About Cat Haven

What do we do?

 “Rescuing Cats from the Perils of the Streets” was the original aim of the Cat Welfare Society when it was established in 1961. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers over many years we have grown to become Western Australia’s premier cat welfare organisation, trading under the name of Cat Haven.

Cat Haven, WA’s largest shelter for homeless, lost and abused cats. Our vision is that every WA cat should be a well-cared for cat and we work towards achieving this by providing:

  • shelter facilities for lost, abandoned and stray cats;
  • a foster care program that allows sick, injured and shy animals to recover in volunteers’ homes until they are ready for adoption; and
  • a re-homing program at the Cat Haven campus as well as through a network of 23 external adoption centers across the metropolitan area.

Cat Haven takes in 7,000-9,000 cats and kittens every year and has a zero euthanasia rate for treatable re-homable cats. We have over 700 members, employ 55 staff and are supported by 71 volunteers who assist at the shelter and over 800 volunteer foster carers.

Cat Haven’s core business is not only about improving the welfare of cats and kittens but also about improving the lives of people in the community and protecting our environment. Our rescue and surrender services ensure stray and unwanted cats are properly cared for and placed into suitable new homes rather than being ‘dumped’ on the streets. In this way we help reduce the stray and feral cat population and all the problems these can create for people as well as protecting native species. Our re-homing services help people find a cat or kitten that suits their lifestyle thereby helping individuals and families gain the benefits of owning a companion animal.

In addition to these services, Cat Haven run a number of community programs including:

  • Free emergency cat boarding for people in crisis

We provide free emergency boarding of cats and kittens for people in crisis situations, such as escaping domestic violence; being made homeless; needing emergency hospital treatment; or needing inpatient mental health treatment. Often, in situations involving domestic violence and mental health problems, people have little or no access to support from family or friends and are socially isolated. For these pet owners and their children, the bond and companionship they share with their cat is a lifeline. Unfortunately, most human refuges and hospitals will not allow pets, and traditional pet boarding facilities not only charge a fee but will not take pets on short notice without appropriate veterinarian records to show that vaccinations are current. As a result, people may delay fleeing violence or seeking medical treatment due to concerns over the safety of their cat. When a person does eventually seek help, they generally have to surrender their pet resulting in further trauma for them. Cat Haven supports people in seeking the help they need by providing free boarding for their cat so that they know their cat will be safe and that they can be reunited once their circumstances improve.

  • Companion cats in residential aged care facilities

Studies have shown that regular interaction with animals has a positive effect on mental health and also helps to combat feelings of loneliness, particularly in the aged community. Cat Haven encourages Perth residential care facilities to adopt older, more sedate cats to become a communal cat at the facility bringing companionship and joy to the residents. Cat Haven provides food and equipment for the cat free of charge and monitors the well being of the cat providing free health checks and vet treatment as required.

  • Subsidised sterilisation and microchipping

If a litter of kittens is surrendered to Cat Haven we offer free sterilisation of the mother cat to ensure no further litters are produced. We also conduct special projects to assist members of the community in sterilising and microchipping their cats.

  • Cat Rescue Service

Cat Haven employs a Cat Rescue Officer who is skilled in cat handling and available to assist members of the public and Local Government Authorities in rescuing stray animals. Our Cat Rescue Officer has assisted with trapping and collecting abandoned cats and kittens; rescuing cats and kittens caught in dangerous places such as drains and chimneys; collecting cats from hoarding situations; and providing advice to Rangers and the general public regarding cat handling to minimise the risk of injuries to people and the cats.

  • Outreach Program

Our Outreach Program offers free cat food to financially disadvantaged people in the Perth community, helping them keep their companion cat in their homes.

  • Education about cat welfare issues and responsible pet ownership

We provide education and training to volunteers and the general public to raise awareness of, and commitment to, sterilisation, microchipping and cat care to optimise cat well being and reduce the number of stray and unwanted cats which is vital to protect native fauna. Education is provided through social media, print media, radio, telephone advice, group presentations and special events.

  • Training opportunities for Murdoch University Veterinary students.

