Bichi Mao Artist, Olive Yong, Draws Chonky Cats in Heartwarming Tales

Marked by rounded features, gentle color tones and overall chonkiness, Olive Yong’s Bichi Mao comics has garnered more than 200 thousand followers on Instagram. Her Pusheen-esque characters are definitely a package of delight that warms the hearts of readers around the world. The slice-of-life webcomic revolves around family, animal welfare and the hilarious antics of both cats and humans alike.

A Self-Taught Artist

Since young, drawing has always been one of Olive’s passions. Pencil and paper were her go-to’s and she worked primarily on realistic portraits. While she harbored the dream of developing her passion into a career, her education was not officially grounded in digital arts. Becoming a webcomic artist, she reflects, never crossed her mind. She majored in Music in Education.

Olive’s signature kawaii cat.

It was 3 years ago when she was introduced to digital drawing and delved into the Procreate App. Like many budding artists, she started sharing her work on social media platforms and was overwhelmed to amass a large following within a year.

“I was very surprised that people enjoy and love what I’m doing,” Olive says. “Their support means the world to me and drives me to continue creating.” Fans often send messages and emails to share how her art and comics have impacted their life.

Purrfect Inspiration

Chonky cats of all breeds and fur colors are seen in the Bichi Mao comics. The earliest pieces even feature rather naughty cats with self-entitled attitudes – as evident from the wordplay on the comic’s name.

A cat lover, Olive’s reason for their prominent presence is simple: “I LOVE CATS. They are cute and each cat has their different personalities, just like a human.”

On social media handles, Olive refers to herself and her feline characters as Mao (猫), the Chinese word for cats. The majority of Bichi Mao characters today are endearing kitties with good-natured chubbiness.

Besides cats, her inspirations include fellow Malaysian comic artist, Fishball, who is well-known for her My Giant Nerd Boyfriend series. Olive is also strongly moved by the masterful storytelling in Pixar and Disney films, which she describes “has never failed” to make her cry.

In her own way, she is passionate about recreating witty, heartwarming tales to touch lives. While the comics focus on the humor in everyday life, some scenes do reflect the less joyful aspects of reality. In these moments, the narration further tugs at one’s heartstrings as the event is presented from the perspective of the childlike Maos. Still, the story also explains that one can always give kindness and solace to another. Readers, then, can pay the love forward in real life.

“I enjoy sharing my views on certain topics to bring awareness to the public, in hopes of helping to make the world a little kinder,” she says.

Bichi Mao’s Roots in Malaysia

Olive shares how Malaysian fans are often surprised to see her at local comic events. They did not realize Olive was from Malaysia as well! Indeed, the majority of Bichi Mao’s followers come from countries on the other side of the world, such as the United States.

In Malaysia, the local academia-focused system means that resources and publishing opportunities for art creators are scarce. There is also the general stigma that artistic careers are merely alternative routes for those less academically adept. Due to these limitations, Olive acknowledges the difficulty of not knowing whom to turn to, or even where to start, when wanting to step into the industry.

Thankfully, the internet empowers comic artists like Olive with the ability to showcase their work directly to a global audience. Finding success on the platform, she still hopes to gain greater local recognition down the road and be an official part of the country’s comic industry, like Fishball, in the future.

More Books and Comics

Earlier in February, Olive published her first book, Kawaii Kitties: Learn How to Draw 75 Cats in All Their Glory. It is a step-by-step guide for beginners interested in kawaii drawing and of course, cats.

Now a full-time freelance illustrator, she is currently working on her second book, Color My Mood, a children’s coloring book featuring up to 60 illustrations. She also plans to venture beyond Bichi Mao with new comics and characters.

“While there are a lot of uncertainties that come along with a freelance career, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Olive says. “I’m really excited and proud to continue my journey as an illustrator and webcomic artist.”

As for her stories, she remains committed to spreading love, positivity and smiles to the world.

Connect with Bichi Mao

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Best Cat Litter for Cats with Respiratory Problems (Chronic Cases, Asthma, Allergies)

Searching for the best cat litter is one of the biggest challenges for cat parents. You’re probably here because your cat has chronic respiratory issues. It could be asthma, a persistent allergy, or other chronic conditions that remain even after disease recovery.

