Learn from Melody Kwan’s experience and expertise in cat lifestyle optimization, and join a community of like-minded cat parents with MeloCat.
With their independent and curious nature, a feline companion can be a wonderful addition to people’s lives. This is probably why, as of 2022, there were 220 million pet cats in the world. Passionate cat parents tend to go above and beyond to provide the highest quality care they can for their fur babies. But no matter how much you love your pet cat, taking care of it can be challenging. Sure, you could look things up online, but how do you figure out which sources are reliable?
Enter Melody Kwan, a.k.a. MeloCat, the Founder and Director of Feline Fundamentals and a passionate cat parent (who managed to turn her passion for cat parenting into her profession). To help all of our cat-loving readers, she shared some of her cat knowledge with us and her dedication to creating a strong global cat community.
Creating a cat-parenting community
Kwan has been fond of all animals ever since she was a child, especially cats. As a child, she was always observing—rather in tune with—their behavior and has since honed her skills in understanding and caring for them. With ten furry companions of her own, Kwan’s friends and family even joked that she could have been a cat in her previous life. Thus, the nickname MeloCat (Melody + Cat) was born, which she eventually used as the name for both her personal brand and her YouTube channel featuring her daily life with her beloved rescued and adopted cats.
As someone who had always tended to cats, people looked at Kwan as a know-all when it came to cat questions. “People come to me for all sorts of cat problems, be it stuff around the house, cats fighting, behavioral problems or even things that they should be asking the vet, I get calls to my houseline for [behavioural] emergencies at 4 am,” she shared.
All of this inspired her to create a YouTube channel to document her cats’ lives and explain how she tends to their needs. Some of her videos cover topics like essential cat supplies every cat parent needs and useful hacks, such as encouraging your cat to drink more water and take medication, to name a few. Her subscribers rave about her videos’ positive impact on their cat-related challenges.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kwan spent a lot of time consulting her cat-parent friends on their problems on Zoom instead of in-home visits, just to find the demand to be even higher than she once thought. Doing so made her come to an epiphany: cat consulting could be her calling in life.
Creating a symbiotic lifestyle with cats
The first and most important part of creating a space for cats is prioritizing safety. “Think about your safety and their safety before you consider any of the fancy stuff,” she says. “There’s always things that we underestimate when it comes to cats, both in their physical and intellectual abilities as they are flying ninjas,” she elaborates, adding that doing so could lead to potentially fatal accidents, accidents we can’t afford even once.
But besides the safety of our fur friends, a major problem most people encounter today is that they don’t have enough space in their tiny urban residences for a pet. Moving to Hong Kong, Kwan found herself facing the same struggle too. Yet, that didn’t dissuade her from adopting a cat. Instead, it motivated her to get creative and think outside the box—she created a vertical play area for her cats so that they would have space to freely move around while getting the type of stimulation cats need from high up.
Moreover, her experience in rescuing, fostering and rehoming hundreds of cats, as well as caring for her own ten, has given her unique insights. Therefore, she created systems to accommodate the cats happily and found ways for parents to bond with their pets with her experience, feline behaviour, feline psychology and human psychology knowledge. In doing so, she also created methods to help cat parents keep their place in check.
Solving quintessential cat-related problems
If you’ve ever struggled with common cat problems like destructive behavior or litter box issues, you’re not alone. Kwan has spent most of her life as a cat parent and has been advising friends whenever they have any cat-related issues. “Friend after friend and many YouTube comments told me how I helped them solve a problem. So I thought hey, let’s cut down on the 4 am calls and get people a step-by-step guide on how to make their lives with their cats smoother!,” she exclaimed.
The most common problem people seek her advice for is their cats defecating outside the litter box. “Usually when they don’t [use the litter box], they’re trying to tell you that something is wrong, either it is a medical problem or there is something wrong in the conditions in your house,” she explained. If such a situation arises, she urges people first to take the cat to a vet. If there are no medical issues, she suggests checking the litter box setup to see whether it is comfortable and suitable for the cat—as simple as it sounds—it’s not a “one click process” in most cases as it can be just the tip of the iceberg.
While helping people tackle their problems is her passion, Kwan wants new cat parents to know that cat ownership is by no means easy. “Just like raising anything, there’s a lot that can happen and a lot that you need to anticipate,” she shared.
But this shouldn’t scare you from adopting a cat. Despite the many other problems that you could encounter as a cat parent, she says, “There’s always something that can be done about the situation.” She assures fellow cat parents that there are ways to train their cats to like taking medicine or getting their nails clipped.
If you are looking for more advice on cat care, go to MeloCat’s website where she provides video courses and one-on-one consultation to help you optimize your cat lifestyle. She also hosts a podcast on Spotify, Apple, and Google called “MeloCat’s expert chat”, helping you upgrade your cat lifestyle by connecting you with experts worldwide. The video podcast can also be found on www.hongkongcatdirectory.com.
And if you’d like to meet with other like-minded cat parents, Kwan will be hosting an adopt weekend event later this year with the help of InvestHK from the Hong Kong government (date October 14-15) combined with a hybrid event to promote better cat parenting. This will be part of an ongoing event series to help cat parents better their cat parenting journey.
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Header Image by Melody Kwan