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Australian start-up PetCloud has launched the nation’s first dedicated pet taxi service and in a first for Australia, the new Pet Taxi App allows pets to ride unaccompanied.

Whether they’re arranging a taxi to a grooming appointment, vet check-up, or a lift home from a wedding, pet owners who use the Pet Taxi App can rest assured that every driver is insured, trained in animal handling and has undergone a police-check, and their pet is properly secured during each trip. 

Like other ride share services, users simply download the app and book a pet taxi on demand or schedule a pick-up up to 72 hours in advance

Pet owners can track their pet’s ride in real time through the app’s GPS system and get fare estimates before they book. Pet businesses such as vet clinics and grooming salons can also book pet taxis on behalf of their clients. 

With pets in two-thirds of Australian households, PetCloud CEO Deb Morrison said it was about time they had their own ride share service. 


“There are more pets than people in Australia with last estimates at around 30 million, which adds up to a lot of pet health and grooming appointments. 

Whether a pet needs a ride home from a mid-morning grooming appointment or a ride to the vet for a dental check-up, pet owners can't always stop half-way through their workday to pick up their pets, and we know that not all pet owners have a car. 

PetCloud's mission has always been to remove barriers to pet ownership and make responsible pet care easy and we are proud to say we have found a new way to do this through our Pet Taxi App,” Ms Morrison said. 

While PetCloud has been offering pet taxis through its pet sitting platform for a couple of years, Ms Morrison said increased interest in the service, especially among Australia’s growing aging population, showed the nation was ready for its first dedicated pet taxi service

“Pets bring so much joy and comfort to people’s lives and we don’t want anyone to miss out on that special relationship because they can’t drive or have a busy job. By offering a pet taxi service we’re paving the way for more Australians to be able to care for a pet regardless of their life situation,” she said. 

“We already have more than 1100 pet-loving drivers across Australia gearing up to drive Miss Daisy to her next appointment and welcome anyone else looking to make some spare cash as a pet taxi driver.” 







In line with PetCloud’s regulations, Pet Taxi App drivers have all had police checks, are trained in animal handling, insured, and have the backing of Australia’s most respected animal welfare charity, with RSPCA Queensland a part owner of PetCloud

The Pet Taxi App is now available to download, pet taxi drivers can sign up here and pet businesses can access the pet taxi business portal here

For more information on PetCloud, visit www.petcloud.com.au 

MEDIA RELEASE, 6th January 2021


The humble hound and friendly feline have proven during the pandemic how important they are to our everyday lives. Pet Insurance Australia takes a look at the research behind how our pets can help improve our mental health and overall wellbeing.

“For experienced pet owners, and new fur parents, it comes as no surprise how good they are for our mental health,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “Not only do they make a great distraction from all the doom and gloom, but they also provide us with a good excuse to unplug and click off.”

With the current global climate and the effects being felt concerning Covid-19, the benefits of having a companion animal around the home have certainly increased.

“For many years it’s been clear that
having a pet around can help with depression, anxiety while also allowing for social interaction with others,” Crighton says. 

“Even during a lockdown situation, pet owners seek advice and conversation from social media pet-specific groups and take pride in sharing their stories of their four-legged companions.”

Pets are particularly important in helping combat loneliness, they make wonderful companions to those who live alone and the elderly that could be struggling with finding safe interactions.

“There are some wonderful research papers that indicate how much pets help owners who are feeling stressed or suffering from mental health struggles,” Crighton says. 

“Pet owners can manage their feelings better as their pets provide powerful connections and distractions from stress and possible triggers.”

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is a non-profit organisation that funds research into the health benefits of pets and human-animal interaction. Their research indicates that anyone suffering from mental health concerns, benefit greatly when they have access to the correct services, care, and support. This includes interaction with companion animals.

A paper from biomedcentral.com looked at a total of 17 studies in their review with evidence relating to the benefits of pet ownership. Their conclusion found that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions.

“It comes as no surprise with this type of reach why therapy dogs play such an important role in the lives of so many, including children,” Crighton says. “As the pandemic continues to rage around the globe the role many companion animals are currently playing should be celebrated and noted.”


A UK survey from The Mental Health Foundation alongside Cats Protection found that 87% of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing. Because of the company of their feline companion, 76% said they could cope better with everyday life, while half of the cat owners felt that their cat's presence and companionship was helpful.

