Dog games – Pet podcast #8 on Pets.ca – www.pets.ca
Pet podcast #8 is all about games that you can play with your dog. Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation and in this show we give you some tips and pointers on how to do just that. Products referenced in this show include Kongs and Nylabones. You can download this pet podcast directly by clicking the preceding link or listen to it almost immediately with the player below.
Please note that this is an audio transcription. grammar and punctuation may not be perfect.
Marko Kulik: Hi there everyone and welcome to the Pets.ca podcast #7. Yes, we are already 7. Today is November 26, 2006, and we are coming to you from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I hope you liked our little bit of intro effect. We are trying to change things up a little bit. Always trying to play and experiment and make things a little bit more interesting, so we hope you liked it. As always, if you did, if you could leave a comment that would be great. We did get a couple of comments, but they were all spam. One of them was for Viakra, spelled with a K, and I am good in that department so do not need any, do not need any spam, but we could definitely use some real comments. So, if you have the time, I would absolutely love to get some comments and, you can also leave comments via the blog. You can subscribe for free using iTunes by going to itunes.com and you can just from the link on our blog, if you click the main link that says “Subscribe in iTunes,” as long as you have it downloaded, it will subscribe you automatically. It is all free and it is a great way to listen to this and other podcasts.
So, for today”s show, we are going to talk about cats. So many of our other shows, we are focusing on dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, and it is about time we spoke a little bit about cats. First off, the menu for today, I would like to know why so many guys do not like cats. I am a guy. I love cats. I am crazy cat lover, but I am a crazy animal lover in general, but a lot of my male friends do not like cats. This is a theme that I hear over and over again. For some reason, they really like dogs. All guys love dogs, but the second you mention cats, they get all like skittish or “ugh.” They do not like cats and I do not know what the reason is. Sure, there are some guys that like cats, but ask around. Ask your friends. Ask your male friends if they like cats and if you are like me and you have been getting the response that I have been getting, a lot of them do not. I just do not know why. Cats are amazing. They are really cute. They are super. They are different than dogs, but they are special. If I think back to my own childhood, my own dad hated cats. When he passed by a cat, it was “stupid cat” this. If a cat came into our backyard, he would try and throw a stone at it. Where did this come from? Where did it come from? I would like to know. So, that would be another great comment that I would love to receive from you guys. Why don”t guys like cats? Is it because cats do not play like dogs, because they do not fetch, you cannot throw a Frisbee? Is it because they do not show you their undying love the second you walk out the door? I mean the second you come in the door rather. These are maybe good reasons. Cats I guess are less affectionate than dogs, but give cats a bit more time and they are pretty darn affectionate. I know my own little kitties, Zig and Zak, took them a while, but holy molly! They are love cats now. All we have to do is approach them and they start purring with sheer delight. That is true. They purr with sheer delight, but it does take a little while. So, if you have any other reasons why a lot of guys do not like cats, I would love to hear them.
In terms of the play aspect with cats, you know cats need play just like dogs even though a lot of people think they do not. There are a lot of obese pets out there and dogs are not the only ones that are getting obese. There are a lot of obese cats and it is not good for their health and you should play with them as well. So, how do you play with a cat? Well, it is pretty easy actually. One of the most favorite things cats love to do is to go in and out of objects, especially boxes and paper bags. Something that my cats love to do is you just get a couple of paper bags from the grocery store, probably about two feet high or so, those old-fashioned paper grocery bags that we used to use before the plastic. You just leave them open. Place a few of them in the house and the cats run in and out, in and out. While they are in, if you run your hands over the top of it, it stimulates them. They will try and swat at you from the inside of the bag I guess. Just be careful that your hand is on the outside of the bag. You could poke a hole in the bag. Cut a hole with a little scissor. Put a pipe cleaner or a string and just put it through the hole and watch the cat have a really good time. Another favorite that my cats like to do is they love to chase stuff. I have had strings with feathers and I bought all kinds of these cat toys and my cats love to chase them, actually.
