Get to know ZAA’s feline family

Want to know how our team at the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia cares for our cats?



Wendy is originally from New Zealand, she began working at London Zoo in England shortly after finishing university and eventually ended up moving to Australia. She is the Administration assistant at ZAA and has a beloved 14-year-old purebred Abyssinian cat named Djemila who lives indoors. Wendy has a passion for wildlife and conservation as well as a love for cats, recently completing a Masters of Education and receiving a High Distinction for her dissertation 'Improving Pet Cat Welfare and Wildlife Conservation Through Education’.

Her passion for wildlife and conservation paired with her love of cats has meant that Djemila has always been an indoor cat. 

“In the past, my family has had cats that were allowed to go outside, and they have been injured or run over, and all those sorts of things so I didn’t want that for my cat. So, she’s always been an indoor cat” 

Wendy has had a love for cats her whole life, she says, “they’ve always been a part of the family and a part of my life, and I just feel like I have a really strong connection with cats and Djemila in particular. I just really feel like she’s an interactive cat and we have a really good bond and connection... I get a lot of joy and happiness from having her around.”

Despite her age, Djemila is a very active cat and Wendy makes sure that she has an abundance of toys and games to play with to keep her occupied. One of Djemila’s favourite games is fetch, she also loves chasing cat teasers and other similar toys. Djemila even has her own ‘catio’ where she spends most of her time. A catio is a balcony/patio that has been fitted with netting so that your cat can enjoy the sunshine without leaving the house. Djemila enjoys basking in the sun and watching the birds from the safety of the catio, where she also has access to a cat running wheel and a hammock bed.



Wendy believes that Djemila being an indoor cat has only strengthened their connection. 

“Djemila knows that I’m someone she can go to, to get attention, exercise, games, entertainment or whatever. Whatever she is looking for she can come to me... She is not out there wandering around trying to find her own entertainment in the outdoors…I definitely think that it is a bond strengthening thing having an indoor cat... you get to spend more time with them and interact with them more”

“I really enjoy that connection and companionship that she provides … she’s a good buddy she likes to snuggle in bed as well.”


 Read SPCA's website Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home for more paw-some tips. 

For more information on why safe cat means safe wildlife, visit our website
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