“Even just stroking a pet can help alleviate stress and give a calming effect,” Crighton says. 

“As the global population struggles due to the huge stress of living with COVID-19 and its restrictions with travel, family gatherings, and many in lockdown, focusing on what can help is vital for health and wellbeing. 

Knowing our pets play such an important role in the mental wellness of our everyday and, ever-evolving lives brings comfort to many pet lovers.”

Benefits of pet ownership:

✔️ Reducing stress

✔️ Reducing blood pressure

✔️ Reducing anxiety and depression

✔️ Increasing social skills

✔️ Increasing self-esteem

✔️ Increasing communication skills

✔️ Increasing motor skills

✔️ Encourages movement and stretching

✔️ Decreasing boredom

✔️ Decreases feelings of isolation and aloneness

“When you look at the proven benefits of pet ownership, and the current stresses we are all feeling due to Covid-19, our companion animals are proving daily the importance of the bond they share with their owners and the greater community.”

MEDIA RELEASE, 5th January 2021


Summer time is a great time to curl up with a good book. Check out these summer reading suggestions for cat lovers of all ages in our January 2021 Cat Lovers Book Club.

FELINE PHILOSOPHY
Cats and the Meaning of Life

by John Gray

The author of Straw Dogs, famous for his provocative critiques of scientific hubris and the delusions of progress and humanism, turns his attention to cats - and what they reveal about humans' torturous relationship to the world and to themselves.

Cats do not need to be instructed in the good life. Obeying their nature, they are content with the life that it gives them. In humans, on the other hand, discontent with our nature seems only natural. The human animal never ceases striving for higher meaning. Cats, however, make no such effort. They are just happy to be themselves. That is why cats have no need for philosophy. They already know how to live.

So writes John Gray in this incisive new book about the follies of human exceptionalism and what we can learn from the animals that have long captured our imaginations.

The history of philosophy has been a "predictably tragic" succession of palliatives for human disquiet. Thinkers from Spinoza to Berdyaev have pursued the perennial questions of how to be happy, how to be good, and how to be loved--all of which held no relevance to their feline companions. 

In Feline Philosophy, Gray introduces us to some of these unburdened counterparts, showing how they approached issues of love and attachment, mortality, morality, and the Self: Montaigne's house cat, whose un-examined life may have been the one worth living; Meo, the Vietnam War survivor with an unshakable capacity for "fearless joy"; and Colette's Saha, the feline heroine of her subversive short story "The Cat", a parable about the pitfalls of human jealousy.

The nature of cats, and what we can learn from it, is the subject of this book - and through it, Gray delivers a profound, thought-provoking meditation on just how vulnerable it is to be human.

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st edition (3 November 2020)


Price: $29.59 at www.amazon.com.au 

TOO MANY TOM CATS
And Other Feline Tales of Suspense

by Barbara Collins, Max Allan Collins

A collection of eleven of Barbara Collins's best cat-themed stories, edited by Max Allan Collins.

In "A Proper Burial", a childless couple is driven to extremes to get back the remains of their beloved dead cat, held as evidence in a murder case. In a saloon brawl instigated by hatchet-wielding Carry Nation, the bartender kills "Carry's Cat" and Carry is later charged with the saloonkeeper's murder. When an actress leaves her fortune to her cat, a scheming daughter tries to rub out "The Ten Lives of Talbert".

Can an elderly woman beat a murder rap by claiming that her cat is her reincarnated husband? Find out in "Aunt Emma's Defense". And in "Cat Got Your Tongue", co-written with mystery-writer husband Max Allan Collins, a conniving young couple attempts to steal the cat of a taxidermy-loving old vaudevillian.


Paperback, 222 pages
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing LLC, 23rd September 2020


Price: $20.25 from www.booktopia.com.au

CATS IN HATS
by Jo Clark

There’s nothing more adorable than a cat in a hat and, as this gorgeous full-colour book shows, nothing that can make you smile more readily. 

Full of perfect pusses sporting a wide selection of headgear, inside you’ll find everything from Carmen Miranda to Hiawatha, the beret to the fedora and the sombrero to the tiara.

Beautifully illustrated by Jo Clark, this book is bound to raise a laugh and is the ideal gift for all friends of our felines.


Hardcover, 96 pages
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books, 12th November 2020


RRP: $16.99 at www.booktopia.com.au

THE LITTLE BOOK OF CATS
Purrs of Wisdom

by Orange Hippo! 

