Hartz Companion Animal - Feline Play Behavior and the Use and Selection of Toys


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Feline play behavior can be divided
into to three types: social, locomotory,
and object play. Defining the exact
function of play is difficult because it
is a component of many other behavior
patterns in cats (e.g., predation, mating,
social communication). However, there
is little doubt that it is an important part
of learning and refining intraspecific
communication and motor and
predatory skills, defining social and
sexual partners, and learning about one’s

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Hartz Companion Animal - Feline Play Behavior and the Use and Selection of Toys

  1. 1. A NEWSLETTER OF PRACTICAL MEDICINE FOR VETERINARY PROFESSIONALS FEBRUARY 2006 VOLUME 4, NUMBER 1 Feline Play Behavior and the Use and Selection of Toys Gary Landsberg, BSc, Sagi Denenberg, DVM DVM, DACVB Ridge Veterinary Hospital Veterinary Behaviorist Medicine Hat, Alberta, Doncaster Animal Clinic Canada Thornhill, Ontario, CanadaDEVELOPMENT OF available. Social play involves rolling, variety of aspects of the predatoryPLAY IN CATS biting, chasing, wrestling, and play sequence. This type of play involves Feline play behavior can be divided fighting. There appears to be no stalking, chasing, pawing, and bitinginto to three types: social, locomotory, significant differences in affiliative or the object (Figure 1). Object andand object play. Defining the exact aggressive behavior based on gender, locomotory play arise from 6 to 8 weeksfunction of play is difficult because it although it has been shown that of age and peak around 18 weeks of age;is a component of many other behavior littermates spend more time in physical they are generally the most dominantpatterns in cats (e.g., predation, mating, contact, groom each other more, and are types of play in adult cats. Object play issocial communication). However, there more likely to feed close to each other also the most practical way for ownersis little doubt that it is an important part than are unrelated cats.1,2 Social play in to play with their cats.of learning and refining intraspecific older kittens (≥14 weeks of age) andcommunication and motor and adult cats can develop into morepredatory skills, defining social and aggressive behavior. ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:sexual partners, and learning about one’s Locomotory play can be solitary or The Role of Toys in Canineenvironment. with playmates and includes patterns Behavior ..................................... 4 Social play behavior begins around such as jumping, rolling, climbing, andthe fourth week of life, peaks at about 6 running. This type of play develops at 5 Ask the Vet ................................ 7to 9 weeks of age, and begins to decline to 6 weeks of age as the neuromusculartoward 12 to 14 weeks of age. This type system develops and the kitten’s Hartz Glamour-Pussof play can be with one other individual coordination improves. Award Recipient Announced ..... 7or a group of playmates and may be Object play can also be solitary ordirected toward humans or other species, with playmates. It involves an object Veterinarian of the Year.............. 8especially if there is no other cat as the target of play and stimulates a
  2. 2. One common question or concern is A NEWSLETTER OF PRACTICAL MEDICINE FOR VETERINARY PROFESSIONALS that of early weaning and hand rearing. FEBRUARY 2006 VOLUME 4, NUMBER 1 Kittens weaned early (4 weeks of age) develop predatory behavior earlier and Consulting Editors show an earlier increase in object play, Albert Ahn, DVM while normally weaned kittens are less Vice President of Corporate likely to become predators and have a Communications and Consumer later onset of object play. Previous Relations studies have indicated that kittens The Hartz Mountain Corporation separated from their mother earlier than Bruce Truman normal develop a variety of emotional Senior Director and behavioral abnormalities, including Animal Health and Nutrition excessive fear and aggression toward The Hartz Mountain Corporation Figure 1. A kitten’s play behavior other cats and people, slower learning, often simulates aspects of the predatory and hypergregarious social behaviors, Associate Editors sequence. (Courtesy of The Hartz and cats that are deprived of interactions Jill A. Richardson, DVM Mountain Corporation) with littermates may be slower to Director—Consumer Relations develop social skills and may be The Hartz Mountain Corporation STUDIES ON CAT PLAY hyperreactive to play objects and in David Levy It has been demonstrated that object social play.6,7 However, a more recent Assistant Manager play may be motivationally identical to study found that hand-reared kittens Animal Health and Nutrition predatory behavior and that it can be were no more likely to develop behavior The Hartz Mountain Corporation controlled or altered by the size and type problems than queen-reared kittens if of toy (mouse size versus rat size) and raised by experienced personnel in the HARTZ® COMPANION ANIMAL SM degree of hunger. Mouse-sized