Each year, students training to become vets or vet nurses at Murdoch University spend practical placements at Cat Haven. In the shelter Vet Clinic they are exposed to a wide range of cat and kitten health issues and have the opportunity to observe clinical consultations with owners; clinical examinations; diagnostic testing and result interpretation; development of treatment plans including use of medications; surgery and post surgical care. Cat Haven works closely with specialist veterinarians in fields such as orthopaedics and ophthalmology, which provides students with exposure to these areas of specialisation.

  • Assistance to other animal welfare groups.

    Cat Haven works closely with the RSPCA and local community rescue groups. We assist the RSPCA with the rescue of cats and kittens and can provide care for animals on occasions the RSPCA facilities are full. We support small rescue groups by inviting their participation in adoption events giving their rescued animals a higher profile and better chance of finding homes. We also share donations when we receive surplus to our needs and provide vet advice and short term care for animals when possible.

    Our Values

    Cat Haven’s core values underpin our actions and guide our behaviour as individuals and as an organisation. They are fundamental to the way we work to achieve our mission and aspirations.


    We behave ethically and honestly. We are professional, trustworthy and dedicated to our work.


    We embrace diversity and listen to different points of view. We consider the feelings, wishes and rights of others.


    We are approachable, helpful, considerate and compassionate. We care about the welfare of people and animals.

    Ongoing improvement

    We are motivated, industrious and committed to achieving optimal outcomes. We value learning and welcome new ideas and ways to improve as individuals and as an organisation.

    Collaboration and Teamwork

    We fulfil our responsibilities and support others to fulfil theirs. We are reliable, cooperative and generous in sharing our skills and knowledge.

    Is My Cat Happy? | Signs of a Happy Cat | Modern Cat


    The Cat Welfare Society Inc is an Incorporated Association that is overseen by a Board of Management elected from and by the Society’s members. Currently Board members include professionals from a broad range of industries.

    Strategic Summary

    View our Strategic Summary here

    Our Board

    Robin Orton - Chair

    Robin Orton joined the Board in October 2019 and has over 13 years experience as a Civil Engineer. He has a strong technical background along with project management experience, including subcontractor and financial management.

    Robin also has extensive stakeholder management experience coupled with strong communication skills. He was worked with volunteer organisations and has a keen interest in social media.

    Robin has four cats and has a passion for responsible cat ownership.


    Nick Coombes - Treasurer

    Nick joined the Board in August 2020 as Treasurer. For the last 17 years he has worked as an Executive in the banking and financial services industry. During that period. 

    Nick has been lucky enough to be educated and exposed to frequent and highly regarded training revolving around leadership, commercial finance and general insurance.

    Nick is genuinely interested in developing business opportunities through excellent customer service, efficient business practice and a pro-active attitude towards change management.

    Nick and his wife Laura adopted Tabby over 4 years ago, and have been frequent participants of many of the Cat Haven events and regular donators.

    When Nick is not working, or taking care of the fruit trees out the back, he enjoys watching the NFL with his cat Bontzi.


    Amy Pearn - Secretary

    Amy joined the Board in August 2020. As a genetic counsellor for over 15 years, Amy has a background in science and healthcare, skills in communication and public education, and an evidence-based approach to action. As well as clinical and research experience, she also works in governance, policy, and project management. Amy now independently manages her own private genetic counseling practice, and sits on a number of voluntary groups in the genetic and cancer care spaces. 

    Since her childhood, Amy’s family have been a permanent home to 5 cats (including 2 orphans and a stray). As an active member of the Cat Haven Foster Carers community since 2012, she has helped over 30 Cat Haven cats and kittens find or keep their forever homes. She hopes to extend her advocacy for health and wellbeing to the welfare of cats and kittens through her role on the Board.


    Katy Jaksic

    Katy has been an active volunteer with Cat Haven since 2005 including being on the then Committee of Management between 2007 through to 2011 during a major transitional phase of the organisation.

    Over the past 15 years, Katy has been heavily involved in Cat Haven’s community fundraising events which has contributed not only additional funding but created new external relationships fostering more support for Cat Haven.