Packed full of wonderful quotes as well as fascinating snippets of information, this little book is the purr-fect gift for any cat lover.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.

Comforting, cuddly, cute... What could be better than the presence of a fabulous feline fur-ball? As well as being totally adorable, cats are fiercely independent, curious and mischievous - and they make wonderful, low-maintenance companions. 

Research has shown that a purring cat on your knee - or quite possibly lying across your computer keyboard! - is the perfect antidote to stress. It's no wonder these superior beings have inspired many a bon mot or wise insight over the decades. Packed full of wonderful quotes as well as fascinating snippets of information, this little book is the purr-fect gift for any cat lover.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Publisher: Welbeck, 3rd November 2020


RRP: $12.99 from www.booktopia.com.au

CREATIVE CATS
Creative Haven: Creative Cats Colouring Book

by Marjorie Sarnat

Cat fanciers and colouring enthusiasts will be enchanted with this gallery of original designs. 

More than 30 full page portraits of pretty pussycats form a rich tapestry of motifs that includes hearts, flowers, and paisleys in various patterns. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. 

Specially designed for experienced colourists, Creative Cats and other Creative Haven adult colouring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfilment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

Paperback, 64 pages
Publisher: Dover, 15th April 2015


Price: $11.75 from www.booktopia.com.au

BOOK CLUB – KIDS’ CORNER 

BLANCHE
A cat's tale of love, loyalty and betrayal

by Brenda Harrison

Blanche is a nine-year-old Siamese cat who has a loving home and leads a busy and contented life in Somerset. She is the Chaircat of the CAALE (Cats Association Against Land Enclosure) and feels secure in the knowledge that there is no reason why things should not go on as they are. 

But it soon becomes clear that something is not right. Blanche begins to sense that there is change in the air. A change that will plunge her life into unimaginable heartbreak and torment. In an attempt to understand and face the new challenges before her she turns to those around her. They come up with a solution to her dilemma. But the solution presents its own problems and the cats are not certain if they can pull off their plan.

This story is told in a humorous narrative style and can be enjoyed by a wide age range.


Paperback, 136 pages
Publisher: Brown Dog Books, 23rd December 2020


Price: $38.40 from www.booktopia.com.au

SPY CAT: SUMMER SHOCKER
by Andrew Cope

There's a new Secret Agent in town, and this one has whiskers! Shakespeare learned his survival skills on the streets. This stray has no interest in humans beyond the comfy bedroom into which he sneaks for a catnap and the treats he gets fed by the children who live there. 

But the world needs a hero and Lara (Spy Dog extraordinaire and protector to those very same children, the Cooks) is out of town. A mad, bad and dangerous criminal is on the loose and the Cook children, camping in the middle of nowhere, are in the way. Shakespeare knows that he is purr-fect spy material. It's clear only he can save the day. But will he?

Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK, 4th July 2013
For Ages: 6 - 8 years old


Price: $19.25 at www.booktopia.com.au

 

MARIO AND THE CATS
by Miguel Antonio Ortiz

Mario goes for a walk with his father in their home city Bayamon, Puerto Rico. They run into a friend of his father's, who went fishing and offers them a fish. 
Mario's father asks him to take it home. 

Mario is pleased to carry home the fish and glad for the company of a cat, but soon one cat becomes twenty-five, noisy and hungry cats.

Publisher: Irene Weinberger Books, 15 December 2020
Paperback, 34 pages
For Ages: 1 - 6 years


Price: $21.91 from www.amazon.com.au

CURIOUS CATS 
500 Piece Puzzle
Created by Galison, Boyoun Kim (Artist)

Piece together the Curious Cats 500 Piece Family Puzzle from Galison to reveal an array of our favourite feline pranksters! This amusing illustration is a great family activity for adults and children to enjoy together. 

Puzzle pieces come packaged in a sturdy and easy-to-wrap box, perfect for gifting, reuse, and storage.

Featuring 500 pieces (some with gold foil accents), the puzzle size is 50.8cm x 50.8 cm (20" x  20").

Price: $26.95 from www.booktopia.com.au

December? Already? How did that happen? 

With the first months of 2020 going up in flames, followed by that small pandemic issue, this Christmas has snuck up on silent paws on many of us. Lockdown is over (we hope), the shops are open, and reunited families and friends are revving up to celebrate to the max as we usher 2020 into the history books and welcome in a fresh new year.

