trips to the vet with your head held high

A survival guide for coping with trips to the vet from a senior cat.

cat on vet table

Sarabi copes with visits to the vet by thinking of her happy space, catnip on a hot Summer’s day.

It’s 8:10 am and it’s time to leave the house to get to the vet on time but Fluffy is nowhere to be seen. You frantically search under every bed, in the cupboards and even the shower (well, because cats are weird like that and you’re half expecting to find him there, but of course he’s not) and there is no sign of him. Fluffy has sniffed something sinister a mile away and it smells like “vet checkup!” For most cats, myself included, this Houdini tactic is something we have all done at some point in our nine lives. But today I would like to let you in on my transition from a cat who bolted from the cat carrier to a grand old dame who cheerfully hops inside and loves feeling the wind in her whiskers. Well, not today, though, it was -20 degrees celsius and I was certain my old bones would not take kindly to frozen whisker syndrome for the first time, so I settled for the back seat of the car, in a cat carrier. (Yes, I know, boring!)

Think of your happy space, like chin sritches, or butterflies in summer

Now for all you seasoned cats out there, you might knowingly blink at a few points, you might flick your tail in disbelief or you might just start washing your paws in embarrassment. But for the youths out there, let this old lady Bengal (that’s moi!) give you a few pointers on how to survive the trip to the vet with your dignity intact.

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Beware: This cat is cold and aloof!

Is your kitty as cold as ice?

It’s a nice sunny day, so instead of Caturday cuddles, we were presented with a rather bizarre scenario in our catio. He’s cold, hard, doesn’t respond to head boops and he can’t even meow.

Ollie the cat with cat ice sculpture

Hello there, give us a hiss, show us what you got, ice cat.

We are still uncertain about the purpose of this soulless cat with empty eyes and no purr. Not even a hiss! We thoroughly inspected this imposter and he has neither taste nor smell.

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Are you letting your cat walk all over you?

I lay here, unable to move, barely able to stretch my legs for fear of waking a sleeping pile of purring fur at my legs. My neck feels contorted, head shoved off the pillow, and then I open my eyes staring nose to nose at my oldest cat, me graciously accepting a raspy tongue for a second or two. Well wasn’t that a good night’s sleep?!

Cat and his human

Our cats are always hogging our space, wanting to be with us, everywhere. Like many cat people, we practice an open door policy for the bathroom. There’s one cat asleep on the mat next to the shower, there’s another looking curiously from his ‘basin bed.’ I have accepted that cat hair, like invisible floating snowflakes, will always mysteriously land on my mascara wand when applying makeup. This is the complete cat package, one that we would never give up for the world.

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Celebrating 20 years of TNR at South African University

I felt very privileged to have met and mingled with some of the feral cats from TUFCAT, a TNR group based at University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. The university is home to many feral colonies for the past 20 years and thanks to the work of TUFCAT staff and volunteers, these kitties have not just been surviving, but thriving. This is ten year old Chong, senior resident of the Eduardo dos Santos residence on the university campus. Doesn't he have gorgeous whiskers? He warmed up to me for a little photo shoot. 😻😻 #whiskerswednesday #catsofinstagram #tufcat #tnr #feralcat #seniorcat #capetown #uwccats #universitycat #smartcat #beautifulcat #tuxedocat #handsomecat #catlover #southafrica #ilovecapetown

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It’s a merry white Christmas

Jackaboo the cat sends warm seasons greetings.

Jackaboo and friends wish you a Happy Christmas.

In these turbulent times we wish for nothing more than peace around the world. Our human guardians are blessed because we know that with just one stroke of fur or a rumble of a purr all troubles melt away.

We wish you joy, peace, fulfillment and happiness in whatever holiday it is that you celebrate.

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5 things I learned about making a bed with cats around

Most cat owners know all too well the daily struggle of making a bed with cats lurking about. There you are removing the bedding, shaking out the sheets and cats come from all corners of the house to make a mad dash for the bed to pounce and ‘tent’ under flying sheets. Cats have a built-in radar for hearing the rustle of sheets and bedding no matter where they are in the house.

“Someone’s making the bed, let’s go pawticipate!”

The more you shake out the sheet, the more excited your cat becomes, thinking this game is most definitively ten times better than that silly wriggly new toy you had bought last week. On a cat’s list of things to do, only ‘boxing’ or sitting in a box, tops ‘helping the human make bed’, which comes in at a close second.

These are the 5 things I learned about making the bed with the help of cats

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I see the world through my heart

“He’s gone blind” I texted my husband, just a week after invasive dental surgery on our 15-year-old CKD cat, Earl Grey.
“That can’t be possible, I saw him climbing on the bridge this morning.”

