Healthy Festive Feasting

By Kim Hofmann, RD(SA)
The festive season is upon us and with it comes the challenge of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s a time of lots of eating opportunities with delicious meals, desserts and drinks and a time of less exercise.  So how can you continue the healthy habits you have established and not let the bad habits creep in?  For me, the holidays are no different than any other time of the year!  It can be this easy for you too.

As you may already have discovered in your journey of a healthier lifestyle, being prepared is one of the most important aspects to make sure you stay on track.  If you know what the challenges of your holidays are you will be able to come up with solutions to manage them.  It is also important that you consciously decide that your healthy lifestyle is worth preserving!  Let’s explore some of the simple things we can do so that our healthy habits stay intact.

The Key Points

  1. One of the first things people often do when holidays arrive is lose the eating routine, specifically they stop eating breakfast!  Try to stay in the habit of eating first thing in the morning.  A good breakfast will always set you up well for the day.
  2. If you have healthy snacks available at all times you are more likely to eat these when you are hungry even if unhealthy snacks may be around too.  Make it a habit to take some healthy snacks with when you are dining elsewhere.  But keep snack portions small!  They are just meant to tie you over until the next meal.  If you get into the habit of snacking between your meals you will not get too hungry for the next meal and you will be more likely to keep your portions controlled. 
  3. Don’t go out to dinner hungry!  You can cut back a little during the day if you know you are going for a higher calorie meal, but eating too little during the day will only undo your attempts at healthy eating.  If you are a bit hungry before going out have a small snack so that you won’t devour the snacks before the meal.
  4. When serving your meals think veggies.  Start by filling your plate with salad and plain vegetables (those without toppings or sauces) so that there will be less space on the plate for the higher calorie options.
  5. Very important is that you don’t feel guilty when you do have something that you would normally not choose to eat.  If we decide to have some dessert, and enjoy a small bit of it, guilt will only spoil the enjoyment of the dessert!  Remember too that you don’t need to have something ‘special’ every time it is presented.  Consciously choose the times that you are going to indulge.  This is part of the planning!
  6. Be aware of your alcohol intake.  Aside from all the calories, drinking also makes us less inhibited around food, and it becomes far harder to remember health!  An excellent holiday drink is sparkling water with a splash of cranberry and lime served in a tall glass.
  7. Stay hydrated.  It’s so easy to forget to drink water, but being hydrated is important as hunger is often confused with thirst.  Our bodies are often in an under-hydrated state with the warmer weather, increase in salty snacks and alcohol.  The best strategy is to keep your water bottle handy.   Add some lemon, mint leaves or cucumber to your water if you do not enjoy the taste of water.
  8. Just enjoy yourself!  And I don’t mean only with food.  Focus your attention on your family and friend and on the fun and celebrations.  Laugh a lot.  This is what the festive season should be about!


Wedding season is upon us! 
Choosing a spouse is one of the most important choices you will ever make; but you have another very important choice to make - the right matrimonial property system. It may seem like a less romantic choice than say, your honeymoon destination, but it is no less important as, while changing it postnuptially is absolutely possible, it is also complicated, time consuming and costly - often more than 10 times greater than the cost of completing an antenuptial contract!

Section 21(1) of the Matrimonial Property Act provides that a husband and wife may apply jointly to the High Court for leave to change their matrimonial property system if there are:
• Sound reasons for the proposed change.
• Extensive public advertisement of the intended order to all creditors.
• Convincing proof that no other person will be prejudiced by the proposed change.

Even if all these requirements are met, the court has a discretion whether or not to grant such an application and may still refuse to do so. We therefore strongly advise that you give your legal union its due respect by consulting an attorney to draw up a proper antenuptial contract regulating the matrimonial property of both the parties involved, BEFORE you walk down that aisle.

Principal's Pen - A Look at the Property Market in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town

With over 100 buyers visiting show houses, property owners in the Southern Suburbs certainly have reason to be happy! 

Lew Norgarb had this to say about the market. “I have been selling for over a decade now and have never before seen such demand for property in our areas. I had a ridiculous 137 visitors to a Claremont show house (click here to view) a few weeks ago, which sold on the trot. 

Then I had 40 visitors during an evening open hour for a Kenilworth duplex (click here to view), which sold immediately for the full asking price to a cash buyer. My most recent release in Harfield Village (click here to view) yielded 100k more than the asking price and went to a buyer who was determined to secure the sale. This demand however is not isolated to these areas - the greater Southern Suburbs are experiencing the same demands. 

Lyn Staples (who lives in Claremont Village) and Andre Ter Morshuizen (our Plumstead and surrounds agent) are both on the hunt for more stock and both report loads of frustrated buyers champing at the bit for a new release.
Sellers are having a field day right now! Lew added that no one has a crystal ball and property, as we all know, is cyclical so there is no telling how long this will last.

Any property owners looking to sell or even just curious to know how much their asset is worth can contact Norgarb Properties on 021-6741120

Running a Business from a Property Zoned SR1 (Single Residential Zone 1)

When considering running your business from a property which is zoned Single Residential Zone 1 (SR1) it is important to consider the guidelines and requirements laid down in the Land Use Planning Ordinance read with the City of Cape Town Zoning Scheme Regulations, specifically Section 5.1.  