But what about our pets?

Every year, countless pets present to local veterinary clinics and emergency centres over the Christmas holiday period, with many of these visits being preventable. 
Here are some of the most common Christmas and summer hazards facing our feline family members and some tips on how you can ensure that your 2020 ends on a positive note and that your cat has a very Miaowy Kittymas! 

#1. Festive Foods 

  • Chocolate/Cocoa:
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to both dogs and cats. Dark chocolate contains the highest concentration of theobromine, followed by milk chocolate. 

Most white chocolate is not chocolate at all, and contains no theobromine (therefore it’s not toxic, but could still cause gastro-intestinal signs). 

Small amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting or diarrhoea which often resolves without treatment, however in hot weather this can potentially lead to dehydration from increased fluid loss.

Larger doses can cause neurological signs such as twitching or seizures, or an irregular heart beat; these are potentially fatal. 

Dogs tend to be greater chocolate thieves than cats, but some cats will eat chocolates after playing with them or batting them off the Christmas tree, or eat festive foods containing chocolate such as cakes and puddings

  • Dried fruit:
Currants, raisins, grapes and sultanas are known to cause renal failure in dogs; this occurs much less often in cats but foods containing these items are best avoided.
This includes Christmas cake, puddings and mince pies

These foods can also contain macadamia nuts, which are toxic to dogs and it’s therefore prudent to avoid them in cats also.

  • Allium species:
This includes onions, leeks, garlic and chives. These foods cause toxicity whether they are raw or cooked and whether they are fresh, dried, in powder, juice or dietary supplement form. 

Christmas foods which might contain these ingredients include gravy and stuffing

These ingredients damage red blood cells, leading to anaemia and a reduction in oxygen delivery to the body’s cells (oxygen is transported by red blood cells). 

Toxicity can occur from a single large dose or multiple smaller doses. In cats, as little as 5g of these ingredients per kg of the cat’s bodyweight can alter their red blood cells. Signs of toxicity can appear within a day but usually occur after a few days. 

Signs include depression, weakness, yellowish mucous membranes and whites of the eyes, rapid breathing and heart rate, reduced appetite abdominal pain, diarrhoea. Breath can smell garlicky. 

  • Alcohol:
It goes without saying that the family cat should not be toasting the holiday season with a glass of bubbly or sharing a stubby of beer. Cats are opportunists and could lap from an abandoned wine glass or a spill on the bench. Some chocolates and fruitcake also contain alcohol, making these foods additionally dangerous. 

Unbaked dough, containing yeast, is also dangerous. A single tablespoon of alcohol can cause damage to the brain, liver and even death in cats. Careful use and storage of alcoholic beverages will reduce the risk of your cat suffering from something much worse than a hangover. 

  • Cooked bones and fatty meats:
Indulging in offcuts of meat such as bacon rind or the fat from a roast can cause gastro-intestinal upsets, and cooked bones can become lodged in, or make a tear in, part of the digestive tract. The string, plastic and styrofoam that meats are packaged in are also potential foreign bodies if eaten. 

  • Leftover food:
Leftovers can cause gastro-intestinal signs such as vomiting or diarrhoea if too much is eaten, and mouldy food can be toxic (for example if your cat gets into the rubbish bin while the rest of the family is watching the cricket or at the Boxing Day sales). Store all leftovers appropriately and ensure rubbish bins are off-limits to curious feline noses.

  • Burns:
With all those wonderful smells in the kitchen, ensure your cat can’t get into trouble exploring. Prevent access to stove tops and barbecues, grillers and hot oven trays, which can cause serious burns to delicate paws.

#2. Christmas Plants
 


Poinsettias are widely believed to be toxic to cats if eaten, but fortunately the effects are mild, and many cats eating poinsettia show no signs at all of being unwell. 

Other cats might show excessive salivation, vomiting and reduced appetite, with these signs generally resolving without the need for treatment. 

Festive bouquets containing holly, ivy or mistletoe can also cause mild gastro-intestinal signs if eaten by cats. More serious toxins are berries from these plants, amaryllis plants and any part of the Lilium species (Easter lily, tiger lily, oriental lilies). 

Ingestion of lilies can cause renal failure in cats, which can be fatal. This does not apply to “imposter lilies” (such as the water lily) which take the lily name but are not of the Lilium species. 