Don’t worry, you’re not an over-thinking Cat Momma or Papa. It’s great that you’re looking into safe cat litter for your special needs cat!

For cats with respiratory problems, you’ll need the safest, dust-free cat litter you can find. That’s what this blog post is all about: the best types of cat litter for cats with sensitive respiratory systems.

Best Cat Litter for Cats with Chronic Respiratory Issues

How do I choose a suitable cat litter?

From top to bottom, the pet shop’s aisle is packed with bags of cat litter from different brands, made of different materials, different textures …

Where should you start? For cats and kittens with respiratory issues, you should choose cat litter that is:

  • Unscented. Don’t be swayed by fancy marketing like “Natural Lavender Scent” or get tempted by deodorizing beads and pods.
  • In pellet form, rather than sand or fine granules. Pellet cat litter has fewer smaller particles and dust.
  • Made of gentle, natural materials. Nopity nope to traditional clay and silica crystal litter.

Best Cat Litter Recommendations (Only the safest, I promise.)

Personal Pick: Green Kat Cat Litter (6L/14L/24L)

best cat litter safe paper cat litter green kat
Green Kat Cat Litter
  • Made from recycled newspaper.
  • Non-toxic even if ingested by cats.
  • Relatively dust free. 99% is actual litter. Only the bottom 1% has some flaky bits and paper dust.
  • Smells like newspaper. Does not irritate your cat when he/she sniffs the litter.

The one disadvantage of Green Kat: it doesn’t clump. To make the bag last, you need to manually separate the soiled litter from clean ones.

Remove the litter once a day, so your cat’s whisk-like paws won’t end up mixing the used and unused bits thoroughly together.

A Green Kat 24L bag lasts around 3 weeks for my 3 cats. We get the cheapest deal from Perromart.

My special needs cat, Quacky, has used Green Kat litter since he was a kitten. It’s more than a year now. Although his breathing condition can’t be permanently cured, he’s grown so much stronger and is now the most handsome tom. He’s been doing great with Green Kat!

If Green Kat isn’t available in your local area, check out a similar paper cat litter below.

Similar: Purina Yesterday’s News Paper Cat Litter

best cat litter paper litter yesterday's news
Purina’s Yesterday’s News Non-Clumping Paper Cat Litter
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (based on 5000+ reviews, at time of writing)
  • Chewy Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (based on 700+ reviews, at time of writing)

While I have not used Purina’s paper cat litter, there is no shortage of feedback from committed cat parents.

The few negative reviews for Yesterday’s News cat litter tend to center around “poor odor control”. Yet many positive reviewers are happy with how “the odor is absorbed and doesn’t linger”. This conflicting experience is the same for Green Kat cat litter users.

A word from personal experience: odor control is very subjective. The smell of your cat’s urine and poop greatly depends on your cat’s diet, and how often you clean the litter box.

You’d be surprised how a slightly pricier, but healthier, cat kibble can greatly reduce urine odor. Cleaning out your cat’s litter box once a day is good practice, too!

Choosing the Best Cat Litter for Your Cat

The right cat litter ensures your cat’s comfort and in the long term, saves you hundreds of dollars in vet bills. This is especially important for cats with asthma, sensitive respiratory systems or cats prone to allergies. Double that importance if your cat’s litter box is in his/her cage day and night.

I hope this blog post gave you a more complete idea of the best and safest cat litter for your special needs cat! Tried paper cat litter? Tell me how it went in the comments.

If you have personal recommendations on the best cat litter, I’d love to hear your take too!

Behind the Blog Post: Quacky’s Background

Quacky is my special needs cat. He was terribly sick when we rescued him. Pale and weak, he couldn’t really eat. He couldn’t even sleep. In his cage, we would place rolled-up towels and clothes to support his chest, to help with his breathing.

best cat litter for cats with respiratory problems
Little Sister (top) and Quacky (bottom). During grooming sessions, Little Sister makes sure the receiving cat stays put by squashing them, as demonstrated.

Quacky used Green Kat cat litter over his many months of recovery. Having safe cat litter in his cage at least prevented yet another worry. (P.S: Quack, at the rate I’m going, you can be Green Kat’s ambassador already. 😂)

He can now take good ol’ cat naps whenever he wants. He loves exploring the outdoors (we supervise) and enjoys mutual grooming sessions with his companions. Behold, he’s ten times fluffier!