In a couple weeks” time, I am giving you a sneak preview, but I have discovered the world”s best cat toy, Bar None. My cats are all — they like to sleep, but when I pulled this puppy out, this puppy of a toy that is, they go berserk for it. I am going to introduce it in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling you guys are really going to like it as well.
Part of the reason a lot of cats are not getting so much exercise these days is because we are choosing to keep them indoors and a lot of people, myself included, are choosing to keep our cats indoors 100% of the time. Some people feel this is cruel. They feel that cats need to explore the outside or they are not a real cat. The fact of the matter is, if you let your cats outside, they can pick up all kinds of diseases. They get into all kinds of fights with other cats that are trying to protect their territory, especially feral cats that have no owner. They are going to fight with your cat. Your cat can get hurt and at the end of the day, the average lifespan of an indoor cat versus an outdoor cat is like five to seven years less if your cat goes outdoors. Keep your cat inside and they will live longer.
In terms of my own cats, Zig or Ziglet, he was my first cat and we never really let him outside and because we never let him outside, he had no interest in the outside. I just wanted to keep him safe and happy in his own little world. We have a reasonably large place for him to run around in and he is just a small cat. He has lots of room. He likes the windows. I play with him all the time. So, we never let him out and he never wanted to go out. The few times we open the door, he will take a little sniff, see what is going on outside, and then rush back in, a real fraidy cat. Zak, on the other hand, Zak was adopted. We adopted Zak and Zak had gone outside before. So, when we adopted him, he really wanted to go out and we used to let him out. The problem with that is he had four surgeries because he traps stuff outside, mice and birds, and they got stuck in his intestine and he has had four operations to remove them. Each operation being bunches of hundreds of dollars and he is a crazy expensive cat, but we love him. He just does not go outside anymore. So, his lifespan will surely be prolonged. I mean had he been a feral cat and had he eaten those birds and they would have gotten stuck, well he would have simply died. That simple. Instead, he had surgery because we were good pet owners and pets are for life, so he had his surgeries, but again it is just to illustrate that outdoor cats live way less long because of all the dangers they encounter.
I guess a compromise could be, if you really, really feel that your cat has to go outside for some reason, a compromise would be some type of supervision, whereby you are outside with the cat. You do not let your cat out alone, but you keep your cat let us say in a fence backyard or you put a leash on your cat. You put a collar on your cat and then a leash on the collar and let him hang around outside while you are supervising him. That would be a decent compromise I would suspect if you are really, really firm against not keeping them indoors, which I would suggest it was the safest thing to do.
As always, if your cat is outside and even if he never goes outside, he should really have some type, he or she, should have some type of identification at all times on their collar. Cats are pretty wily and they can get out pretty easily. I know mine did once and it freaked me out. They really need identification or bad things can happen. We do not want to get into it, but bad things can happen and if someone finds your cat and it has some type of ID, well then I mean the chances of you getting your cat back are just obviously, obviously greater.
If you are like me and you make the decision to keep your cats indoors after they have been outdoors, well the best thing you need to do is be consistent. Once you have made the decision never to let your cat out again, then that is just it. Your cat can never, never, never go out again because if you let your cat out periodically he will learn that he likes to go out. Cats do like to go out. So, if you are going to keep them in and you let them out occasionally, well they are going to meow to go outside. They are going to scratch the door and they will do this continually. They will continue to give you the signs that they want to go out. If you give in from time to time, just forget it. They are going to meow all the time to get out. They are going to scratch the door to get out. Once you make that decision never to let them out, then you can never let them out. That is just really the best thing to do. If you do let them out for occasional supervised visits to the outside, the best thing to do would probably be to let them out at the same time each day or once a week or whatever your schedule is, but do it at the same time. So, if it is always in the morning, which is probably a good suggestion, let them out a bit in the morning occasionally under your supervision and always choose morning.
I hope those tips have helped you somewhat. As always, again, please comment on the tips. That is it for this week”s show. I will be back with you shortly, usually in about two weeks. This one was a wee bit late, but we will try and make up for it next time. As always, we hope you have a great day with your pets and please give them a little scratchy under the chin from Marko. Thanks, everyone.