Festive pot pourri petals or liquid are also best avoided due to their potential for chemical burns or toxicity if ingested. If you bring home a wreath or floral display this Christmas, ensure it is off-limits to cats or only includes plants which are safe if eaten.

#3. Christmas trees 

What’s Christmas without a tree? We love them. So do our cats. A cat could easily use up most of its proverbial nine lives on a single Christmas tree! Here are just some of the hazards associated with trees:





Ø Trees which are not properly stabilised can fall over if climbed by a curious feline. Ensure your tree has a solid, heavy base or is secured to a wall or other object to prevent it tipping over. 

Ø Pine needles can cause cuts, gastro-intestinal upsets or perforation of the intestines if eaten. 

Ø Plant food, fertiliser and the water of live trees can be dangerous to cats if ingested. 

Ø Tinsel which is played with and eaten can cause a linear foreign body. This happens when something long is swallowed and stretches out from the stomach to the intestines, becoming “bunched up” like a concertina as the intestines try to pass it through the GI tract. 

This requires surgery to remove the offending item (which is more difficult than removing a more compact foreign body) and can result in death if timely removal does not occur. This same risk applies also to ribbon from the wrappings of presents. 

Ø Fairy lights can cause cuts to your cat if the lights are made from sharp glass or plastic. They can also result in electrocution or a fire if the leads or wires are chewed or used as a toy. 

Ø Decorations are colourful and shiny invitations to play, but are also potential foreign bodies. This includes Styrofoam “snow”, baubles and the hooks attached to decorations. 

Ø Avoid placing catnip presents for your cat under the tree because this will encourage them to explore the area. 

#4. Other festive hazards 




Ø Batteries for toys, especially button batteries, look like fun toys but can cause chemical burns or heavy metal poisoning if swallowed. 

Ø Wrapping paper and silica gel packs found in some product packaging can cause gastro-intestinal blockage. 

Ø Some snow globes contain ethylene glycol (antifreeze) which causes death in cats if as little as one tablespoon is ingested.

Ø Candles can cause burns to feline paws, whiskers and noses, or lead to fire if accidentally knocked over.

Ø Burning essential oils and scented candles can cause burns if licked, and some oils and incenses are toxic to cats if inhaled.

Generally speak
ing, if something is not safe for a small child, you should consider it unsafe for a cat. 

#5. Stress

This time of the year can be very stressful for our feline family members. Additionally, with many cats having been in lockdown with their human family for much of this year, this Christmas has the potential to upset our cats even more as their previously quiet homes are filled with visitors (possibly also bringing strange dogs into the cat’s hallowed space). 




Furniture gets moved around, there is increased noise and lighting, foreign items appear and the cat’s routines and favourite past-times are lost in the festivities. Extra cleaning of the home can erase the cat’s scent marks, increasing stress further. 

Cats who have had their families working from home due to Covid-19 might be unsettled by the sudden disappearance of the family for holidays, the presence of a strange pet-sitter, or being transported to a cattery where their safe and predictable world is turned upside down.

You can help your cat by ensuring they have an area of the house where they can get away and be undisturbed during the festivities. 

Provide all their important resources where they can be easily accessed (food, water, litter tray, bedding, toys etc.) 

A plug-in pheromone diffuser or spray (Feliway) in the cat’s preferred room might help to reduce anxiety. 

Let any visiting children know not to disturb Puss unless he/she wants to interact, and ensure visiting animals can’t ambush your cat. 

Visitors can offer the cat safe treats or toys to help the cat associate these new people with positive experiences, but don’t force things if your cat isn’t feeling the festive love! Keep party poppers and whistles and loud music away from the cat because these loud noises will be very frightening for them.

If you have multiple visitors coming and going, ensure your indoor-only cat doesn’t rush out the front door, where the risks of accidents or getting lost are increased.

A Christmas lunch of roast chicken/turkey/beef, minus the fat, skin, bones and gravy, is a safe meal for your cat, if you want to include them in your celebrations. Occasional (non-toxic) treats are fine but keep a watch on how much the cat is being fed and ask visitors not to feed them without checking with you first. 



There are also great safe toys and equipment designed especially for cats, which you can bestow upon your feline friend from “Santa Paws” in lieu of them helping themselves to other forms of entertainment that could cause them harm.

