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Cats are not Vegans!

Pet Insurance Australia issues a timely reminder about the danger of vegan diets for cats and catches up with leading feline vet and owner of The Cat Clinic in Melbourne, Dr. Richard Gowan, to get the lowdown on the purr-fect diet for your cat.

“There has been a lot of hype lately around vega
n pet diets, with some pet owners unexpectedly putting their pets in danger of chronic illness,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “This type of diet is especially dangerous for felines.”

The fact is our feline friends are carnivores and require animal-based nutrients to lead a healthy, happy and balanced life.

Meet Dr. Richard Gowan from The Cat Clinic in Melbourne: “Cats are obligate carnivores,” he says. “Their unique metabolic requirements means it is essential for their diet to contain some animal-based nutrients. Feeding a home-prepared vegan diet would have dire consequences for a cat's life.”

It’s also important to remember that a cat’s unique health requirements have evolved due to them being solitary hunters, usually devouring the whole prey, consuming all of the nutrients within the preys' organs and digestive tract - not just the muscle protein.

“However, cats can derive excellent nutrition from plant-based proteins and nutrients, but at this point in time, there are no scientifically tested and studied vegan diets for cats.
Conversely, too much meat protein can also be an unbalanced and unhealthy diet,” Dr. Gowan says. It’s all about the right balance and ensuring pet owners get the right information from their veterinarians on the diets needs of their pets.

“It is vital you speak with your veterinarian before doing any drastic diet change for your pet,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “As you can be putting your beloved pet at risk of developing health-related issues.”

Dr. Gowan is also quick to remind readers of the extreme dangers posed to cats when they are fed an incorrect diet. “Cats can suffer terrible chronic health problems when fed a nutritionally deficient diet, from blindness, kidney failure and sudden death from heart disease,” Dr. Gowan warns.

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet. People who follow a vegan lifestyle can be tempted to have pets who are also following this strict diet. 

The danger is that felines have several essential amino acid requirements found in abundance in animal proteins. Removing these vital requirements from your pet's diet can result in a very sick animal.

What about Vegetarian Diets?

There are many commercial vegetarian diets available for cats. Several studies have questioned the true balanced nature of these diets, but evidence is growing that points to many cats living healthy lives eating a commercially prepared, vegetarian diet.

“Feeding a balanced home-prepared vegetarian diet would be close to impossible due to the variable bio availability of nutrients when prepared in this manner,” Dr. Gowan warns. “Due to the dire health consequences, it is imperative to talk to your veterinary team to understand the best current diet options and their associated pitfalls. I could not advocate a vegan diet to be fed to a cat at all.”

Lifestyle Choices?

If your lifestyle choice of living a vegan life is conflicting with your pet ownership and pet diet needs it’s important to do your research and speak to a professional.

“There is so much misinformation out on the internet in regards to diets for animals, it is really important that pet owners only seek advice from their local vet,” Crighton suggests. “It comes down to understanding what your pet needs, to live a long and healthy life.”

Dr. Gowan agrees that pet owners need to avoid vegan diets for their felines, or consider owning a vegan happy pet.

“Understand that your cat is a carnivore and their intrinsic health needs at this point in time can only be fully met with a complete and balanced diet that contains some form of animal-based protein and nutrients,” he says. 

 “You can look to a commercially validated vegetarian diet, but if this is still not personally palatable - I would counsel the owner that in the best interests of their animal's life and health, that they re-home their cat. 

Vegan pets like rabbits and guinea pigs are perfectly adapted to a vegan diet.”

MEDIA RELEASE, 22nd October 2019
Your pets will go barking mad for the all new Happy Tails cat accessory range

Following the successful launch of its pet beds earlier this year, Happy Tails has recently expanded its range of pet accessories for both cats and dogs.

Featuring 140 of the most practical, affordable and fashionable pet products, your fur family will be on trend with a new wardrobe full of matching collars and leashes, pet food and water bowls, toys for cats (and dogs) and grooming equipment. 

With a plush reversible cushion and a design that ensures it’s dark inside, the Happy Tails Pet Cave provides a comfortable and secluded spot for your cat to relax in.

The foam walls and durable base ensure the cave retains its shape over time. Featuring a fun geometric pattern, it is best suited to cats and toy dog breeds.

Measuring 36 x 32cm and only costing only $12, it will be a hard price to beat!

Oh, and let’s not forget the fun stuff to maintain your pet's hygiene, including pooper scoopers, kitty litter boxes and toilet training pads for puppies. 

Bunnings Warehouse has famously welcomed dogs in-store for the past four years, meaning your furry friends can pop down with you to the store to make sure you pick the coolest accessories just in time for summer!