The Regulations state that a home owner must use a property zoned as Single Residential 1 primarily as a dwelling house for accommodation of a single family. There are also additional use rights associated with these types of properties, which are home occupation, bed and breakfast and home child care. In order to carry out one of these businesses from home the dominant use of the property must be accommodation of a single family; the proprietor of the activity must live on the property; no more than three employees may be engaged in the activity concerned; where more than one of these activities is carried out Council’s consent must be obtained and any new structure or alteration to the property to accommodate an additional use right shall be compatible with the residential character of the area, particularly with regard to the streetscape, and shall be capable of reverting to use as part of the dwelling house, second dwelling or outbuilding concerned. There are also a few important additional requirements that have to be adhered to for each additional use right, which are as follows:

Home Occupation:
• No goods for sale shall be publicly displayed and no external evidence of the home occupation shall be visible from a public street, except for an advertising sign in accordance with the advertising sign requirement below;
• No advertising sign shall be displayed other than a single, un-illuminated sign or notice not projecting over a public street in accordance with Council’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage by-law, and such sign shall not exceed 0,2 m² in area;
• Only goods which have been produced or assembled in the home occupation may be sold from the property;
• No activities shall be carried out which constitute or are likely to constitute a source of public nuisance, or generate waste material which may be harmful to the area or which requires special waste removal processes;
• No home occupation shall include a noxious trade, risk activity, adult entertainment business, adult services, adult shop, sale of alcoholic beverages, motor repair garage, funeral parlour or activities that are likely to generate a public nuisance, including but not limited to panel beating and spray painting, auto electrician, builders yard, welding works, joinery
• Off-street parking shall be provided at a ratio of 1 parking bay per 25 m² area used for home occupation unless Council’s approval is obtained to waive this requirement. Council may at any stage require additional on-site parking where parking is not sufficient;
• The total area used for all home occupation activity on a land unit, including storage, shall not consist of more than 25% of the total floor space of the dwelling units on the land unit or 50 m², whichever is the lesser area;
• The storage of all goods and equipment connected with the home occupation shall be inside a building or screened from neighbors and the public street;
• Not more than two vehicles may be used in connection with a home occupation, and no one vehicle shall exceed 3 500 kg gross weight;
• The hours of operation shall not extend beyond 08:00 to 17:30 on Mondays to Fridays, and from 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, and shall not include public holidays or Sundays;
• Council may, at any stage, call for a cessation of the home occupation activity or impose conditions in order to minimize any potential nuisance to surrounding neighbors or the general public.

Bed and Breakfast:
• No more than 3 rooms per land unit shall be used for bedroom accommodation for paying guests or lodgers, and no more than 6 paying guests or lodgers shall be supplied with lodging or meals at any time;
• No alcoholic beverages shall be sold except to resident guests for consumption on the premises with meals;
• Guest rooms shall not be converted to, or used as, separate self-catering dwelling units;
• Meals may only be supplied to guests or lodgers who have lodging on the property, employees, and the family residing in the dwelling;
• No advertising sign shall be displayed other than a single un-illuminated sign or notice not projecting over a public street in accordance with Council’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage by-law, and such sign shall not exceed 0,5 m² in area;
• Weddings, receptions, conferences, training or any similar activities are not permitted from a bed and breakfast establishment;
• No activities shall be carried out which constitute, or are likely to constitute, a source of public nuisance;
• On-site parking shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 19, provided that Council may at any stage require additional on-site parking if, in its opinion, the parking is not sufficient.

Home Child Care:
• No more than 6 children shall be enrolled at the home child care facility at any time;
• Services shall be primarily day care or educational and not medical;
• Services shall not operate outside the hours of 07:00 to 18:00 on Mondays to Fridays, and from 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, and shall not include public holidays or Sundays;
• Indoor and outdoor play space shall be provided in accordance with any health requirement or a policy plan as might be approved by Council from time to time, and outdoor play space shall be fenced off from any public street;
• No advertising sign shall be displayed, other than a single un-illuminated sign or notice in accordance with Council’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage by-law, not projecting over a public street, and such sign shall not exceed 0,5 m² in area; and
• At least one off-street parking bay shall be provided, plus one additional parking bay which is suitable for the use of parents to drop off or collect their children, unless Council’s approval is obtained to waive this requirement. Council may at any stage require additional on-site parking where parking is not sufficient.

If the business you are intending to run from your home falls into one of the following categories, you will need to obtain Council’s consent before running such a business from home:
• Utility services;
• Place of instruction;
• Place of worship;
• House shop;
• Institution;
• Guest house;
• Rooftop base telecommunication station;
• Wind turbine infrastructure;
• Open space;
• Urban agriculture;
• Second dwelling and halfway house.

To confirm whether you are indeed running a lawful business from your home you can contact the City of Cape Town’s Planning and Building Development Management Department on 021 400 1111.

Cruciate ligament injury in the dog – what does it mean?

Kenilworth Vet
Cruciate injuries are one of the most common reasons for hind leg lameness and pain in the dog. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgical repair is usually required in order to stabilize the joint and reduce further damage. Your vet will probably have a preferred technique that he or she has used with success in which to do this.

Here is a straightforward explanation as to the function of the cruciate ligaments, why they sometimes rupture and the medical procedures that are usually used to correct the injury.

• the cruciate ligaments are two crossing ligaments that are situated inside the knee joint         (see diagram)
• their main function is stability of the joint; they restrict certain movements in the joint i.e.: hyperextension and internal rotation - movements that are beyond normal range

• normal aging causes degeneration of the ligaments
• breed deformities
• medical conditions that cause degeneration of ligament tissue
• direct trauma ‘sports injury’ is rare  

Symptoms can vary tremendously from sudden severe lameness to mild or moderate lameness. You may notice the following:
• difficulty getting up
• trouble jumping into the car
• decreased activity level
• decreased muscle on the affected hind leg
• sits with leg ‘out’

If the cruciate ligaments have partly torn or have completely ruptured the knee joint is no longer stable. The collateral ligaments are put under pressure and can tear causing further instability. Progressive degenerative changes such as osteoarthrtis occur within and around the joint, which can result in pain, discomfort and lameness in the patient.

