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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Embrace the Earth With Kit Gloves
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Happy Easter! Now let’s grow some catnip!
3
Birthday Sunday Selfie, Earl Grey turns 16!
4
What is Your Cat Really Thinking?
5
2017 BlogPaws finalists – that’s something to chirp about!
6
Marvellous Monday Haiku: Someday my Spring will come!
7
How to survive trips to the vet with your head held high
8
Beware: This cat is cold and aloof!
9
Are you letting your cat walk all over you?
10
Celebrating 20 years of TNR at South African University
11
It’s a merry white Christmas
12
5 things I learned about making a bed with cats around
13
I see the world through my heart
14
Cat Calendar that will help care for African ferals
15
A cheekful of Autumn Vine

Embrace the Earth With Kit Gloves

Earth day fragile planet cat cartoon

Jimmy “Fancy Feet” wants you to know that our planet is fragile and we should all do our bit to protect it

 

“What did those last grains of rice do to you?”

To this day I hear my mother’s voice in my head, chastising us for leaving the last few morsels of food on our plates. She used to make frozen food parcels for the homeless from good leftovers. The parcels were even personalized for those whom she knew had dogs and would be labeled, “for Terrance and McGuyver (his dog)”. This duo was one of our regulars and they used to sit on the curb enjoying whatever it was, that was once a family meal. In our home, food and water wastage were a big no-no.

As a teenager, I used to roll my eyes and think what a nuisance they are, these vagabonds, who kept coming back like a colony of stray cats. Grumbling under my breath, I would be ordered to make them peanut butter sandwiches when there were no leftovers to give. How selfish was I, who thought that only my little bubble was all that mattered?

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Happy Easter! Now let’s grow some catnip!

Hello, friends! It’s me Sly Pie. You might be wondering why I’m sitting here in the catnip basket. Well, my friend Ollie told me that if I sit in the basket long enough, I will incubate the catnip seeds so that it will sprout quickly! I’m not quite sure about that but it’s worth a try. I’ll do anything for catnip!

cat cartoon bunny vector drawing

Easter time is exciting for us because we know that very soon we will have our colorful kitty jungle in the catio. The Big Lady Cat always talks about cat environment enrichment but let me tell you, I can sum that up in two beautiful words:  Nepeta Cataria. Catnip lifts me up into a euphoric frenzy that I cannot explain, it feels so good! I wish you could try it but I heard that catnip has more of a sedative and calming effect on humans. Catnip tea anyone?

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Birthday Sunday Selfie, Earl Grey turns 16!

He goes by many names, each suited to his build and demeanor. In the early days, he was Ninhsy, Fat Boy Slim, then just Slim. His confidence earned him the nicknames ‘Lion King’ and ‘Puma Boy’ for his gorgeous silver ‘eyeliner’. These days he is Earl Grey. The latter, not just because of coat coloring, but because if he could, he would be sipping tea, reading the Catnip Times through thick-rimmed spectacles. And he would even call it that.

Senior cat turns 16

But today is his 16th Birthday and the cat with many names wears his crown with pride.

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What is Your Cat Really Thinking?

Instead of our Marvellous Monday Haiku, we present something a little different on this marvelous Monday morning. We know humans are always wondering about what us cats are thinking. You write books about “thinking like a cat,” you Google things like “Why does my cat do this or that?” But to tell you the honest to whiskers truth, there is no secret to know what we want. We’re constantly demonstrating our needs. We drop hints and signs everywhere, and if that’s not enough, many of us vocal cats (myself included) speak our minds! For the most part, you get us. There is no mystery to why we chase the red dot… it’s red, it moves randomly and we like to chase things.

We’re not very different you and I. Both curious by nature; perhaps that is why you are attracted to our species, Felis Catus, in the first place.

I think the human-cat relationship is something special because you have come to understand that one most vital thing about us; that we have never been fully domesticated and we are still very much in tune with our wild roots.  We know you like that about us. So in honor of our special bond, here is a poem which summarizes my kitty thoughts …. just in case you were still wondering.

thinking cat

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2017 BlogPaws finalists – that’s something to chirp about!

We are delighted that Chirpy Cats has made it as one of the finalists in the 2017 BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards. It’s such an honor to be rubbing paws with some very talented bloggers in this wonderful community of pet bloggers.

I came to know about BlogPaws in early 2016 through their Social Learning Community and I have met so many like-minded pet people that “just get it”. We have virtually met and made friends with pet bloggers from around the world. From the most wonderfully wacky, incredibly cute, to the zaniest and adventurous, haughtily snarky, and just plain hilarious; we have crossed paths and paws, and befriended many. To know that we are not alone in this fun pet blogging journey and that there is a supportive platform from which to learn, to grow and to collaborate, makes it all worthwhile.

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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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