toys in a presence of a second cat and if wand- is produced for The Hartz Mountain hungry cat were more likely to elicit close type toys (e.g., a catnip mouse on the Corporation by Veterinary Learning contact play and killing bites.3 A more end of a fishing rod) were used to Systems, 780 Township Line Rd., decrease the propensity toward human- Yardley, PA 19067. recent study compared the effects of different types of toys on play behavior in directed aggression. In addition, there Copyright © 2006 The Hartz Mountain cats. A used hair band seemed to interest did not appear to be any effect of Corporation. All rights reserved. most cats, although the author needed to weaning history on frequency of such behavior problems as pica, self-licking, Hartz® and other marks are owned by stimulate this toy by pulling it along with The Hartz Mountain Corporation. a string. A food toy (i.e., a toy in which and inappropriate elimination.8 one can place food or treats) seemed to Printed in U.S.A. No part of this be the next most favored; most cats TEACHING OWNERS ABOUT publication may be reproduced in any would play with this toy with a minimum PLAYING WITH THEIR CATS form without the express written of external stimulation by the owners.4 Cats that are housed indoors or that permission of the publisher. Studies have also found that cats spend a majority of their time indoors For more information on The Hartz rapidly habituate to the sensory interact more with their owners than do Mountain Corporation, visit characteristics of an object but that play outdoor cats. These interactions should www.hartz.com. itself may be heightened or intensified, therefore be designed to help prevent especially within the first 5 minutes; behavior problems that may arise from thus, alternating toys throughout the the restrictions associated with living scratching toward household items, play session is advisable. Only after an indoors. The environment and daily family members, or other pets. In interval of 25 to 45 minutes between routine should be designed to provide addition, cats that are deprived of sessions does play interest become less for all of a cat’s “needs,” including social sufficient stimulation may develop intense. Therefore, play is motivated by and object play to simulate predatory redirected aggression, vacuum behaviors two mechanisms: an initial interest if play and predation, perching and resting (i.e., activities performed instinctively or the toy possesses appropriate stimulus sites, scratching posts, and opportunities unconsciously with no useful purpose in characteristics (texture, small size) to climb and explore. Alternatively, the the absence of the stimulus that would and rapid habituation unless the consequences may be that the cat directs normally cause the response), or characteristics change.5 its playing, climbing, perching, and displacement and compulsive behaviors,2 HARTZ COMPANION ANIMAL ® SM • FEBRUARY 2006 • VOL. 4, NO. 1
  3. 3. simulates the chase-and-capture activity. Preferences of play (and prey) type vary among cats, and a variety of toys might need to be tested. This play provides alternative outlets for predation as well as improving owner–cat bonding. Owners can use many different toys, including wands with feathers, mouse- like toys on ropes, dangling toys, or battery-operated toys. Owners should be reminded of the research that indicates the preference for small and novelFigure 2. Cats’ natural curiosity regarding their environment can make an activity objects and individual preferences socenter the focus of much play behavior. (Courtesy of The Hartz Mountain Corporation) that they choose toys that interest their cat. In addition, since play can heighten the desire for additional play, the ownerwhich might include chasing imaginary Self-play toys, such as small fuzzy should rotate through a few novelobjects, chewing, sucking, self- mice, balls, or toys with feathers or fur, objects during each session.mutilation, and tail chasing. simulate prey that cats can swat, pounce Cats tend to be most active in the early Toys can be an invaluable tool in on, or carry in their mouths. Other play evening or early morning (crepuscular),directing social, object, and predatory toys, such as a closed track with a ball although some are fairly active throughouttypes of play toward objects that are safe inside, “cat towers,” toys on springs, the night and spend much of their dayand appropriate. Toys might be defined as dangling toys, and battery-operated toys sleeping and grooming. Kittens tend toself-play toys (i.e., either play itself is provide opportunities for cats to climb, be active for short periods frequentlyreinforcing or playing with the toy jump, bat, chase, and otherwise “expend throughout the day. Owners should keep adelivers food, treats, or catnip during energy.” More static “self-play” toys are diary of their cat’s schedule and implementplay) or owner-initiated toys, which less appealing to cats, and some cats play sessions during the cat’s active periods.stimulate the chase and predation completely ignore these toys if they do Most cats can adapt to their owners’sequence. In