The all new Happy Tails accessory range is available now, exclusively from selected Bunnings stores. To discover the latest range, 
head to a Bunnings store near you.

You can follow the tales of Happy Tails on Instagram @talesofhappytails or on Facebook at

About Happy Tails

Happy Tails is a chic, cheeky and affordable pet care and accessories range, designed for the comfort of our furry family members.

About AMES Australasia

AMES Australasia develops, sources and supplies innovative products that help enhance the homes, landscapes and lifestyles of all Australians. The company owns a range of iconic lifestyle brands including Cyclone, Hills, Nylex, Northcote Pottery, Tuscan Path, Westmix and Kelso.
The October 2019 selection of the Cat Lovers Book Club is out with our top picks this month with some choices for all tastes and ages.

Portraits of Eighty-Eight Cats & One Very Wise Zebra

by Tein Lucasson

Have you ever wondered what your cat would look like if he or she were human? What clothes would they want to wear?

Self-styled cat whisperer, graphic designer, art director and producer Tein Lucasson has the answer. 

From simple animal photos, he creates high-quality digital images that capture our feline friends in different outfits: whether an elegant Siamese cat in a cashmere sweater, a proud Persian in an aristocratic uniform, or the characterful house cat in a top hat.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Publisher: teNeues Publishing UK Ltd
 9th October 2019

Price: $37.90 at

by Lise Hansen

Veterinary surgeon Lise Hansen offers a complete and comprehensive guide to 21st century health care for cats and dogs.

A comprehensive book that is highly relevant (even indispensable) to every dog and cat carer. Bursting with up-to-date information on all important areas of animal health, the information in this book will help maintain good health, or offer help during an illness.

✔️ Current advice on four essential areas of health care: diet, vaccination, parasite control and neutering

✔️ Does your pet need regular vaccine boosters?
✔️ What is the best diet for your cat or dog?
✔️ Are allergies curable in animals?
✔️ Full of practical advice on how you can best support your animal – in sickness and in health

The one book that no dog or cat lover should be without!

Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Veloce Publishing Ltd, Imprint: Hubble and Hattie, November 2019

Price: $40.90 at

Feline Wisdom for Happy Humans
by Celia Haddon

Content, living in the moment, finding pleasure in small things - your cat knows exactly how to get the best out of life.

So let your cat be your guru as Celia Haddon shows in 100 ways how adopting their outlook can lead to our own happiness.

Stretch out, relax, find a warm spot - and enjoy purrfection.

Celia Haddon is a bestselling anthologist whose books have sold well over 1,000,000 copies worldwide. She was the Daily Telegraph's pet agony aunt and is a reputed lover and worshipper of cats, having lived with them and loved them since she was a child. She has compiled a number of anthologies in their honour. She is also compiler of the best-selling One Hundred Ways series and a qualified cat behaviourist.

Hardcover, 96 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia, Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton, 3rd September 2019

RRP: $23.40 at

Kitten Lady's Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines

by Hannah Shaw

From Kitten Lady, the professional kitten rescuer, humane educator, animal advocate, and owner of the popular Instagram @kittenxlady comes the definitive book on saving the most vulnerable-and adorable-feline population: newborn kittens.

Hannah Shaw, better known as Kitten Lady, has dedicated her life to saving the tiniest felines, but one doesn't have to be a professional kitten rescuer to change-and save-lives. 

In Tiny but Mighty, Hannah not only outlines the dangers newborn kittens face and how she combats them, but how you can help every step of the way, from fighting feline overpopulation on the streets to fostering unweaned kittens, from combating illness to combating compassion fatigue, from finding a vet to finding the purrfect forever home.

Filled with information on animal welfare, instructional guides, and personal rescue stories of kittens like Chloe, Tidbit, Hank, and Badger -not to mention hundreds of adorable kitten photos - this is the must-have kitten book for cat lovers, current and future rescuers, foster parents, activists, and advocates.

Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Random House USA Inc, 6th August 2019

RRP: $39.99 at

by Nia Gould 

Art history gets a fun feline makeover with 21 purr-fectly cultured cats in the styles of ancient and modern masters.

Become litter-ate in the basics of important art movements through a host of beautifully illustrated cats, each one inspired by a specific period in art hiss-tory: Surrealism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Ancient Egyptian (of course), and many more.

Claude Meow-net to Jackson Paw-llock, these creative cats will introduce you to key themes and artists you won't soon fur-get. Purr-haps even inspiring you to make your own version! 

Hardcover, 96 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 13th August 2019 

Price: $14.58 at 


by Wanda Luthman, illustrated by Mara Reitsma  

Hayley the Halloween Cat and The Search for Bitty the Bat is about two friends preparing to celebrate Halloween only Bitty has gone missing. 