Make sure you have the phone number of the nearest out-of-hours animal emergency facility on your fridge, and programme the directions to the clinic and the contact number into your phone. With luck you won’t be needing them, but if you do, valuable time is saved by being prepared and it saves you from trying to source this information in an emergency when you are stressed. 

Many common poisonings and illnesses have non-specific clinical signs, such as anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and neurological signs, which can make identification of the cause more difficult, but if you are able to let the veterinary staff know exactly what your cat has had access to, how much they have eaten and how long ago, this will help them provide more appropriate treatment.

Most important of all, spend quality time with your feline friend this Christmas, and remember to “think like a cat” when planning your celebrations, which will mean much more to them than anything else!

From Maggie and myself, have a very Miaowy Kittymas. Stay safe and enjoy the holiday!

written by Candice Drew, December 2020 for Australian Cat Lover (all rights reserved).

About the Writer

Candice qualified as a veterinary nurse in Australia in 2005, being awarded the Novartis Award for Outstanding Achievement in Veterinary Nursing in her qualifying year. 
She has worked extensively in Australia and the UK, and is a UK Registered Veterinary Nurse. Candice is experienced in general practice, shelter nursing and referral nursing (Surgery and Emergency & Critical Care [ECC]). 

She attained the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing (surgical) in 2009, qualified as a trainer & assessor in 2015, and completed the ISFM Diploma in Feline Nursing in 2018. Candice is interested in most aspects of veterinary nursing but her passions are feline nursing, ECC and working with students.

Candice is the happy slave of a 10-year-old rescue cat named “Maggie”, whom she adopted in January 2018.

References:

1. Blue Cross for Pets: “Keeping your cat safe at Christmas”. https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/keeping-your-cat-safe-christmas. Retrieved 2/12/20

2. Brutlag, A. and Schmid, R.: “Holiday and Winter toxins”. https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/blog/holiday-winter-toxins/ Retrieved on 2/12/20

3. Cope, R.B. (2005): “Toxicology Brief: Allium species poisoning in dogs and cats”. dvm360, https://www.dvm360.com/view/toxicology-brief-allium-species-poisoning-dogs-and-cats

4. Cornell Feline Health Centre: “Beware holiday health hazards”. https:// www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/beware-holiday-hazards Retrieved 2/12/20

5. International Cat Care (2019): “Christmas safety for your cat”. https://icatcare.org/advice/christmas-safety-your-cat/

6. Vets Now: “21 Christmas cat dangers: how dangerous are they and how can you avoid them?” https://www.vets-now.com/christmas/cat-christmas-dangers/ Retrieved 2/12/20

 Win 1 of 3 copies of "The Cat with Three Passports" by CJ Fentiman:

CJ had a long history of escaping places and people she wasn't fond of. But for the sake of a silver tabby, she decided to stay in Japan for a while. This decision helped her open up her heart and mind, revisit her way of thinking, and reconnect with her estranged family.

Let this heartwarming memoir take you to the land of cats and cherry trees as you read about CJ's adventures - from the craziness of Furukawa's naked men festival, the experience of forest bathing and the significance of finding a life purpose or ikigai, to the temples of Takayama, and wonders of Cat Island - you'll see what a homeless kitten found outside a temple in Japan taught her about an old culture and new beginnings. 

"This is CJ’s story of her time in Japan, plus the cats she meets and adopts along the way. 

There are some references to tourist spots, but mostly this book is about the experience of living and working in Japan. Also, of course about rescuing Gershwin the kitten, and their life together and with other cats. 

This book will appeal to  anyone thinking of teaching English abroad and of course, anyone with a love of cats and/or an interest in Japan." (Goodreads review).

Paperback: 234 pages 
Publisher: Silver Vine Press, 1 October 2020 


RRP: $21.95 from www.amazon.com.au

You can follow the author on Twitter @CJFentiman or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/catwith3passports and on Instagram @catwith3passports

*** Win 1 of 3 copies of 'The Cat with Three Passports ***
Total Prize Pool: $65.00 


How to Enter:

1) Like our post (08/12/20) AND our Facebook page 
2) In the comments, simply tell us "why you'd love to read A Cat with Three Passports"? on the Australian Cat Lover Facebook page.

Terms and Conditions:

1. This Competition opened on Tuesday 8th December 2020 (4pm) and closed on Sunday 13th December 2020 (midnight A.E.S.T.). Open to Australian residents only. 

