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Welcome to The Discerning Cat!

Hello and welcome to The Discerning Cat! My name is Amanda O’Brien and I am originally from Melbourne, Australia but have been living in London for 18 years. I have always wanted a cat. When I was a little girl I used to let stray cats into the house and all of my childhood nicknames revolved around cats.

tabby siberian cat sits on brown paper bag
Nelly, the cat that started everything!
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Alas, it was never to happen for me when I was a kid. Once I was an adult I discovered a passion for travel and working in marketing. I spent so much time travelling that I knew I couldn’t take proper care of a pet. And that is what I kept telling myself.

And then I met Nelly. Nelly is the gorgeous Siberian cat of my good friend Cordy. When I met Nelly I just fell in love. She was so fluffy and silly and amusing – I really wanted to take her home with me.

So Nelly became my cat inspiration. So much so that when I decided it was time for me to get my cat I went to Nelly’s breeder to ensure my cat would be as much like Nelly as possible.

The breeder said that she did have cats available and that I could have a kitten at 13 weeks in July of 2020. I was so excited! Alexei arrived in July 2020. Bringing him into my life was one of the best decisions I have every made.

When I am not investigating cats I have a travel blog, The Boutique Adventurer and a dog blog (don’t tell Alexei!), The Dog Snobs. My company that owns all of these sites is called Beyond the Horizon and is located in London.

So, of course, I jumped straight onto the internet to start learning about how I could be a fantastic cat parent.

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My beautiful Alexei

I was a bit shocked by what I found. Although there are lots of sites with good information like the cat food sites and upmarket cat bed sites there were no sites for people like me.

People who want their cat to fit in with their slightly more upscale lifestyle. Not over the top luxury but I want my cat to have products and services that are the equivalent of what I buy for myself. I buy my fruit and vegetables at wholefoods type places and I wanted the same for my cat.

I couldn’t find one site that had curated all of the things that I would need for my cat and had a view with recommendations. So I decided to create one!

The Discerning Cat started with my online research and will then morph as I learn more about being a cat parent. I would love to hear from my readers with their tips and advice and where they are pertinent I will add them into my articles – the more the merrier!

Read about our editorial policy.

At The Discerning Cat we are now beginning to work with qualified veterinarians as well as experts in areas like cat behavior. We want our articles to be as accurate as possible. Also, we want to be able to include tips from the experts to help you look after your favourite feline.

If you see this at the top of one of our articles:

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This means that the article you are about to read has been reviewed by a veterinary expert for accuracy. We also ask them to add general tips or advice as appropriate. Sometimes we work with students – that’s why we write veterinary expert rather than a fully qualified vet. We want to be as accurate as possible.

We will also include a bio of the vet who has reviewed the article at the bottom of the article.

Meet our Experts

siberian cat looking into distance

As time went by I decided to add to my furry family with the arrival of Vladimir, a second Siberian cat, in December of 2021.

And as the site has grown in size, we have decided to focus on cat behavior and cat breeds. Lots of people are out there reviewing cat products. We wanted to help potential owners choose the right breed for them as well as assist them in figuring out our often mysterious felines!

two siberian cats on couch
My two Siberian cats, Alexei and Vladimir

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Other Cats in my Life


The cat that started the whole thing. A gorgeous Siberian who lives in North London with Cordy and Isla. Nelly loves to hang out in random places and to become unbelievably fluffy in the winter.

tabby siberian sits in black tote bag
Nelly ready to travel!


Jelly is my nephew cat. He belongs to my niece, Matilda. Jelly came from Battersea Cats home and is very ginger. Before Jelly came into her life Matilda would draw family pictures at school that included a cat which didn’t exist. My brother thought it would be a good idea to make that cat real.

ginger cat sits on dark couch with tail out
Jelly would like to know what you’re looking at

Jelly often thinks he is a person rather than a cat. He likes sitting up on his bottom with his legs out and paws down. He can be quite grumpy. Often when my brother walks past him he just sticks his paw out and whacks him. I find this quite amusing.

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Jelly’s head shot for when he runs for Parliament


Dave belongs to Liz and Mike. Dave used to belong to Liz and Mike’s neighbour. But alas the neighbour was not a good fur parent so Dave started hanging out at Liz and Mike’s looking for food. Liz is a very kind hearted soul and began to feed Dave.

Dave realised he was onto something good and pretty soon he was never leaving Liz and Mike’s house. They now have to get cat sitters to go on holiday. Liz often seeks out Dave surrogates now when travelling. Dave has done very well for himself.

Mai Mai

Mai Mai comes from China and moved to West London with her family a few years ago.

Fluffy black cat being held
Mai Mai

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