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Product Review – Catit Senses Massage Center

The Catit Senses Massage Center is an interactive toy for cats that includes a brush type mounted on the side so that cats can rub their faces along it, or their body.  If your cat is stressed, wants a gum massage, or a ripple massage, this might be a great toy.  If your cat is into that sort of thing.

Many cats are picky, Isis being one of them.  She looked at the toy and hissed at it for a while, and walked widely around the toy, sizing it up, not really sure what to think.

I sprayed some feliway spray, as well as put some catnip on it and rubbed my fingers along the bristles to see if Isis would come and enjoy the wonderful, relaxing, stress free massage.  No such luck.

For weeks it sat there, not being touched by anything but my hands, begging and pleading for Isis to just try to relax and enjoy her new massage center.

So far, Isis has used the toy twice.  Once was when she was feeling particularly in a sweet mood, she rubbed her face along the bristles and I think she surprised herself at how it was kind of a bit too rough for her.  She ate the catnip off the massage center.  The second time she used the gum massage for about 30 seconds.

Final verdict: If your cat likes massage type toys, or likes to rub up against things often, this is probably great for them.  For Isis, it was not.  I donated the toy to our local shelter.  Hopefully the cats there can use it and enjoy it.  I am sure Isis was happy to see the strange alien object go.  I would not recommend it unless you know for sure your cat would like a massage type toy.  It is for sale on wag.com.

Product Review – Firstrax Carpet Chase Cylinder Base Swat Toy (For Cats)

The swat toy is a cylinder shaped toy with a spring and a furry ball at the end that the cat is supposed to bat at and it will bounce right back up to give hours of playtime fun.  The carpet covering encourages the cat to use it as a “scratching post” in order to not use furniture to scratch on.

The idea of this toy is great, and if you have a kitten or a cat that likes toys that pop right back and there is no real “catch and win” with the toy, meaning the cat cannot catch the ball and drag it away, then this is the toy for your cat.  Your cat will be able to grab onto the ball but then when they release it, it pops right back up in place.

This toy…annoyed Isis to no end.  We knew it was time to get rid of it when she actually hissed and growled at it, which she NEVER does to anyone or with anything else.

We showed her how to play with it, encouraged her to play, we played with it to get her to play with it.  We put her favorite catnip on it to get her interested.  Finally one day she started to play with it and then just hissed at it and growled.   Every time she would pass by it, she would go around it with a wide birth and just never got into playing with it.

Final verdict: I would not recommend this as it sees that not many cats are interested in playing with it (after reading the reviews from other pet parents on the website).  It did not provide any fun for Isis, it was far from anything she would ever play with.  If your cat likes toys of this sort and doesn’t mind not being able to win, this is the toy for them, otherwise, steer clear of this toy.  Not recommended.

The toy is available on wag.com for $8.99, at least it wasn’t a huge waste of money.

 

10 Dog Exercises For Your Dog and You!

This is another article Sasha’s vet sent to me that I thought would be a great share!

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Garcia, DVM

Sure, dog is man’s best friend — but our furry companions are more like us than you may realize. Case in point: To maximize dog health, it’s critical for Fido to get regular exercise.

Keeping your pet healthy has a lot to do with good nutrition, but just like people, dogs are becoming more and more sedentary these days. Consider this: You can help promote good dog health by getting your pet up and moving.

Doggy Exercises For Your Pet — and You

Follow these healthy pet guidelines:

  1. Teach a dog new tricks. Even the simple act of teaching a dog basic tricks can be great dog exercise, says Cori Gross DVM, a VPI Pet Insurance field veterinarian near Seattle. “Basic obedience training is exercise for your dog’s body, as well as his mind. Teach him to come when called, sit, and stay. Then you can graduate to more complicated tasks such as greeting visitors without jumping.”
  2. Take your dog for a swim. Jean Hofve, DVM, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and current president of the Rocky Mountain Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, says that swimming is great for dogs, especially if they have arthritis. “If you don’t have a suitable lake nearby, canine rehabilitation centers are popping up all over,” she points out. A good way to get your dog into the water is to train her to chase a ball.
  3. Play hide and seek. Hiding a treat or a toy in a closet, under a bowl, or in a different room will keep your dog’s brain engaged as he plays, says Dr. Hofve. You can also try a dog toy called a Kong, which dispenses treats if your dog rolls it in the right direction.
  4. Give this ball a spin. Hofve also recommends Boomer Ball, a soccer-style, colorful ball that many dogs enjoy rolling around and playing with.
  5. Look for agility challenges. In many communities, you can enter your dog in agility challenges that can keep them fit and working at their best. “In agility training, dogs run through obstacle courses and compete for the best time and fewest faults,” says Susan Nelson, DVM, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  6. Try other dog sports. Agility challenges aren’t your only option for getting a dog involved in sports. “Depending on your dog’s temperament and breed, you may want to consider a range of other options, such as simple obedience training, Flyball, Earthdog, tracking, herding, lure coursing, musical freestyle, or any of the other dog ‘sports’ available,” says Hofve.