Congratulations to our winners: Lyn Grice, Felicity Ann Hayes & Jo Squire (via Facebook).
Please allow 2 weeks to receive your prize directly from the Publisher.
2. To Enter, Like our post (08/12/20) + Tell us "Why would you like to read A Cat with Three Passports ?" via the Australian Cat Lover Facebook page.
3. This Promotion is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner.
The entries will be judged by the Australian Cat Lover team. The winning entries will be selected based on the most creative, informative or useful statement.
4. Entrants in the competition can only enter once.
5. Prizes not claimed within 48 hours will be redrawn.
* Entry into the competition is deemed acceptance of all terms and conditions.

Related Items


It's the most wonderful time of the year and our Christmas 2020 special edition of the Cat Lovers Book Club is here!

If you can't bear the thought of summer holidays without some great reads to look forward to, this new selection is certain to help you find the perfect gift for all the cat lovers in your life!
You'll just have to be more patient regarding shipping times this year...

A CAT’S TALE
A Journey Through Feline History

by Paul Koudounaris, Baba the Cat

A Cat’s Tale will be the first true history of feline kind: our origins, our exploits, the evolution of our relationship with our human companions and the surprising ways in which our history parallels that of humanity. Heretofore, our ambassadors to the human world have been fictitious, lumbering louts like Garfield—or real-life cats simply esteemed for being cute, such as Lil Bub

I’m here to tell you real cats do not hate Mondays—we don’t use a weekly calendar at all. And real cats don’t pose for selfies.

With A Cat’s Tale, I am here to correct the record and expose the reality of feline greatness. Our story spans tens of thousands of miles and many thousands of years. It is a story that humanity has so far stubbornly refused to learn, ignored in favour of a fantasy history beginning with a lie: the absurd notion that you domesticated us. Really? If that’s what you believe, go find a bobcat and try.

From the prehistoric Felis (a large mammal from which all domestic cats have descended) to ancient Egyptian cat goddess, key cats of the Enlightenment to swashbuckling pirate felines and infamous American tabbies, the story of our kind is told here in its totality. And perhaps, dear reader, you will rightfully come to this book for the cats - but, I promise, you will walk away with a fun and interesting history lesson to boot.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., 10th November 2020

Price: $42.80 at www.booktopia.com.au

THE CAT WITH THREE PASSPORTS
by CJ Fentiman

CJ had a long history of escaping places and people she wasn't fond of. But for the sake of a silver tabby, she decided to stay in Japan for a while. This decision helped her open up her heart and mind, revisit her way of thinking, and reconnect with her estranged family. 

Let this heartwarming memoir take you to the land of cats and cherry trees as you read about CJ's adventures - from the craziness of Furukawa's naked men festival, the experience of forest bathing and the significance of finding a life purpose or ikigai, to the temples of Takayama, and wonders of Cat Island - you'll see what a homeless kitten found outside a temple in Japan taught her about an old culture and new beginnings.

Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Silver Vine Press, 1 October 2020


RRP: $21.95 from www.amazon.com.au

NALA’S WORLD
One man, his rescue cat and a bike ride around the globe

by Dean Nicholson 

Instagram phenomenon @1bike1world Dean Nicholson reveals the full story of his life-changing friendship with rescue cat Nala and their inspiring adventures together on a bike journey around the world.

When 30-year-old Dean Nicholson set off from Scotland to cycle around the world, his aim was to learn as much as he could about our troubled planet. But he hadn't bargained on the lessons he'd learn from his unlikely companion.

Three months after leaving home, on a remote road in the mountains between Montenegro and Bosnia, he came across an abandoned kitten. Something about the piercing eyes and plaintive meowing of the bedraggled little cat proved irresistible. He couldn't leave her to her fate, so he put her on his bike and then, with the help of local vets, nursed her back to health.

Soon on his travels with the cat he named Nala, they forged an unbreakable bond - both curious, independent, resilient and adventurous. The video of how they met has had 20 million views and their Instagram has grown to over 860k followers!

Experiencing the kindness of strangers, visiting refugee camps, rescuing animals through Europe and Asia, Dean and Nala have already learned that the unexpected can be pretty amazing. 

Together with Garry Jenkins, writer with James Bowen of the bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob, Dean shares the extraordinary tale of his and Nala's inspiring and heart-warming adventure together.