Methods of Repair.
There are a variety of methods that can be used to stabilize the stifle (knee) joint after cruciate injury. TPLO or Tibial Plateau Levelling Operation and TTA Tibial Tubersoity Advancement are usually performed on very large breeds and often by a specialist surgeon.

The two below are more common techniques performed in general practice.

Extracapsular Stabilization
This involves the placement of a non-absorbable suture material being placed around the fabella. A hole is drilled in the tibial crest and the suture is passed through this hole and secured. (See diag) This method only provides temporary stabilisation and relies on the body to create scar tissue to ultimately stabilize the joint.  The suture material usually loosens with time and can break. the recovery period for this type of surgery can be anything from 3-5 months.

Cruciate injuries should not be ignored, if not dealt with timeously they can result in rapid degeneration of the joint and severe arthritis. So although it can come as a shock to know your dog needs surgery rest assured that your vet has your dog’s long-term well being at heart.

Tight Rope Technique
This is one of the latest procedures for treating this injury. A hole is drilled in the femur and a second in the tibia. A special ‘prosthetic ligament’ is then passed through the holes and secured. This method
of stabilization mimics a normal cruciate ligament, giving stability but allowing normal range of movement in the joint. Recovery from this type of surgery can be anything from 1 – 4 months.

Cruciate injuries should not be ignored, if not dealt with timeously they can result in rapid degeneration of the joint and severe arthritis. So although it can come as a shock to know your dog needs surgery rest assured that your vet has your dog’s long-term well being at heart.


Kenilworth Vet
This month we are going to talk about anal gland problems in dogs

The anal glands or sacs are pouches that sit on either side of your dog or cat’s anus at roughly 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock. In a normal situation the glands secrete a (foul smelling) liquid substance that is stored in the sac until the animal defecates, at which point the liquid is expressed from the glands by the force of the bowel movement, ‘scenting’ the faeces with the dog or cat’s personal smell. The anal glands can also be evacuated when an animal is stressed, frightened or excited. It is this ‘trademark’ smell that makes dogs instinctively sniff another dog’s rear end!

What happens when it all goes wrong?
If the sacs don’t empty properly they can become impacted. Excess anal gland secretions can leak out onto the anus and surrounding tissue which may cause burning and discomfort to your pet. The anal gland secretion can also begin to change consistency, becoming hardened and impossible to evacuate in the normal way. In either instance your dog will ‘scoot’ along the floor in an attempt to alleviate the problem, may lick excessively, sit awkwardly to avoid pain or strain to defecate. Loose, soft stools often cause this situation or it can be that your pet’s anal glands are producing an excessive amount of anal gland secretion. Although dogs are more likely to have problems with their anal glands, cats can also suffer from anal gland disease, so if your cat is licking excessively around the anus or tail region it could also have this problem.

What can you do?
 If your pet shows any of the above symptoms it is best to organize a visit to your vet. The anal glands can be expressed manually either by external expression I.e.: squeezing the area on either side of the anus in order to express the fluid from the glands. Or by internal manual expression, which involves inserting a finger inside of the dog’s rectum and expressing the fluid from the anal glands between two fingers, one inside the rectum and one outside. This can be an uncomfortable and painful experience for your dog but if left untreated the anal glands can become infected and may even abscess and rupture, leaving an open, painful wound near the anus. At this stage the glands will need flushing, antibiotic treatment and in severe cases even removal, although this should only be done by an experienced surgeon.


The absence of approved building plans for buildings on a property constitutes, in our law, a latent defect in property. Avoetstoots clause in a sale agreement will address this issue and protect an innocent seller from comebacks from the purchaser.  

For example, seller X, unawares that there were no plans for certain of the buildings on his property, will not be liable to buyer Y to make good his (Y’s)additional expenses incurred when his planned renovation to his new home involves costs of subsequent approval of existing renovations.

A question that often arises in this regard is the issue of wendy houses. Is approval required? The Building Standards and Building Regulations Act requires that property owners obtain municipal approval generally in respect of all buildings, additions and renovations, no matter how small. 

However, in certain instances relating to smaller changes, full plan approval is not required, but the municipality must still be approached for written consent that formal; building plan approval is not required. "Minor building works" include, amongst others:
iv.           "tool shed not exceeding 10 m2 in area;
v.            child's playhouse not exceeding 5 m2 in area;
vi.           cycle shed not exceeding 5 m2 in area;
vii.          greenhouse not exceeding 15 m2 in area;
x.            any pergola;
xi.           private swimming-pool", etc.

These building works do not constitute a general exemption: the municipality must still be approached for written authority that plan approval is not required.

The Time To Say Goodbye

Kenilworth Vet
Euthanasia is never an easy decision but it isn’t one you have to make alone.

A few weeks ago we had to put our 15-year-old cat ‘Tugger’ to sleep. He had become seriously ill and was deteriorating fast. We couldn’t do any more to help him and although it was a traumatic decision to make, we knew euthanasia was the right one.

Euthanasia is a difficult subject particularly as it usually crops up when we are in a fragile emotional state. In this article I hope to show you that although it is possibly one of the toughest decisions you will ever make, it can also be the ultimate gift of friendship and compassion that you can bestow upon your pet.

Why Euthanasia?
There are many reasons why an owner may consider euthanasia. The most common one being that your pet is no longer able to live a happy, healthy, pain free life. This may be because of:

Serious injury or illness
• Your pet may be suffering from an injury or illness that cannot be treated or that it will not recover from adequately in order to live a normal life.
• The treatment of your pet’s condition may be beyond your reach financially.
• Your pet may no longer be responding to medication your Veterinarian has prescribed and is in pain or has lost mobility.