One of the best things to do for your dog’s health is to choose exercises that are healthy for you, too. Here are workouts that dogs and owners can do together:

  1. Walk it out. When it comes to exercises for you and your dog, the tried-and-true approach is hard to beat, says Hofve. “Walking, of course, is one of the very best exercises for both you and your dog,” she says. “If you have a very active dog, hiking is a bit more challenging.”
  2. Play fetch. You can’t go wrong with a good game of fetch, adds Hofve. “Fetching games such as Frisbee and ball-throwing will at least get you out in the fresh air and will be tremendous fun for your dog,” she says. “If you don’t have a good pitching arm, try a product known as Chuckit! to throw the ball.”
  3. Run with caution. Running or jogging is great for many dogs, but it’s best to approach both options with caution. Advises Hofve, “Make sure your dog is fit enough for the faster pace. Also, run early or late during hot weather, and always bring water and a collapsible bowl for your dog.”
  4. Do downward-facing dog — together. Yoga with your dog? Believe it or not, there really is such a thing. It’s called Doga, and there are classes and a DVD available to guide you through it.

Making time for exercise with your dog can be fun — and it will enhance both of your fitness levels.

Weekly Trick – Teaching A Cat To Do Tricks

Teaching a cat to do tricks can be such a daunting task.  Knowing what your cat will respond to and how far to push them are probably the top priorities in getting your cat to perform the tricks you want them to do.

Another important aspect is to get your cat interested in what you are doing.  Let me back up a bit here and start over.  If you want to teach your cat how to fetch, start to play with a ball (now start playing with a ball the size your cat will be comfortable with, like this, not a huge ball that your dog or a human would play with).

Keep playing with it each time your cat is in the same room with you, grab their interest.  If they come over to play, give them a treat of their liking (some cats really enjoy a good petting, some like treats, whatever will work).  Praise them and continue.

After some time, push the ball towards the cat and let them play, if they do, then reward them.  Try to grab the ball back and start to push it back to them again, then trace your finger on the floor so that they will come back to you with the ball in their mouth.  This will take time.  Also this may not work with your cat, it all depends on what your cat responds to.  Most important is that cats can sense frustration and anger, so if you start to get frustrated that they are not responding to what you want, do not let it show in your voice or trick learning time will be over.

Keep trying, keep rewarding, and keep playing.  Any kind of interaction will help. I know I have done posts similar to this one, but I wanted to share the process again as it can be difficult to teach a cat to do tricks.

Here is a video from a cat behavior specialist that may help explain how to teach your cat to do tricks better than I can.

Weekly Trick – Unique and Unusual Tricks For Dogs

This video is worth it just to watch the two dogs in the beginning.

I promise you, the dogs are so sweet.  The first trick they show is the dogs getting on their hind legs and hugging each other.  That was enough to melt even the hardest of hearts!

If you watch the video, you can kind of pick up how they taught their dogs these tricks.  Remember if you are trying to teach your dog more advanced tricks, patience is necessary and treats are necessary.

The dogs learn to weave in and out of their pet parent’s legs, as well as stand on the feet of their pet parent and walk with them.  BOTH dogs at the same time perform this trick!

Next, the larger dog stays standing on the pet parent’s feet, while the smaller dog goes in between the pet parents legs AND the larger dog’s legs!  These dogs are very smart and very well trained.

The next trick is outside.  The dog is walking and jumping around on their hind legs and then they walk over to the CD player and they change the CD in the player.