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia, Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton, 29th September 2020 

RRP: $32.99 at www.booktopia.com.au

CRAZY CAT LADY
50 cool-girl quirks that prove there's nothing crazy about loving cats

by Alison Davies

Enigmatic, alluring and almost always quirky, cats and the ladies that love them share much in common. 

As individual as their feline counterparts, crazy cat women exude charm and, while they have their eccentricities, they refuse to hide them. Instead, they take centre stage and celebrate what makes them unique; the bond between femme fatale and feline furry.

While some sneer at the general adoration cat ladies dish out to their beloved puss (along with the finest fresh salmon) those of us in the know understand that what we give out, we get back in so many delightful ways. Yes, cat ladies go the extra mile when it comes to anything feline related. It’s all part of the fun.

So here’s to all you feline loving ladies! This book is a celebration of your pawsomeness. And if you’re on the fence when it comes to embracing your inner cat craziness, but recognise some of the 50 traits outlined in these pages, don’t be shy. Come join the party – it really is where all the cool cats hang out.

Hardcover, 112 pages
Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd, 6th October 2020


Price: $13.25 from www.booktopia.com.au

CREATIVE HAVEN CHRISTMAS
Adult Colouring Book

by Marjorie Sarnat

Have yourself a meowy Christmas with 31 purr-fectly playful holiday illustrations. 

From felines frolicking on a stack of gifts and riding a toboggan to kittens cuddling a teddy bear friend and decorating cookies, it's a book filled with festive images for everyone who loves this very special season ― and cats! Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. 

Specially designed for experienced colourists, Christmas Cats and other Creative Haven® adult colouring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfilment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

Paperback, 64 pages
Publisher: Dover, 12th August 2020

Price: $10.75 at www.booktopia.com.au

BOOK CLUB KIDS’ CORNER

TWELVE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS
by Alison Ritchie, illustrated by Marisa Morea 

Join these twelve mischievous moggies as they get ready for Christmas Day!

It’s Christmas and the cheeky cats
are counting down the days.
There’s so much festive fun to have,
in so many different ways!


Whether they’re climbing up the Christmas tree, singing carols or waiting up for Santa’s sleigh, the twelve cats of Christmas are as naughty as they are adorable. Children will love reading this joyful rhyme aloud and counting all the cute cats on each page.

Paperback, 32 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, 18th November 2020
For Ages: 3+ years old


Price: $13.50 at www.booktopia.com.au

THE DISCOVER CATS EXPLORE OUTER SPACE & THE SOLAR SYSTEM
A Children's Book About Scientific Education

by Charlotte Dane

The Discover Cats love to explore everywhere they can get their paws on. Learning is the best! 

This time, they head to outer space to learn about earth, the solar system, the sun, and the moon. Packed with plenty of scientific facts, this book will delight, entertain, and educate.

A highly accessible and simplified way to show kids the wonders of science and space exploration! They'll learn:

The concept of gravity, light speed, and even about the moon's creation.
The earth, the galaxy, and the universe.
Just how big everything in the night sky is!

Original, engaging, humorous, and re-readable.

Jimmy Nightingale possesses a unique understanding of child psychology, which allows him to write tales that are both educational and captivating for children.

The Discover Cats Children's Book Series is aimed at educating children and inspiring a love of science. Jimmy combines adorable and charming characters with wit and humour that even adults will enjoy.

Paperback, 38 pages (also available as Hardcover & Kindle)
Published: 16th October 2020 
For Ages: 3-11 years old

Price: $27.15 (with free shipping) from
www.amazon.com.au

CUTE CATS ACTIVITY BOOK FOR CHILDREN
70 Activities Including Colouring, Dot-to-dots & Spot the Difference
by Valerie Deneen

Does your child love cats, cats, and more cats? Well, this is the right activity book for any kid aged 4 to 8! 

The
Cute Cats Activity Book for Kids is packed with playful pictures you can colour and awesome activities you can do after school, on family road trips, or hanging out at home. 

Featuring a wide variety of incredible puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dots, and more, this cat-centric activity book is filled with tons of fascinating facts and colourful images. Stay engaged and entertained for hours by exploring the wonderful world of cats!

The high-quality, full-colour artwork will surprise and delight all young cat lovers.


Paperback, 82 pages
Publisher: Rockridge Press, 25th August 2020
For Ages: 4 - 8 years old


RRP: $20.95 at www.booktopia.com.au

LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE

CAT RESCUE

FAVOURITE FINDS