I observed every step he took, watched every movement closely. Yes, our cat has become blind, overnight. Our beloved Earl Grey is struggling to find his way around the house. He is trying to desperately rediscover every corner, sniffing every inch of surface, treading lightly with each hesitant paw. His slow movement is not just weakness from the surgery or muscle atrophy from his kidney disease. His eyes are dilated black saucers, trying desperately to catch any light, just any at all. His head sways in the general direction of my voice as I try to soothe him with calming words.

At this moment I try to recall if this was a sudden onset or was he like this when he returned home after spending two nights at the vets after his surgery. Were his pupils this dilated and vacant? I can’t recall through my utter devastation. But how was he able to climb up to the bridge?

Our vet confirmed he has high blood pressure and this, coupled with the four-hour long surgery to remove ten teeth and the myriad of drugs administered to keep him alive during his surgery, were all contributing factors to his loss of sight. Having kidney disease did not help his situation either.

In every situation, there is light at the end of the tunnel, albeit for him, a very dark tunnel. We know his mouth is pain-free now as he is wolfing down his food. A huge relief!

My mum asked, “but how will he get by?”

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Cat Calendar that will help care for African ferals

‘A Catio for all Seasons’ Cat Calendar

Us cats love nothing more than to cavort in our little catio jungle, come rain, hail or snow. There is always something interesting to do; basking in a sun puddle, watching the birds from the highway ramps or ambushing my friend George as he exits the tunnel. We like sharing our activities with everyone and we are pleased to announce our new 2017 cat wall calendar ‘A Catio for all Seasons’ which is now available for sale. There are many delightful photos of us, capturing our charming purrsonalities and mischievous antics, but above all, it’s also peppered with sprinklings of our Haiku poetry that is sure to keep you on the good path of Zen. Here at Chirpy Cats it’s all about less stress and more Zen.

Cat Calendar 2017

The Chirpy Cats 2017 Wall Calendar ‘A Catio for All Seasons’

 

The Chirpy Cats crew hail from different situations, but our backgrounds all have a common thread: abandonment by humans for various reasons. We were lucky to end up with our humans, but we know that many others are not so lucky. That is why our big Lady Cat has decided to donate all proceeds from this calendar to a TNR program in South Africa called TUFCAT (The UWC feral Cat Project) a rescue group based in Cape Town, South Africa, who takes care of a colony of ferals located on the University premises. Read More

A cheekful of Autumn Vine

Can you feel it? Can you hear it? The crisp cool air, the captivating frisson of colour everywhere and the crispy crunch of ‘leaf Fall’. But the bugs are leaving and Mr Spider is about to pack his bags goodbye so what’s a kitty to do? Well, perhaps spend more time at the indoor watering hole or do more laptop time. But if you’re an outdoorsy kind of cat that also loves silver vine (Actinidia Kolomikta), then you’d be wise to spend your mornings claiming your spot. What’s so special about the silver vine plant during the Fall? The twigs are exposed when the leaves fall making them more attractive and accessible to kitty noses. Not a cat goes by without stopping in their tracks and rubbing against the vine, spreading a cheekful of pure vine goodness on their fur.

Old grandpa Earl Grey Ninhsy and Scout get their share of vine loving at the vine corner of the catio.

  • Senior cat jumps from rampJump my old boy, jump!
    Confident and sure-footed
    You are amazing!
  • perfect landing for senior catDignity intact
    A graceful purrfect landing
    With a spring in your stride
  • cat sniffs silver vine twigsInvigorated!
    Scented twigs my nostrils flair
    I feel like I'm home
  • cat loves the smell of silver vineI've forgotten the vet
    The Silver Vine calls me home
    I am here to stay
  • Cat out on the catwalkCool tortie walks by
    She seeks vine twigs a plenty
    Enough for me alone?
  • Scout the cat loves the vineCan it be explained
    The vine tickles my tortitude
    My senses entranced
  • Scout the cat contemplatesI think long and hard
    The leaves go but the twigs remain
    Even in the snow
  • Scout lying on the catio floor with leafOh marvellous leaf!
    Our kitchen floor is too bare
    Time to decorate!

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Keep it Short and Sweet

“You want a Sunday Selfie? Sure I can do one or two, but make it quick! I have places to go and things to see.”

When branches are swaying and leaves are moving, the pitter patter of little tuxedo capri pants paws are itching to leave their prints through the tunnels to investigate. Sly Pie sits for a minute and shows off his new layers ready for winter.

tuxedo cat looks cute

Ma, does my tuxie coat hide my increased girth?

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The Cats and the Squirrel and the Chirpy Toons

Squirrel after sunflowers

There’s nothing wrong with wanting it all.

