NUS CatCafé

Helping the cat community in NUS

December 24, 2013
by kyliekohwy
Comments Off on NUS Cat Talk (16 October 2013) Summary

NUS Cat Talk (16 October 2013) Summary

Dear fellow animal lovers,

Here’s a summary of the NUS Cat Talk, organized by NUS Cat Cafe, on 16 October 2013 (Wed). This workshop is centred around the theme – Cat Communication 101, where we hope to educate NUS staff and students, including our own Cat Cafe committee members, on understanding what a cat is trying to express and how to react to it.

First off, Kevin from NUS Cat Cafe gave a brief history and introduction of the campus cats. He talked about the initial overpopulation of cats in school which led to the setup of NUS Cat Cafe. He also described a few cases that Cat Cafe has managed.

Kevin from NUS Cat Cafe kickstarting Cat Communication 101


Moving on, our first external speaker was Elaine Chiam, from Love Kuching Project , who delivered an animated presentation with just  markers and mahjong paper, instead of the conventional PowerPoint slides. Elaine started off by introducing how a cat behaves when it is scared and stressed and how it differs from the behaviour of a happy and relaxed cat. She brought along Girlie, a shy female cat, to present alongside her.

A shy Girlie

Being animated helps the audience to understand better

Elaine demonstrating her artistry

Shy but not camera shy Girlie


Next, Elaine also talked about how to identify and differentiate between cats that are fighting or just playing, as well as how to break up a fight between cats. Elaine elaborated by using her personal experience with two of her cats at home.

Elaine acting out on how cats interact

Audience enjoying the informative session


Following that, Elaine moved on to the broader topic of cats’ stress levels and how it is linked to their overall welfare. She taught the audience two methods to relax a cat: communication, massage and using flower essences. She ended with a demonstration of a massage and usage of flower essences on Girlie, who was initially stressed but calmed down afterwards.

Demonstrating the use of flower essences and massage for cat relaxation

Looking at the bottle of flower essences

Look how photogenic Girlie is

Relaxed Girlie


The second speaker was Dr Shannon Heo, our very own campus vet. She taught us how to tell if a cat is sick, which is to observe and take notice of any abnormal behaviour.

Dr Shannon giving advice on identifying and dealing with sick cats

Demonstrating how a cat would arch its back


Dr Heo shared with us the case study of her cat Sophie, in which early detection eventually helped to give Sophie a better quality of life.

Dr Shannon is not just a vet, but also a proud pet owner


She also shared tips with us about handling and monitoring your cat’s health and answered questions about tooth scaling, among other topics.

Sharing of ideas

Round of applause


Last but not least, the third and fourth speakers were Denise and Debra from Cat Welfare Society. They shared their personal experience with adopting cats and talked about training cats with simple commands such as sitting and responding to names. In addition, they gave tips on introducing cats to each other and recommended that cats be kept indoors. They also gave us an update about a pilot cat ownership project in Chong Pang.

Denise from Cat Welfare Society

Debra, also from Cat Welfare Society

A light hearted moment with audiences

Kevin concluding Cat Communication 101

Interacting with the speakers after the talk

Having pizza for dinner

Girlie, “Will you love me too?”

Just relaxing after the talk


Overall, this has been a very interesting and informative talk. We would like to thank the speakers who have taken the time to deliver this talk, as well as the audience, who made this event a success. We hope everyone has enjoyed the workshop, and please feel free to email NUS Cat Cafe or leave us a comment at our blog or Facebook group should you have any queries!  See you at the next Cat Talk! 🙂

– From the NUS Cat Cafe Management Committee (Many thanks to Edna and Venus for doing this wonderful post!)


And here’s a final picture of Girlie

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