addition, a cat’s interest in not stimulate predation or feeding. schedule if provided with sufficientclimbing, jumping, perching, scratching, Rewarding toys include food-stuffed stimulation during the daytime andexploring new objects (e.g., boxes, paper items that immediately reinforce play evening hours. When one considers that anbags), and experiencing the sounds or behavior. For the most part, these toys average outdoor cat would eat about eightsights of new stimuli (such as when should be small and light so cats can carry to 10 mice a day and make many otherperching on windowsills, watching kitty them in their mouths and easily and unsuccessful attempts at predation, avideos, or observing the family aquarium) simply remove the food inside. Playing minimum of three or four play sessions aallows owners many opportunities to with these toys occupies the cat for day is advisable. Ideal times for initiatingprovide a wide variety of new and extended periods without the need for play with cats are when they are in thestimulating routines. owner attention, except perhaps initially mood to play, before meals (hunger may Many cats enjoy exploring novel items to gain a cat’s interest. Owners should be increase the desire to play), and well afterand areas; thus, providing the cat with advised to estimate the calories the cat meals (cats may be less interested insome empty boxes, paper bags, or a feline consumes while playing with these toys so playing on a full stomach).activity center (Figure 2) and new places that the amount of other food providedto climb and perch can be useful. can be adjusted accordingly to maintain WHEN PLAY GOES AWRYInappropriate exploration, on the other an appropriate body weight. Some of Kittens and adult cats that lackhand, can lead to destruction of household these toys can be filled with canned or appropriate opportunities for play andobjects and ingestion of items that might even frozen cat food; that way, the task of investigation can develop play aggression,prove toxic or dangerous, as well as getting the food takes longer so that the destructiveness, exploratory behavior, orincreased levels of anxiety and arousal, cat is occupied for longer time. excessive nocturnal activity. Owners whowhich can lead to redirected aggression in Perhaps the most useful and practical attempt to inhibit these behaviors withsome cats. Owners can also use food, form of interactive play is to stimulate punishment may inadvertently reinforcetreats, catnip, or additional play to reinforce chasing and pouncing on toys that the the undesired behavior or, alternatively,desirable play and exploratory behavior. owner moves and drags in a manner that cause fear and defensive responses so that (continues on page 7) HARTZ® COMPANION ANIMALSM • FEBRUARY 2006 • VOL. 4, NO. 1 3
  4. 4. The Role of Toys in Canine Behavior Katherine Albro Houpt, VMD, PhD, DACVB James Law Professor of Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine Cornell University One of the most endearing traits of are an artificial substrate for canine be dangerous as toys—especially small, dogs is their playfulness, which often gnawing, which might otherwise be cooked bones that are friable. This has extends beyond puppyhood to the dog’s directed to the owner’s shoes, table legs, led some veterinarians to advise against life span. Play behavior begins during or other undesirable objects. The wolf providing bones to dogs. The recent fad the critical or sensitive periods of gnawing on the leg of its prey has its of feeding bones and raw food (BARF development, when puppies are about 3 counterpart in the beagle gnawing on a diet) may help determine whether these weeks old.1 At that age, they mouth; by 4 sterilized bone purchased by its owner warnings are justified. to 5 weeks, they scruff hold and can from a pet store or even an untreated Bones are the most defended of toys.3 “worry” (shake) one another. By 6 weeks, bone from the butcher shop. Bones may Dogs are most likely to be aggressive— they can signal play with the play bow. Humans can use a bow-and-lunge movement to initiate play in dogs.2 Social play decreases with age in puppies, but exploratory play increases. Although play may be directed toward other dogs or humans, it is also directed toward inanimate objects—toys. Owners are often discouraged from wresting with their dogs because of the possibility of encouraging dog-to-human aggression. This leaves toys as a primary way in which owners can interact with their dogs. TOY TYPES Toys can be classified into three main types: retrieving toys, usually balls but also simple objects such as sticks; chew toys, which are less interactive; and puzzle toys that reward the dogs with food. Chew toys are attractive either because they have interesting textures or because of their resiliency, which stimulates the Figure 1. The texture of toys made of resilient rubber is often attractive to dogs. dog orally (Figures 1 and 2). Chew toys (Courtesy of Dr. Tom Houpt)4 HARTZ COMPANION ANIMAL ® SM • FEBRUARY 2006 • VOL. 4, NO. 1