Hayley asks everyone if they know where her friend is hiding. Pretty soon everyone has joined in the search. But Bitty has a wonderful surprise! Come join in the fun, character-filled hunt with Hayley. 

This children’s illustrated book is narrated using a rhyme scheme that should have kids happily reading along out loud. The colourful characters all have rhyming names and each brings something new to the story line.

Paperback, 34 pages
Publisher: Lilacs in Literature, 1st October 2019
For Ages: 0 - 8 years old

RRP: $16.95 at

by Kimberly & James Dean

Join Pete the Cat from New York Times bestselling artist James Dean as he goes trick-or-treating in this lift-the-flaps book!

Pete loves Halloween and candy but not so much scary surprises. Follow Pete as he goes trick-or-treating from house to house and discover what is waiting behind each door.

With over ten flaps that open to reveal fun spooky surprises, this book is spooktacular!

Paperback, 16 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins, 7 September 2017

Price: $11.35 (free delivery) at
Nationwide blitz to keep Aussie pets out of shelters for just $10 

On Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October 2019, PETstock’s charity arm, PETstock Assist, will host its fourth annual microchipping initiative, providing heavily discounted microchipping services across the country.

The purpose of the initiative is to encourage responsible pet ownership in an effort to break the cycle of pets needing to find homes.

The simple and affordable procedure can greatly assist in the quick and safe return of lost pets; reducing stress for owners and reducing the burden on pounds and animal rescue groups.

The $10 flat rate, which is a fraction of the usual price of $80, aims to encourage more pet owners to get their pets microchipped to keep them out of pounds, where it is estimated up to 200,000 pets are euthanised every year in Australia[1].

The initiative has seen a reduced number of pets being brought in for the procedure each year, suggesting fewer Aussie pets remain non-microchipped.

PETstock Assist Charity and Events Coordinator, Jess Guilfoyle, says in 2016 and 2017, 8,210 and 6,566 animals were presented for microchipping respectively.

In 2018, we were pleased to see that number further reduced to 4,200 and hope to see the number of pets in need of microchipping decrease again this year,” she says.

Microchipping is mandatory in most states; however, thousands of pets still remain non- microchipped despite the introduction of new laws.

“Whether due to the usual cost of microchipping, lack of awareness on the laws, or owners not understanding how crucial microchips are to the safe return of lost pets.

“In South Australia alone, only 6% of all cats that came into the RSPCA in 2017 were microchipped[2], making owner and pet reunions all the more difficult.

“If you haven’t had your pet microchipped, this is a fantastic opportunity to book an appointment at your local PETstock store to ensure your pet’s safety, should they ever get lost.”

National Project Manager for the PETstock Assist Microchip Blitz, Christine Robertson, says the panic of losing a pet can be heartbreaking for pet owners as well as a traumatic experience for the lost animal.

[1] Animals Australia -
[2] RSPCA South Australia -

“The Microchip Blitz aims to offer peace of mind for pet owners while reducing strain on rescue groups, who are often already understaffed and underfunded.”

Pet owners are encouraged to make an appointment online for their local PETstock store once appointment times are released in October. Owners can bring in dogs, cats and small animals including rabbits and guinea pigs. Unfortunately, horses, livestock, birds and reptiles will not be eligible. 

When: Saturday 19th October - Sunday 20th October 2019

Where: Participating PETstock stores across Australia

Cost: $10 per pet (by appointment only) 

Pet parents can visit during October to find out if their local store is participating and book a time slot. Times will vary from store to store. 

Why Microchip?

1. Once in place microchips are permanent, meaning unlike an ID tag that can fall off, your pet will always be able to be identified with their chip.

2. Microchips are safe, around the size of a grain of rice and won’t cause any discomfort once inserted. The once-off procedure of microchipping is much like a vaccination for pets.

3. Microchips can provide certainty on pet ownership. In the case of your pet being found and kept by someone else, microchips provide official documentation of the pet’s rightful owner.

4. By keeping contact details up-to-date, microchipping provides pet parents the best chance at being reunited with a lost pet.

MEDIA RELEASE, 1st October 2019
AMRRIC Recognised with National Award 

Animal Management in Remote and Rural Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC), has received a prestigious award for managing companion animal health in Indigenous communities.

“We are a partnership organisation and we’re proud to share this recognition with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their people, and with our other program partners,” said Dr. Brooke Rankmore, the CEO of AMRRIC, an NT-based not-for-profit organisation.

“This award is also a testament to our dedicated staff, volunteers and veterinary program partners, who travel to some of the most remote corners of Australia, working in what are sometimes very challenging conditions,” added Dr. Rankmore.