If you want to see these tricks in action and possibly try to teach your dog these amazing tricks, click here.  Prepare to be amazed.

 

Cheetahs and Dogs Together?

Unbelievably, yes dogs and cheetahs can go together and become best friends!

At the San Diego Safari Park, dogs are paired up with Cheetahs for comfort, friendship and to increase the Cheetahs confidence.  Surprisingly cheetahs are the “scaredy cats” of the large cat world.  The dogs pair with them and help to increase confidence and provide them with “friendship”.

A dog and cheetah have bonded so well, the cheetah occasionally grooms the dog and the dog just loves it!

The cheetahs play just as hard with the dogs as they would with their own kind.

The cheetahs love to purr and play and learn to run and socialize with dogs, as well as learn to be around humans, that they are okay.  The dogs help to alleviate the fear the cheetahs have about their surroundings and the people who give them their daily meals.

The dogs act as companions to their cheetah ambassador friends.  So far there are 5 pairings, with three dogs, so some of the dogs work with multiple cheetahs.

To watch the lovable pairings and see the cheetahs running at their top speed and playing with their dog companions, follow this link.

Weekly Trick – Who Is Mukaluka The Therapy Dog?

I shared a video two weeks ago of Mukaluka the miniature Schnauzer therapy dog and was interested in learning more about this smart dog.

I Googled information and found quite a few different articles about this dog.  It seems that Mukaluka works at hospitals and mainly with children, helping to entertain and comfort them, if only for a short time, help them forget about their ailments.  Apparently Mukaluka will be part of a mural at the Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center where the children will see something to brighten their days each day, instead of the stark hospital walls.

Mukaluka seems to be helping to teach the Introduction to Therapy Dog training and even helps to teach other dogs new tricks.

There seems to be a Youtube channel with Mukaluka’s tricks and face plastered all over it.  Really such a sweet face it is.

I am going to share some articles and videos for those who are interested in learning more about Mukaluka.  This is one amazing dog.

You can also Google for more information, those seemed to be the most interesting articles and Youtube items that I found.

 

Weekly Trick – 40 Great Dog Tricks

Many times I have said that there are many ways to teach a dog a trick, not one way is better or “proper”.

This is a video of Russell, a wonderful truly amazing dog who can remarkably remember 40 different commands and tricks.

The tricks range from down, fetch, go, kiss, gimmie 5, spinning and many others.

I just want to kiss that sweet dog!

If you want to teach your dog these tricks, or just want to see a smart dog in action, watch the video.  You will be amazed!

Weekly Trick – Walking Your Cat On A Leash

Okay so this is something that might be crazy or new to some of you.  I have been trying this with Isis, as I would love to take Sasha and Isis for a walk together.  Be prepared though, cats will not walk the same as a dog does on a walk.  Your cat will want to stop often, and I mean OFTEN to smell the roses and explore the world, so to speak.

You will need to get your cat a cat harness, NOT a collar.  Your cat needs to get used to the harness, so putting it on the cat at mealtimes, will get the cat to associate the harness as something good.

It may take a long time for your cat to get used to the harness and not try to fight to get it off (it took Isis about 4 months to realize it wasn’t some sort of torture device I was putting on her).

Take them outside and start slowly, even a short walk around the driveway will give them time to get used to the outdoors and even give them lots of time to explore, while having the security of being able to run inside if they are scared.

Also, command words will be needed once you are able to venture out of the driveway.  This can take months to get to this point.

Treats or rewards are needed so that your cat knows it is doing what you want them to do.

To learn specifically how to train your cat, here is more information!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Are You A Cat Magnet?

There’s always one – the one person we know who all the cats gravitate towards.  The one where even the most picky of kitties will walk up to them and allow them to pet or nuzzle them.  We call those Cat Magnets.

These people seem to have some sort of agreement with the cat population, that they can meet and greet and become friends with any cat.

There are ways to become your own Cat Magnet.  It takes time and patience and learning what cats prefer.

Most cats prefer space, cats are territorial and don’t like strangers and even people they know, invading their space.  Crouch on one side of the room and let the cat come to you.

You can wiggle a finger on the floor for the cat to inspect, or rub your fingers together, something to get their attention so that they may decide to come your way.

To learn more on how to make yourself a Cat Magnet, this article explains it more in depth. (It took a while to load, but it was worth the time to read).