  5. 5. mouths, feeling and tasting their world. This is why it is so important to provide puppies many types of toys. An important warning to owners of puppies is that discarded human clothing, especially shoes, should not be used as toys. Any money saved on puppy toys is soon surpassed by the replacement costs of good shoes, which the puppy believes are just another chew toy. The pup may even associate the smell of human feet, common to discarded and in-use shoes, with desirable chewing surfaces. “TUG OF WAR” GAMESFigure 2. One goal of a chew toy is to redirect the natural chewing instinct to a moreacceptable object. (Courtesy of The Hartz Mountain Corporation) The importance of chew toys for some adult dogs is exemplified by dogs employed in sniffing out ammunition orgrowl, snap, or bite—when a human rubber toys is a hollow portion that can narcotics. The reward for many of theseattempts to take a bone from them. This be filled with food or a treat, which can dogs is not food but the opportunity toproblem is so common, even among dogs encourage the dog to chew on it. Items play with, tug, and worry a rolled-upthat otherwise do not defend food, that such as peanut butter or liverwurst are towel. Owners are often counseled not tomany owners do not classify it as good choices; cheese can be melted play tug of war with their dogs, especiallyaggression or even a problem. Many inside some such toys (by placing it in a if the dog is aggressive. The onlyveterinary behaviorists classify it as microwave), or biscuits or other treats published experiment along these lines“possessive” aggression.4 can be wedged inside. Another option is involved golden retrievers; the The next chew toy most likely to be to first freeze the food or treat in water experimenter played tug of war with theguarded is a rawhide. These are large or or broth. Popcorn can be used for dogs dogs in forty-eight 3-minute sessions,small pieces of dried animal hide or other prone to obesity. The principle is that the half of which the dog won.7 These dogsbody parts, such as hooves or penises. dog will spend a long time extracting the did not become aggressive, but differentThese, too, may cause choking if a contents from the toy. Dogs often hold results might be obtained if a guard-typepiece of rawhide is aspirated or the toys between their front paws while (i.e., aggressive) dog played tug of wargastrointestinal obstruction if a dog they chew the outside or lick the inside. with its owner for the first 2 years of life.swallows a large piece of rawhide. For this reason, these types of toys are If the owner always wins, it is probablyDespite these possible consequences, suggested as part of the treatment of safe to play this game enjoyed by so manybones or rawhides enrich the lives of separation anxiety.5 dogs and their owners. Alternatively, tugmany dogs, helping them endure the Dog toys are sold in a dazzling array toys can be suspended from a tree branchabsence of their owner or serving as an of colors, but because dogs are for the dog to use alone. Dogs are moreevening treat, almost like a cocktail, to dichromatic—they perceive fewer hues rewarded if they win, so dogs beinghelp the dog relax. Artificial bones may than humans—the reds and greens are rewarded for detecting drugs or explosivesnot be as attractive to dogs. more apparent and, presumably, more should be allowed to win. Some dogs favor fabric or fleece toys. pleasing to the owner than to the dog.These do not provide the same dental Dogs see the world in shades of yellow, RETRIEVINGstimulus but are more flesh-like, which blue, and purple.6 Toys in those colors Retrieving is a form of play that hasmay be why such toys often release would be more distinguishable to the dog been selected not only in retrievers butpredatory behavior; the dog may shake or but may not be any more attractive. also in herding dogs. It appears to beworry it and then carry the toy. Some innate in many breeds but may need to bedogs destroy fabric toys within minutes A NOTE ABOUT PUPPIES encouraged during puppyhood for thisor hours, in which case a tougher chew Puppies can be very destructive. They particularly rewarding form of play totoy is needed. Chew toys made of rubber probably do not aim to destroy things but persist into adulthood.8 There are threeare usually strong enough to withstand rather are exploring their environment. stages of retrieving—chase, bring back,canine teeth. A popular feature of many Lacking fingers, they explore with their and release—and not all dogs will do all HARTZ® COMPANION ANIMALSM • FEBRUARY 2006 • VOL. 4, NO. 1 5