AMRRIC received the honour on 12 September at the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards ceremony held at the Gold Coast in Queensland. The awards attracted more than 1,000 entries—twice as many as the previous year.

AMRRIC’s award was in the Innovation in Rescue category, identifying their One Health program model which recognises the inextricable links between human, animal and environmental health and wellbeing. 

In the area of rescue and re-homing, AMRRIC works to stem the flow of unwanted animals through increased desexing. The key elements of AMRRIC’s One Health program include:
  • Facilitation and access to veterinary services
  • Building local knowledge and capacity in communities 
  • Providing strategic planning and support 
  • Advocacy and promotion of community driven change 
In 2018–19, AMRRIC desexed 2,840 dogs and 203 cats through its veterinary programs. School programs were delivered to 667 students, and 4,299 community members were engaged in door-to-door and community event education. 

AMRRIC is a key knowledge broker for local government and municipal service providers, including facilitating on-ground veterinary services, enhancing programs through increased capacity, and the delivery of educational programs. AMRRIC creates tools which support communities and councils to monitor and evaluate animal management programs, such as the AMRRIC App and data analysis services, assisting with strategic planning and support services.

AMRRIC is proudly supported by the Australian Government. AMRRIC is also grateful for the many years of support from its dedicated members, donors and project partners. 

For more information, please visit or

About Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards

The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2019 acknowledges the efforts of those who give tirelessly of their time to rescue groups and animal shelters. Values include compassion for animals and their guardians, commitment, dedication, caring, respect, innovation, and integrity.

MEDIA RELEASE, 30th September 2019

[1] A Tiwi Island Ranger with patients for desexing
[2] AMRRIC CEO Dr Brooke Rankmore with the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Award
[3] Happy residents at Engawala in the NT’s Central Desert region
If you're not a DIY week-end warrior, you may have missed the launch of the Happy Tails original collection of pet accessories at warehouse prices, available exclusively at Bunnings Warehouse stores since May 2019.

The Happy Tails range for cats (and dogs) includes all the practical items you need to make your new feline friend feel right at home: from sturdy pet caves and cat tunnels to hide in, to cat scratchers and cat wands for entertainment, without forgetting the basics like a pet bowl and cat litter tray. All the pieces in the collection are at a very affordable price point starting from $4! 

Enter our competition for a chance to get your paws on one of these Ultimate Kitty Starter Packs (valued at $53.50 each) with:

1) Happy Tails Pet Toy - Cardboard Cat Scratcher (RRP $15)
2) Happy Tails Pet Toy - Cat Wand Fish - (RRP $3)
3) Happy Tails - Cat Collar with Bell "Brightdays" (RRP $2)
4) Happy Tails Pet Bowl - Medium Twin Feed Melanine  (RRP $8)
5) Happy Tails Pet Tidy - Cat Litter Tray (RRP $4)
6) Happy Tails Pet Tidy - Cat Litter Scoop (RRP $1.50)
7) Happy Tails Pet Toy - 1.3m Cat Tunnel (RRP $8)
8) Happy Tails Pet Cave (RRP $12)

*** Win 1 of 3 Happy Tails 'Kitty Starter Packs' ***
Total Prize Pool $160


1) Like our Facebook page  and our post (27/09/19) PLUS
2) Show or Tell us "who will be the happy recipient of this Ultimate Kitty Starter Pack and what would be their favourite item?" via the Australian Cat Lover Facebook page 

To find out more about the range, follow the tales of Happy Tails on Instagram @talesofhappytails

About Happy Tails

Happy Tails is a chic, cheeky and affordable pet care and accessories range, designed for the comfort of our furry family members.

About AMES Australasia

AMES Australasia develops, sources and supplies innovative products that help enhance the homes, landscapes and lifestyles of all Australians. The company owns a range of iconic lifestyle brands including Cyclone, Hills, Nylex, Northcote Pottery, Tuscan Path, Westmix and Kelso.


1. This Competition closed on Sunday 13th October, 2019 (midnight). This giveaway is open to Australian residents only.

Congratulations to our winners: Michelle Green, Lauren Ogden, Lynette Wicks (via Facebook). Please allow 2-3 weeks for prizes to be delivered directly from the company.
2. To Enter, Like our post (27/09/19) + Show or Tell us "who will be the happy recipient of this Ultimate Kitty Starter Pack and what would be their favourite item?" 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. Please note you MUST LIKE BOTH accounts to be eligible for a prize.

5. Entrants in the competition can only enter once.
6. Prizes not claimed within 48 hours will be redrawn.
* Entry into the competition is deemed acceptance of all terms and conditions.