Old Age
Old age is not a reason to put your pet to sleep. However, certain conditions that accompany ageing may be.
• When your pet can no longer enjoy the things it used to and appears to be experiencing more pain than pleasure  i.e.:  on walks, playing etc,            
• When your pet is no longer responsive to you and/or is unable to maintain itself hygienically
• When your pet no longer has a decent quality of life.       
Behavioral Issues
Inappropriate behavior can most often than not be sorted out either with the help of medication from your Vet or the assistance of a reputable animal behaviorist. However, there are some issues that can’t be solved such as severe aggression where an animal puts people or other animals at risk.

When do I know the time is right?
This is the most common question we are asked, particularly by owners who have pets with deteriorating conditions.  If you have started to think about euthanasia then your instincts are telling you things are not going to get better for your pet. Try asking yourself the following:
• how keen is your pet to eat?
• how responsive is your pet to you when you call or stroke it?
• how mobile is your pet? Is movement a source of pain and discomfort?
• does your pet experience pain when being handled
• does you pet pant constantly or drink large quantities of water?
• is your pet losing body weight and condition?
• is your pet happy, does it have a good quality of life?

Remember this isn’t a decision you need to make alone; speak to your family members and don’t forget your Vet. Your Vet, apart from having experience, will probably have known your pet for some time and will be able to help and advise you. Try not to be selfish! Don’t let your pet suffer unnecessarily. They deserve more from you.

What Happens Next?
When you have come to your decision the next step is to organize things. Some Veterinarian’s will do a house visit to euthanase a pet but this can sometimes be more traumatic for everyone including your pet. So think carefully before choosing this option. Here is a list of things to consider:

• Find out when your Vet practice is quiet. Choose either the first or last appointment of a consulting session. You won’t have to wait and you won’t have to face crowds of people in the waiting room.
• Book a double appointment so you have time to spend with your pet.
• Don’t go alone. Try to take someone with you who can be supportive and drive you home if necessary.
• Decide if you want your pet to be buried or cremated, whether you want ashes returned or not and how much each option costs. Do this beforehand so that you can tell the receptionist when you book your appointment.
• Most decent practises will not ask you to pay at the time of the appointment but you will have to settle your account at some point and returning to the practice can be upsetting. Organise an EFT or pay in advance to avoid the any further stress.

How is it done?
Euthanasia is carried out when an animal is given an intravenous injection containing an overdose of a drug that is similar to those used to induce general anaesthesia. The chemical stops heart and brain activity causing instant loss of consciousness the animal passes from this deep sleep into death without any experience of pain. This happens in seconds.

Death is something that is hard to come to terms with but sometimes we are forced to consider not only our own mortality but that of our pets. Certain things may happen after your pet is put to sleep that can be distressing. It is important to remember your pet is no longer able to experience pain; these are normal processes that the body undergoes after death.

• agonal gasps - your pet may appear to ‘carry on breathing’ . This is caused by a reflex of the diaphragm and is not a conscious act.
• shakes and shivers are common and are also reflexes as the muscles are deprived of oxygen
•  your pet may whimper or cry as the injection is administered.
This is a rare side effect of the drug and is not a conscious act, your pet is not in pain. 

After they have gone
Give yourself time to grieve.  I am sure you felt it was a privilege to have your pet in your life. Whether your pet was with you through thick and thin or was just a brief but important feature in your life.  They were always there for you; they never answered back, gave so much and asked for so little. Our pets are a huge comfort to us and losing them can be devastating.  Those around you may not understand how you feel, it is important to find a family member or friend who is supportive. Remember that staff members at your Veterinary practice are always there to listen with a compassionate ear. 

Should I Get Another Pet?
There are so many reasons why each of us are pet owners. The decision to get another pet after the loss of a loved one can be difficult. You will never replace the pet you have lost. No two animals are ever the same, they each have their own funny behaviours and traits. Getting another companion animal is not a betrayal of the pet you have lost. It merely shows that you have enough compassion and love to climb on the roller coaster and ride it again! 


Compliance certificates - (Unknown costs and a grudge purchase for sellers)

The matter of compliance certificates (COC) can from time to time be a contentious issue leaving a bad taste in the Sellers mouth.

Beetle, electrical, plumbing, electrified fencing and gas (if applicable) certificates of compliance are a prerequisite in most sales agreements.

Unless otherwise agreed, it is the seller's responsibility to arrange and pay for the respective inspections plus the associated repair work in order to have the property comply with the regulations set out by the municipality. It is up to the seller to decide who he/she wishes to call in to do the inspections. Some opt for individual contractors and others for the convenience of the larger firms, which can manage all inspections and
repair work under one umbrella.

In most cases sellers go ahead with the sale and once conditions like bond approval etc have been met they then attend to the inspections. While this is fine, sometimes sellers are shocked to see that the inspection report reveals far more work and far greater costs than expected. The electricity is usually the biggest culprit! Older homes can attract greater expenses, but some times even new builds can be affected due to ever changing regulations or poor workmanship.

To avoid surprises there is always the option of the seller going ahead with the inspections before listing the property on the market. Remember, one need not proceed with the actual work, but being armed with the reports and quotes can be helpful in assessing ones financial position in advance.

Also to remember is that most contractors are prepared to wait until transfer for their money i.e. the seller can go ahead with the compliance work and settle the contractor from the proceeds of the sale. The transferring attorney usually manages this on the seller's behalf.

In cases where a seller has only owned the property for a short time and feels aggrieved by a high quote it would be advisable to go back to the company that did the previous compliance work to establish if the law has since changed or if indeed their workmanship and/or material used was at
that point compliant.