Determination and tenacity will eventually earn you the prize, but sometimes you need a trick or two up your sleeves. If you’re a squirrel surrounded by five pairs of glaring cat eyes while gathering up your sunflowers heads, your bag of party tricks should include more than just being nimble. You need to fly, or at least pretend that you can. Mr Squirrel and his bandit friends had their eyes on the largest sunflower heads near the catio and no amount of cat threats were going to deter them from getting their paws on the bigger booty. No, he had his eye on the prize so in one fell swoop he jumped from the balcony onto the roof of the catio, and then bounced onto the main catio beams, trying to dodge Ollie’s paws that were trying to reach out and grab him. What he did next was straight out of a scene from the Looney Toons…

Squirrel eats sunflower

I will just sit here motionless and pretend I’m a flower pot

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Preparing your Kitty Salad Bar

cat grass and fountain

Kitty Salad bar and watering hole. Executive cat lounge for exclusive members only

We’re in week three of Happy Cat Month, created by the Catalyst Council to promote cats wellbeing and this week we focus on the Happy Safe Cat. There are many ways in which you can keep us kitties safe but we would like to talk about cat safe plants. Yes, we’re obligate carnivores but there’s not a cat in town that doesn’t like to graze on greens. It’s also officially the start of Autumn and we’re excited because the humans have begun setting up our watering hole/salad bar for winter. Essentially, this is when they bring the outdoors, indoors for the duration of the winter, during which time our catio is a blanket of white. The kitty salad bar is an area in the house where we like to lounge, groom, drink, share sun puddles and snack on our greens. There are many plants that appear on the toxic list and it seems that there are no safe alternatives for us cats. Cat grass and catnip are the most popular snacks on the menu, but I’m here to tell you that you can broaden your tastes, and that there are indeed many other safe varieties of plants that us Chirpy Cats have tried and tested. Of course, our plant-eating habit comes with leaving a few recycled remnants of regurgitation on the carpet, but fret not humans. Cleaning it all up is a very small price to pay for the precious purr therapy we provide to soothe your stressful living. By creating these little kitty garden watering holes around the house, you’re stepping up your cat environment enrichment game. Below, our big lady cat explains further on greening up our living spaces and tips on keeping us out of your plants. (as if!)

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Marvellous Monday Haiku: Fall Interrupted

Hello, it’s Ollie here and I’d like to kick off another edition of Marvellous Monday Haiku to shake off that Monday blues. We spent all weekend trying our best to stay cool. It seems the heat and humidity is back for a brief period just to remind us that we’re still very much in a transitional phase when temperatures are all over the place. Some of us spent time inside, lying on our backs, belly up under the fans, and some of us who like the heat just chilled in our catio as usual. The African Daisies are still in bloom and the bees are hard at work. We like this slow transition, we’re not is a hurry for anything to change. Let nature take its course and we will follow along. In today’s gallery I invite you into our world and hope this week’s haiku picks will inspire you to stop and savour the moment. Do not let that mountain of work overwhelm you, just sort through it one by one and reach out for help when you need it. My paws have the healing magic touch, just so you know.

  • Cat stretches out his pawHello there human
    My paw has the magic touch
    To ease your troubles
  • Bee on a sunflowerBusy Busy bee
    Make honey while the sun shines
    You still have some time
  • Tortoiseshell cat walks though the tunnel gardenI walk in beauty
    Like an Autumn breeze swaying leaves
    Not yet upon us
  • Yawning sleeping catsIt's time for snoozies
    Inertia is my best friend
    Wake me up in Fall
  • African Daisy in full bloomFresh petals pose bright
    Berry centre bleeds anew
    There's no end in sight
  • Old cat walks through cat gardenSlow down Mr. Grey
    You walk with purpose knowing
    The coming of Fall
  • Ollie the cat relaxes in the shaded condoDid you say the sun
    Will hide its rays in Autumn
    I will be waiting
  • Senior cat in tunnelClouds of fur all bright
    Your silver lining soothes me
    Will it rain tonight?
  • Cat chewing grassI will chew on grass
    Recycled for you later
    On your kitchen floor
  • Cat watching water fountainTrickling of water
    I see the fleeting Summer
    In my fickle thoughts

 

Love
Ollie signature

How do you deal with your Monday workload? Do the shorter days affect your mood? Grab your first morning coffee and tell us in the comments below.

 

What is your cat teaching you about the purrfect scratching post?

cat wants to play

Sly wants to play, but what does Ollie have up his furry paws?

Hello furriends, I’m Sly Pie and I heard via the cat vine that September is Happy Cat Month. I would not have deemed it necessary to have a month dedicated to our happiness, because every month should be Happy Cat Month. But when I reflect back on my life before I joined the Chirpy Cats crew, I understand why there is a need to highlight a month for us cats. You see, I was not always pampered and fussed over, I was living the thug life, free to roam but always wondering where my next meal is coming from.

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