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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Bubu's Animal Haven (Namibia)-Project Cat House is a success!

Bubu’s Animal Haven has completed their grant project, Project Cat House and lifelong care of residents at the sanctuary!  Reni van der Merve, the Founder and Operator of Bubu’s Animal Haven in Kamanjab, wrote about the Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Program,

It was a huge privilege to be one of the Animal-Kind International grantees of 2023! Their support enabled me to develop a huge open-cat sanctuary, much bigger than originally planned. The caravan is also finished and will be occupied soon. I have so many videos and beautiful photos I want to share with you of my little paradise, showing you the area, the playground of the cats, and their five comfortable rooms.

Thank you, Animal-Kind International, for believing in me and for helping me make my dream come true. Thank you to all my private supporters who helped and contributed to this amazing project.

So many senior, unwanted, and homeless cats have a new chance at life now.

Isn't that absolutely amazing? 

cat sanctuary
Project Cat House converted chicken houses into 5 cat rooms with garden and cat-proof fencing; photos show all sides

Yes, we agree, it is absolutely amazing and we are proud and happy to have played a part in Project Cat House!



The goals of Project Cat House were to rescue and accommodate senior cats, the most needy in Namibia, and to continue the care and feeding of existing residents at Bubu's sanctuary. To do this, an old caravan was to be rebuilt and repurposed as a cat house and chicken houses were to be converted into five very comfortable cat rooms. This was achieved and more!

Before the start of the grant project, we discussed the plans with Reni and she agreed to incorporate a cat-proof fence around the converted chicken houses to protect local wildlife from the cats and to allow the cats to safely experience the outdoors.

fencing for cat sanctuary
Fencing material was purchased to place around the converted chicken houses.

And then, Project Cat House was ready to begin!

After six months, Reni reported to us that the Cat Caravan was fully renovated and now suitable for the semi-feral residents. It will stand close to the farm workers houses (Bubu's Animal Haven is located on a farm). The "caravan" cats--all of whom are spayed or neutered--will be free-roaming, but will have their safe caravan, where they will be fed and looked after, while being on duty to help with the mouse problem at the farm workers' houses.

cat caravan
Caravan (before-top photo) and after the outside of the caravan was renovated, turning it into a Cat Caravan

cat caravan
Inside the renovated caravan-a home for Bubu's semi-feral kitties

While it's a perfect life in a safe location for unwanted semi-feral cats, it's also a way to show the farm workers how cats, especially when well-cared for, can be useful around the property, and can be great companions!

Reni makes sure that all the workers on the farm know how to care for the cats, including feeding, providing clean water, keeping all cats safely in the caravan at night, cleaning litter boxes, and making sure the caravan remains clean. They also know to immediately contact Reni if a cat appears sick or injured and Reni spreads the word about the importance of spay/neuter and vaccinations for feral cats, as well as any of the farm workers' pet cats and dogs.

cat feeding time
Feeding time: Rescued kitty, Zeus, enjoys eating out of Jesaya's hands. Zeus has gone from semi-feral to mostly tame.

Within the six-month grant period, the five existing chicken houses were ready to house Bubu's rescued senior kitties. The chicken houses were transformed into very comfortable cat accommodation rooms, each with a bed, enough hiding spaces, upper shelves, carpets, pillows, scratching post, litter box, and feeding bowls.

renovated cat room
Cat room 2 (renovated from a chicken house!) with Barbie, Ginger, Keto, and the Meersig 4 from Walvis Bay

cat room renovated from a cjhicken house
Cat room 3 with Akasha, Laborie, Azzie, and Rough from Walvis Bay

The fencing was placed around the five cat rooms and garden areas were created that provide never-ending fascination for the senior kitties at the Animal Haven.

cat sanctuary
Ouside view of the cat rooms-prior to starting the grant project, AKI and Bubu's agreed that a cat-proof fence should be included in the design--and this is the beautiful result!

But there's more!

The grant helped Bubu's Animal Haven rescue, de-worm, vaccinate, sterilize, and take care of other health concerns during the six-month grant project. Many senior cats were saved in a short period of time with AKI funding and the dedication and non-stop work of Reni van der Merwe.

rescued cat and his new family
Hennock (a farm worker) and his wife receiving food for Yellow, a cat they rescued and brought back to their house on the farm (Bubu's Animal Haven)

rescued cat Cody
Rescued senior cat, Cody, relaxes in the garden.

rescue cat Diana
Rescued senior Diana loves the garden at her new home.

rescued senior cat
Lucy loves the rockery.

Reni wrote to us that she is "super excited for the project being finished. The cats are so happy and their home is safe and beautiful! I am so grateful to Animal-Kind International for making all of this possible. I will never be able to thank you enough, for making all of this possible, enabling me to rescue the poor previously unwanted senior kitties and giving them such a great life. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!"

vaccinating a rescued cat
While new owner, Hennock, gently holds Yellow, Reni vaccinates him.


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