Points to remember:
  • The seller is legally obligated to arrange for the compliance certificates
  • Beetle is not a "legal" prerequisite, but is usually required by the financial institutions
  • As a seller, having a copy of the past COC might be handy. These can be obtained from the transferring attorneys who attended to the sale previously
  • It can be prudent to do the inspections prior to going to market
  • The seller need not proceed with the work until a later point once the sale is complete
  • Some certificates (like beetle) have a shelf life so beware of doing it too soon
  • It's the sellers prerogative as to their choice of contractor
  • Inspections should be thorough and are not for free like a regular quote
  • Second opinions are likely to be considered as inspections and will attract fees
  • Reports and quotes are frequently not released until inspection fees have been settled
  • In most cases you can opt to pay the company later i.e. from the proceeds of the sale
  • Regulations change and therefore so do the compliance prerequisites
  • Even recently bought and re-sold properties can attracted costs
  • Short cuts can be costly and attract come backs

Here are links to some of the bigger firms used by many estate agencies:
Bugs and Sparks -
Inspecto -

For an example of the terms and conditions for one of the firms as well as their detailed check list of what is required to be compliant, click here.

For further advice on this matter or for you additional property needs please don't hesitate to contact us. Valuations are free of charge and remember our services extend from Rondebosch, Claremont, Harfield, Kenilworth and Plumstead to Tokai.

Past sales
Industry partners

Give your area specialist a call:
021-6741120 – –    

To see what we have on sale click here

BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS IN CATS: Inappropriate House Soiling

So, your cat has started urinating and/or defecating around the house. It is a bad situation for everyone, especially the cat so let's look at why these normally fastidious creatures sometimes fail in the bathroom department.

These problems often fall into two categories:

House soiling
This is when a cat that has normally been reliable at using the litter tray or the big outdoors suddenly begins to urinate and defecate around the house. They may choose a particular spot and return to it repeatedly or use different 'favourite' areas of the house.

Things to consider:
The most important thing is to rule out any underlying medical problems the cat may have. Any one of the medical issues listed below could contribute to your cats changing behaviour. So it is important to get him/her checked out thoroughly and quickly before the behaviour becomes a habit.

  • FIC – Feline Idiopathic cystitis
  • cystitis
  • blocked bladder
  • kidney disease
  • thyroid problems
  • gastrointestinal conditions
  • old age; arthritis ,mobility problems
  • senility

Litter box aversions
Your cat may just not like the litter box; the litter you are using or the area the litter box has been placed. Below is a list of things to consider regarding the litter tray:

  • is it cleaned regularly - does it smell good
  • is it easy for your cat to get into the box
  • what type of litter is used (try different ones) 
  • is your cat afraid to use the box i.e.: is it harassed by other house hold pets when using the tray or is it in a busy area of the house
  • is it close to where you feed your cat

Cats are incredibly sensitive to change so keep this in mind when ruling out possible causes.

Marking or spraying
This is a form of territory marking and is completely different from your cat just going to the bathroom. Your cat will not squat but will remain standing with their tail raised and spray against vertical objects like furniture, walls etc. Only very occasional a cat will mark territory with faeces.

This sort of behaviour often occurs when your cat is stressed. There may be a new cat in the area or new pet in the home that is threatening your cat's territory. New furniture or carpet smells can prompt a cat to spray in the house but it can also be a result of frustration – with your cat not receiving enough stimulation or playtime. Sometimes there may be an issue with diet.

The most important thing to remember is your cat is not spraying in the house to be spiteful!

What can you do?

  • Get your cat checked over thoroughly by your Vet to rule out a medical problem.
  • Try to establish, if possible, why your cat is spraying or urinating in the house. Look out for perceived threats etc. and try to avert them. You can close up the cat flap at night so no intruders can get in.
  • If your cat is going to the bathroom in a particular spot like a pot plant or piece of carpet, try moving a litter tray to the spot or using soil in the tray or an old piece of carpet! You can also try to restrict access to the area.
  • Use odour removers and repellent sprays to mask the scent. This will hopefully discourage the cat's return. Your Vet will be able to advise you as to what products are effective.
  • If your cat has a problem act quickly before the behaviour becomes a habit.
  • Call in a professional animal behaviourist who will be able to assess the situation in your home.

Domestic cats live in an incredibly stressful environment these days with many cats living in close proximity, all vying for their little bit of territory. Pop into the practice and take the Hills Stress Test to see how your cat copes with stress!

Kenilworth Vet, Harfield Village            

STRAY AND FERAL CATS - the story of human neglect

No matter where you live in the world, be it in a city or a rural area, you will find stray and feral cats.

These cats are often seen as a nuisance and a threat to domestic cats living in the area.

In some places they are looked upon as an asset, controlling unwanted vermin and can even be a tourist attraction, think of the cats in Greece!

But where do they come from and how do we deal successfully and humanely with this man made problem?

What is the difference between a stray and feral cat?


  • these cats are socialized, enjoy human contact but have lost their home or were abandoned
  • as their contact with humans dwindles over time they will become less dependant on and wary of people
  • they can be successfully rescued and re-homed


  • these cats are usually the offspring of strays 
  • they have never had human contact as kittens and are therefore fearful of people
  • they have only ever survived outdoors
  • FERAL KITTENS CAN be socialized if rescued at an early age
  • Feral cats are blamed for needless hunting but actually are not able to survive on hunting alone

Once again there are differing opinions as to how to deal with communities of cats living on the streets. There are those who advocate euthanasia as the only solution in controlling the problem but research has shown that fortunately this is not the answer. As soon as a population on cats is
removed another group will move into the territory. We, and many organisations around the world prefer to promote the TNR (trap, neuter, release) method of control.

Here in Cape Town we work with the Cat Trapping and Sterilization Network. The CTSN trap feral and stray cats, have them sterilized by various veterinarians and then either release them back onto the street or where possible re-home them. The CTSN also feed and monitor feral cat colonies and
will trap any animal that appears sick or debilitated. This is an important part of controlling a feral colony.