    Over the years through her contacts, she has also arranged the donation of numerous trades, services and goods for the betterment of Cat Haven. As a passionate advocate in animal welfare Katy has been a member of other animal welfare committees along with visiting animals shelters in Nepal and India and volunteering at a cat shelter in Bali.

    In 2016 Katy attended a companion animal shelter expo in the US run by the Humane Society to gain insight and learn new ideas in aspects of shelter management from numerous large organisations.

    Katy has extensive experience in facility and project management within the mining sector and is now employed by a publicly listed company managing federal parliamentary offices across WA and SA.


    Paul Anderson-Johnson

    Paul Anderson-Johnson joined the board in October 2019. Paul has over 28 years experience in the construction materials sector is a wide variety of Management roles including sales, production and warehousing and was WA State Manager for Boral Timber for 7 years before taking on the role of Business Development Manager with Bosch Timber. Paul also has extensive and proven experience in successful safety management, training and systems with over 20 years MTI & LTI free in businesses under his management and is passionate about working in consultation with all stakeholders to achieve optimum outcomes in this area. Paul holds a Certificate IV in Frontline Management and achieved Bronze Level Certification in Sandler Sales Systems at the end of 2018 and will be pursuing Silver Certification in 2020.

    Paul and his wife Ngaire have also been actively involved in Animal Welfare matters since early 2017 having successfully reunited several families with their missing pets and volunteering in a variety of roles within Rescue. Their main interest is recovering cats from industrial areas, domesticating them and seeing them through to adoption.

    Paul and Ngaire have two cats from Cat Haven, one from the Shenton Park facility and one from the External Adoption Centre programme, and a third they recovered from an industrial area as an undomesticated 18 month old who ultimately stayed on as the consummate house cat.

    Brigitte Bouhours

    Brigitte started volunteering with Cat Haven in 2021 when she researched the history of Cat Haven for the 60th Birthday celebrations. She went on volunteering at Wet Nose Day and other fundraising events as well as helping with preparations for these events. She joined the Board of Cat Haven in 2023.

    Brigitte has an academic background in Sociology and Criminology and over 20 years’ experience in research and consultancy. Currently employed in Research Development in a large medical research institute, Brigitte has a lot of practice writing funding submissions, along with expertise in strategic thinking, planning, budgeting and managing research projects. She wants to use these skills to support the work of Cat Haven and particularly investigate and secure new grants for Cat Haven.

    Brigitte has a strong interest in researching responsible cat ownership and management to improve cat welfare but also to limit the impact cats have on the environment. She wants to look at solutions for dealing with stray cats, and issues such as cat containment, to learn about what has been tried elsewhere and what works.

    Brigitte is passionate about animal welfare. Prior to settling in Perth in 2017, she lived in Cambodia where she helped establish a cat shelter and Cat Café. Although challenging, it was a valuable experience to understand how cat shelters operate and the difficulties they face. Cats have always been part of Brigitte’s life. She was raised with a black kitten, born on the same day as her. He was followed over time by a number of stray and adopted cats. She currently shares her home with Manu, a 9-year old boy adopted from Cat Haven in 2017.

    Kelly McKenzie

    Kelly joined the board in September 2023 and has more than 25 years’ experience in a variety of human resources roles within the tourism, hospitality and agriculture sectors.  She’s held senior roles leading teams tasked with developing leadership capability, improving organisational culture, building talent pipelines and creating engaging employee experiences.

    She is passionate about valuing and developing people, who are the heart of every thriving organisation.


    Rules of Association

    To see a copy of our Rules of Association click here.

    Cat Haven Website Privacy Policy

    To see a copy of our website privacy policy click here.

    Cat Haven Annual Reports

    Cat Haven Annual Report 2022 - 2023

    Cat Haven Annual Report 2021 - 2022

    Cat Haven Annual Report 2020 - 2021

    Cat Haven Annual Report 2019 - 2020

    Cat Haven Financial Report

    The Financial Reports are available on request, please email secretary@cathaven.com.au