By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.
Cats who spend 24-7 inside the confines of home with no structured interactive play activities are often forced to seek less beneficial options to pass the time. They may nap too much, eat too much, or worse engage in destructive behavior in frustrated attempts to battle boredom and loneliness. But indoor cats who get opportunities to engage in purposeful play with their human roommates each and every day are more apt to thrive mentally, physically and socially.
That’s why I encourage you to tap into your imagination. Pretend that the weather is too wicked for you to venture outside for even a mere 5 minutes each day. Use that time to play a game or two with your feline pal.
Recently, I adopted Casey, a fast-growing orange tabby from the San Diego Humane Society. He quickly made friends with Murphy, my senior cat who possesses kitten-like energy. By dutifully treating each to daily interactive games, I been able to keep Murphy engaged and Casey motivated to learn basic commands like sit, come and touch paws. And, I am able to enjoy uninterrupted sleep at night because both are tired and ready for bed.
Here are three of my favorite people-cat games that are fun, easy and inexpensive to and easy to try:
1. Murphy in the Middle.
By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.
For lifelong dog lovers approaching their golden years, sharing their homes and hearts with dogs provides many physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Research has shown that dogs help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and combat loneliness.
Choosing the right canine companion is a very big decision. You want a dog who provides companionship, but not one who can knock you off your feet during a walk.
So which breeds are best suited for aging persons? There is no one breed perfectly suited for seniors, but here are some with reputations for making your golden years truly illuminating:
1. Mellow adult or senior mutts. Animal shelters and rescue groups across the country are overpopulated with mature dogs with predictable temperaments who have long graduated from the destructive chewing and house soiling habits that are hallmarks of puppyhood. Here’s your opportunity to match your activity level and give a dog a second chance at a happy home. If you love big breeds like Labradors and Golden retrievers, here is your opportunity to pair up with one who may sport a graying muzzle and a toned-down energy level
2. Miniature Schnauzer. Yes, this breed is feisty, playful and vocal. For seniors like my neighbor and friend Frum, this is the ideal breed. Not too big but big enough to protect her and send solicitors at her door back paddling by his barrage of warning barks. When her husband passed away nine years ago, she filled the void of an empty home by adopting Buddy, a 12-week-old miniature Schnauzer. Now, 90, Frum says that Buddy’s comical antics and love of snuggling keep her feeling years younger.
3. French Bulldog. If you loved the swagger and power of an English bulldog in your prime, consider the smaller and easier-to-handle Frenchie. Here is a breed that requires a very manageable amount of daily exercise, say a 15 or 20 minute walk and one you can easily pick up. Most Frenchies weigh between 20 and 28 pounds. They are very social and usually welcome house guests, including grandchildren.
Sibling rivalry – Watch Pixel the adorable French Bulldog puppy try to reclaim his bed from the bully cat, who proves seniority rules!
Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.
About the Border Collie
Height (to base of neck): females 18-21″ males 19-22″
Weight: females 27-42 lb, males 30-45 lb
Color: Black and tan, tri-color, merle, sable and black with white markings.
Origin: Scotland and Northern England
Coat: The coat is very dense and can be smooth, rough or medium.
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Energy level: High
Exercise needs: High
Is a Border Collie the Right Dog Breed for You?
Waking up to the sweet face of your dog is nothing short of wonderful, right? See for yourself, the dog alarm clock continues to be a hilarious daily ritual for many dog owners!