  • If you have a stray cat or a number of stray cats in your neighbourhood that are causing a problem contact the CTSN. It may take time but they should be able to trap and sterilize the cats and release them or rehome them.
  • Sterilize your cats - be a responsible owner
  • If you are feeding a 'stray' cat already, check that it is sterilized or have it sterilized - be a responsible caregiver. If you need help contact the CTSN.
  • DONATE! Time, money, food to the CTSN they do truly amazing work

  • Stray and feral cats exist because we have let our feline friends down!
  • Feral cats can be successfully reintroduced into the environment they came from
  • In some cases feral cats can be relocated to areas that need pest control
  • Most feral cats will always be wild and will never be happy in a home
  • Sterilized feral cats can lead a long healthy life and will not be a threat to domestic cats
  • For more information look contact june bradbury at

Kenilworth Vet, Harfield Village

Principal's Pen - Should I renovate before I sell?

Firstly, we need to define the word “renovate” and then we need to talk money. There is a difference between minor improvement and deliberate structural or extension work in order to maximise ones return on a property investment. For those who know what they are doing, development and “fixer uppers” can be a profitable game, but not always for the faint hearted.

Cosmetic changes on the other hand can go a long way in terms of making that best first impression for a future buyer. In most cases this is well worth the effort, but one does need to be cautious about the spend too. A quick lick of paint, replacement of that rotten fascia board, a sparkling pool or garden clean up are certainly recommended. On the flip side though, in cases where a house is old or neglected it’s easy to get carried away and overspend on what starts off as a “touch up” and ends off as a serious home improvement job. Much like opening that packet of salt and vinegar chips and thinking you will only eat a handful of them.

Remember a home is a personal thing. So before you go throwing money at it perhaps it’s worth bearing in mind that unusually coloured walls and garden gnomes might be your flavour, but not necessarily everyone else’s cup of tea. It’s generally advisable to “de-personalize” as much as possible. And yes de-clutter too!

Whether it is your intention to go the full Monty or just titivate, we highly recommend you call in a professional estate agent to assist you in your decision making process. We are in and out of properties every other day and know what the buyers out there are saying or looking for. If you are looking to make long term decisions or planning to sell in the near future, either way we will gladly pop in for a visit. It’s free advice with no further obligations at all.

BREAKING NEWS: Prime interest rates go up to 9.25%. Homeowners, already hard-pressed to manage the rising costs of living, can take only small comfort in the mild interest rate hike of 0.25%, which will take the repo rate up to 5.75% and the prime lending rate to 9.25%. | 021-674110 | Claremont to Tokai

This is a question we are frequently called in to advise on and for good reason too!

Nearly every property is unique as are the personal and financial circumstances of the owner. There are, however, some rules of thumb that could be considered.


Separation Anxiety
Does your dog fret when you leave home? Bark incessantly or is destructive? Then it could be suffering from separation anxiety.

What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is triggered when a dog become upset when separated from
its owner. It can display a variety of negative behaviours such as:
  • the dog may be disruptive or destructive
  • the dog might urinate, defecate in the house
  • may bark or howl incessantly
  • may chew and /or dig in an attempt to escape
  • may drool and show anxiety when owners prepare to leave the house
What triggers this behaviour?
  • There are various theories as to why dogs develop separation anxiety:
  • The dog believes it is the 'pack' leader and that it is responsible for the welfare of its owner. When the owner leaves without the dog, it is impossible for the dog to be caretaker, which causes the dog stress.
  • The dog may have experienced the loss of an important person, or the company of another pet previously, particularly if it is a rescue dog.
  • A change from the normal home routine i.e.; owner no longer works from home, or spends a greater time away from home.
  • Changing homes or a change in the family.
How can you help your dog?
  • Take charge by being the leader: many behavioural problems arise from a lack of leadership by the owner.
  • Encourage your dog to be confident and independent by trying to find a happy balance between respect for his leader (you), enjoying your companionship and attention and being alone.
  • Don't let your dog follow you around constantly at home . Your dog needs to learn that it is ok to be alone. Send him to his basket or blanket and give him 'chill time'.
  • Teach your dog to be relaxed when he is away from you i.e.; place his basket in another room and send him to it with a chew or a favourite toy so it's not a punishment but treat time!
  • Try to retrain your dog to understand that your absences are normal.
  • Don't give your anxious dog too much attention - he needs to learn independence.

If your dog is suffering from mild separation anxiety the following retraining may help:

If he gets anxious when you prepare to leave:
  • Pick up car keys, put on your jacket etc but don't go anywhere! Sit and watch TV or potter about the house for a while. Then put the keys down and take off your coat. If you do this often your dog will no longer associate these things with your departure.
  • Do trial run departures; go out for 5 minutes and then come back gradually increasing the amount of time you are away, do it randomly so your dog cant guess when you will be back!
  • Give your dog a toy puzzle with treats inside (a Kong works really well) when you leave to keep him busy when you go out.
  • Don't make a big fuss when you leave or when you return
Speak to the hand! Ignore your dog!

"When you give a separation-anxious dog attention, dole it out in very brief increments. One second can be enough."

Dogs that have anxiety issues are often constantly in need of attention. 
You need to learn to ration your attention to help him understands that:
a) he can survive without you
b) you are the boss
  • If your dog approaches you for affection ignore him for a few minutes until he gives up, then YOU ask him to come to you and give him love and a treat.
  • Give your dog attention when he is being good to reinforce positive behaviour i.e.; when resting in his bed or favourite spot and is relaxed.
  • It is better not to allow an anxious dog to sit on your lap (rather at your feet) sleep in your bed (rather in his own bed in your room) at least until he has gained some independence from you and has overcome its separation anxiety.
Use training to help build your dog's confidence: don't let your dog train you!
  • A dog will do whatever works to get your attention- barking, scratching and performing - try to ignore it don't even make eye contact!
  • Basic obedience training such as sit, stay, down if used every day can really build your dogs confidence. Remember always reward your dog for good behaviour with small titbits.
  • If you have the time join an obedience group
  • Exercise - it is so important for your dog's mind and body to be exercised with regular walks, runs or swims and it helps to use up all that extra energy!
Make home a safe haven.
  • Make sure that the dog has quiet, comfortable places around the house that he can go to and feel safe whether it is his bed or just a blanket or cushion, somewhere with familiar smells. Dogs need to have a base.
  • If you listen to the radio, music or have a TV going when your home it may help to leave it on when you go out
And so if all else fails..
Behavioural problems can be a nightmare and you may need to consult a professional behaviourist that can observe yours and your dog's behaviour in your home. There are also medications that can be prescribed by your Veterinarian that can ease your dog's anxiety.

Your dog is not behaving badly in order to punish you - so don't punish him! Even if you come home to a real mess, punishing your dog after the fact will mean nothing to him. ALWAYS reward positive behaviour, be patient, get professional help but don't give up on your dog. He would never give up on

Kenilworth Vet, Harfield Village

Principal's Pen - AREA SPECIALIST

Choosing an estate agent can be a daunting task.

A property is often ones most valuable asset and thus it's essential that you are in safe, capable and trustworthy hands when it comes to making
real-estate decisions.

Doing your homework and calling an area specialist is the way to start. With numerous agents in the area claiming this title it's not always easy to deduce who is who in the property zoo. Market share is the obvious tell-tale sign and consistent market share at that!

There were 6 sales recorded in Harfield Village this past May. Norgarb Properties sold 4 of them translating to a whopping 67% market share. In addition, Norgarb took an average of 1 day to sell each of them and sellers enjoyed, on average, a staggering 0.7% difference between the list price and
actual selling price.

To do your homework on Norgarb's credibility click on the respective links below:

Past sales
Industry partners

Give your area specialist a call:
021-6741120 –             

Principal's Pen - Buyers run the Gauntlet and Sellers Enjoy the Spoils

Lew Norgarb from Norgarb Properties reports continued frustration from buyers in Harfield Village and the surrounding Southern Suburb areas. With a continued shortage of property and additional purchasers entering the market, things are getting desperate. 

“I really feel for the buyers in this current market” says Lew. The last few properties we listed were snapped up in days or even hours and sold for very close to, or for the full asking price. For example 23 Third Avenue, Harfield and 1 Somerset Rd, Harfield (both 2 bed semis), were snapped up for full asking price and 25 Prince Avenue, Plumstead listed at R1.595 was sold in 3 days for R1.550.

With cash buyers a plenty sellers are the only ones enjoying the spoils. So how do bond buyers, let alone those who need to sell first, possibly compete in this aggressive arena?

For bond buyers one of the most prudent steps one can take is to get your finances in order. Not only does this mean having all the costs ready on the side, but also have a pre-assessment of your buying power. A prequalification from an experienced and reputable bond consultant will weigh heavily in your favour with agents and sellers alike. Anne-Marie Bamber from Better Bond has an outstanding track record and offers free friendly advice with no obligations. You can call her on 082 071 1665 or mail her on or click here for an overview.

If you need to sell first, things can be far more tricky. First and foremost if the intention is to use the proceeds of your sale to buy your next property you need to be sure that you are running the right numbers. An over inflated opinion of the value of your own home could lead to complications in that one’s buying budget is out of sync, but also your house is not likely to be sold quick enough to secure your new purchase. Contact Norgarb Properties for a free valuation with no further obligations on 021-6741120 or

As it only takes one buyer to close the deal, it is common place for others to be left frustrated and kicking themselves for either not being prepared, not acting quickly enough or for being too cheeky with their offer amount. Norgarb suggests a few pointers that could save some heartache for buyers running the “gauntlet” in what is clearly very much still a sellers market.

1) Get your financials in order - Ensure you understand the costs associated with buying. The big ones include deposit (usually 10%, but this can be negotiable), transfer duty, legal fees plus bond attorney registration fees and bank valuations if taking finance. Cash buyers are often surprised to find out that they are charged a fee for the guarantees, which can be a couple of thousand rand. Buyers often don’t realise that a lot of these fees are over and above the purchase price, and not able to be included in the bond, but more importantly the money needs to be available as it will be called for prior to the property transferring into their name.

2) If you are selling as well - Don’t forget to factor in costs such as commission, VAT, beetle, electrical, plumbing and gas compliance fees. Electric fencing is another one! In most cases penalties apply if one cancels your bond without a minimum of 90 days notice. So don’t forget to get going with the cancellation if you are thinking of selling, you can always change this if you don’t sell down the line. Also you will be obliged to pay a few months rates in advance and this money will need to be available too.

3) Act fast – Don’t wait for the weekend papers, this can often be too late. Sign up for our show house/property alertsand enquire quickly if you see something that you like.

4) Offer fast - Once you have visited the property don’t drag your heals. If it's love at first sight and you feel it checks all the boxes get your offer in fast, especially if you ascertain that the seller has some sense of urgency to sell.

5) Get pre-qualified for finance -This can’t be stressed enough. We highly recommend Anne-Marie from Better Bondfor free advice and assistance with no obligations. Being pre-assessed from an experienced and reputable bond originator elevates not only your worthiness, but also your commitment in the eyes of the seller and his/her respective agent. If you were a seller and you received competing offers, you would be likely to accept the highest and least risky one too. Sellers frequently consider lower offers, because they are less risky. Being pre-qualified is just another feather in your cap and could be the deal breaker or deal maker when the pressure is on and Mr or Mrs Seller is debating your offer.

6) Don’t go it alone – Further to pre-qualifying your finances, good experienced bond originators also offer remarkable support prior to and during the application process. Having someone on speed dial that you can trust and rely on during that nail biting hurry up and wait period is invaluable. Apart from quicker turn around times and the obvious convenience, bond originators are able to apply to multiple banks thereby leveraging competitive interest rates often not achievable when going it alone. For self employed individuals, contract workers, ex pats and anyone with unusual or irregular income, this support is invaluable.

7) Sell first – Yes this is a scary thought to many. But the harsh reality is that conditional offers are up against cash and pre-approved offers and are less likely to be accepted. Even if they are accepted it is likely that the continued marketing clause, and the 72 hour clause, are likely to be recorded in the sales agreement. In most cases this means that although your offer has been accepted there is still a chance of you losing your dream home unless you can sell yours within 3 days if put to terms. These clauses are often unknown to the buyer and can be quite daunting. Please feel free to contact us should you have any queries or need any advice on this matter.

8) Be flexible on conditions in favour of the seller – While certain conditions might be unavoidable, being flexible on other matters could just help clinch the deal. Transfer and or occupation dates that suit the seller could for example be very helpful, or perhaps the exclusion of movable property that might be of financial or sentimental value to the seller.

Quick links:
Norgarb Properties
Better Bond
STBB (Smith Tabata Buchanon Boyes)


Obese Cat
Did you know that nearly 50% of all our pets 
are overweight or obese? Keeping your pet slim and in good shape , can extend their life expectancy by up to 2 years and allows them to play, run and generally lead a happier life.

Why is it so important to keep my dog or cat trim?
At one time it was thought that fat tissue just sat around storing excess calories and adding to body mass. However, scientific studies have shown that fat tissue can be biologically active, producing inflammatory hormones and causing oxidative stress on the body, this in turn contributes to many disease processes such as: cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc and can lead to psychological depression.   

What do I do if I think my pet  is overweight?

People have different ideas as to what ‘normal’ is, fortunately there are guidelines that can help us establish to what extent your pet is over weight.

• you should be able to feel your pets ribs – hold your hand palm down and feel the knuckles with flat fingers of the other hand, this is how your dogs ribs should feel behind the shoulder blades. This goes for cats too.
• your vet can accurately weigh and measure your pet in order to establish where your pet sits on the body conditioning charts. This is important as it helps us monitor progress during weight loss. 

Feed the right food , in the right quantity, at the right time.

• reducing the quantity of food your pet normally  eats probably wont help with weight loss and could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
• listen to your vet – use a food that is specifically design to aide weight loss ( there are many available) and stick to it!
• don’t be tempted to give treats or feed more than is recommended. Most weight loss diets will not leave your pet hungry- so don’t be fooled.
• allowing unlimited access to food is the most common cause of obesity in cats. Have specific feeding times and remove food that is not eaten.

Join a slimming plan!

• many of the food companies have a slimming plan that gives help and encouragement to pet owners whose animals are on weight reducing foods. Most practices are involved in one or more of the programmes and can register you on the websites. They are great for keeping an accurate record of your pets progress and most companies will send you freebies for all your hard work!

In for the long haul….

Weight loss doesn’t happen over night, it is a long process that needs commitment from you the owner, particularly when things are going slowly. 
We all love our companion animals and want them to have a happy, healthy and long life. By taking the first steps to help your overweight pet you are being a responsible owner.

Don’t kill them with kindness!            

Help them enjoy life!
Kenilworth Vet, Harfield Village


Many cat lovers amongst you have heard the term FeLV and FIV. Some of you may even be unfortunate enough to have lost a cat to one of these diseases and yet other pet owners are completely unaware that they exist. So let’s have a quick look at these viruses and see what we can do to protect our pets.

FeLV - Feline Leukemia Virus: What is it and what does it do?
·         Feline Leukemia is the most common cause of cancer in cats.
·          It can cause blood disorders and lead to a state of immune deficiency, hindering the cat's ability to protect itself against other infections.
·         You will often see no sign of FeLV until your cat’s health progressively deteriorates over weeks, months, or even years causing recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health.

How is it spread?
·         The virus is shed in high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, urine, feces, and milk from infected cats.
·         Cat-to-cat transfer can occur from bite wounds, during mutual grooming, and very rarely through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes.
·         Transmission can take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing.
·         However, FeL virus does not survive long outside a cat's body and die in a few hours under normal household conditions.

FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: What is it and what does it do?
·         Causes immune deficiency that eventually leaves the cat vulnerable to infections that would normally not be life threatening.
·         A cat infected with FIV may show no symptoms for years.

How is it spread?
·         It is transmitted from one cat to another mainly through bite wounds.
The following symptoms are commonly seen in both of these diseases.
·         Cat in generally poor condition with persistent fever and loss of appetite
·         Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis)
·         chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract
·         Persistent diarrhea
·         Persistent eye conditions
·         Slow but progressive weight loss with severe wasting late in the disease process
·         Various kinds of cancer and blood diseases are much more common in cats infected with FIV
·         Unspayed female cats may  abort of kittens or have other reproductive failures
·         Some infected cats experience seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological symptoms
What can we do?
Test your cat  – Your vet should have a combo test that can tell you if your cat is positive or negative for FeLV and FIV, early detection will  help with the management of  yours cat’s health and also allow you to help avoid spreading infection to other cats.
Vaccinate your cat – a vaccine is available against the FeLV virus (can only be used on uninfected cats)
Sterilise your cat – male and female cats should be sterilized
Hope this has helped you understand these diseases. Let’s keep our cat population happy and healthy!

Kenilworth Vet, Harfield Village