  6. 6. three. Some dogs chase and grab a ball or diagnosed with an OCD. Dogs such as playing,9 owners should be encouraged tostick and then either do not return it to border collies, which have been selected use toys to strengthen the human–dogtheir owner or will return it but not for long attention spans and intense bond with their pets.relinquish it. Some owners use two balls concentration, may be predisposed.so that the dog must release or spit out Retrievers may also be compulsive. Care REFERENCESone to pick up the other. Flying disks are must be taken that such dogs do not 1. Freedman DG, King JA, Elliot D: Critical period in the social development of dogs. Scienceanother popular retrieving toy and injure themselves or become exhausted 133:1016–1017, 1961.provide even better exercise because dogs or overheated when they play for too 2. Rooney NJ, Bradshaw JWS, Robinson IH: Do dogs respond to play signals given by humans? Animmust jump to catch them. long a period. Observation of fly ball Behav 61:715–722, 2001. competitions suggests that participating 3. Houpt KA, Zicker S: Dietary effects on canine andWHEN PLAY ISN’T A dogs are compulsive. OCD may be feline behavior. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 33:405–416, 2003.GAME ANYMORE treated with tricyclic antidepressants, or 4. Overall KL: Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small There are large differences in the the object with which the dog is Animals. St. Louis, Mosby, 1997.playfulness and types of play preferred obsessed can be removed from the 5. Houpt KA: Domestic Animal Behavior, ed 4. Ames, IA, Blackwell Publishing, 2005.by dogs. At times, play can become environment.4 6. Neitz J, Geist T, Jacobs GH: Color vision in thealmost pathologic. Some dogs may dog. Vis Neurosci 3:119–125, 1989. 7. Rooney NJ, Bradshaw JWS: An experimental studyeven display play-related obsessive– CONCLUSION of the effects of play upon the dog–humancompulsive disorder (OCD). It can be Toys are a form of environmental relationship. Appl Anim Behav Sci 75:161–176, 2002.difficult to know if a dog is obsessing, enrichment for clients’ dogs, which may 8. Scott JP: Critical periods in behavioralbut a dog that lies in front of the cabinet otherwise lead unstimulating lives development. Science 138:949–958, 1962.in which the tennis ball is stored and without performing the tasks for which 9. Hubrecht RC: A comparison of social and environmental enrichment methods forthat plays fetch with the ball to the they were bred. Because dogs may spend laboratory housed dogs. Appl Anim Behav Scipoint of exhaustion can safely be as much as a quarter of their time 37:345–361, 1993.These Pals are For more than 10 years, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has helped thousands of animals in emergencyLife Savers!life savers Savers situations, like earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods and even terrorist attacks. In honor of their dedicated service, Hartz® is pleased to announce the new Vet PalsTM plush toy line. Hartz® Vet PalsTM tell the stories of animals helped during times of emergency. But that’s not all. For each Hartz® Vet Pal™ sold, Hartz® donates a portion of the proceeds VETPALS ™ to the AVMF to help in future aid efforts. We need your help. Offer Hartz® Vet PalsTMPlush pet toys designed to make a difference! to your clients, and together we can make a difference in the lives of so many more animals. Together, we can save lives. To order, visit www. Vetpals.org or call 1-888-281-6400. only $ 30 00 for the entire 6 piece collection R American Veterinary Medical Foundation AD-347
  7. 7. Feline Play Behavior and the Albert Ahn, DVM, is Vice President of Communications andUse and Selection of Toys Consumer Relations at The Hartz Mountain Corporation.(continued from page 3)the cat becomes increasingly uncertainwhen and how to safely approach theowner. The keys to managing theseproblems are to prevent inappropriate ASK TH E VETbehavior (through confinement oravoidance), to stop using punishment as ameans of inhibiting undesirable behavior,to increase play using appropriate toys Q I picked up a Hartz brochure about dental care for pets at a recent veterinary show. How can I obtain more of these for my practice?and stimuli, and to avoid reinforcingundesirable forms of play (e.g., wrongtype, wrong time). Placing a bell on a cathelps owners to stay aware of their cat’s A The Hartz dental brochure is a great tool for educating your clients about the importance of dental health. The brochure highlights the advantages of veterinary dental examinations and the basics of home dental care. The brochures are free and can be ordered in quantity by calling 800-275-1414 or emailing dental@hartz.com.whereabouts. Another valuable tool is touse a command or a “shake can” to teachthe cat to come for a treat or catnip toys;not only does this preempt inappropriatebehavior, it also provides an opportunity Q I heard that you are collaborating with a veterinary group to help raise funds for animals involved in disasters. Could you shed some more light on this for me? A The Hartz Mountain Corporation has created “Hartz® VetPals™” plush dog toys to raisefor desirable forms of play to be funds for the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), which has helped saveinstituted. thousands of animals from hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters. A portion of the proceeds from each Hartz® VetPal™ sold will be donated to the AVMF. TheREFERENCES Hartz® VetPals™ represent six animal species—parrot, cat, dog, gerbil, rabbit, and horse—1. Barry KJ, Crowell-Davis SL: Gender differences in and wear green scrub shirts with the American Veterinary Medical Association logo. Each the social behavior of the neutered indoor-only toy comes with a descriptive tag that tells a dramatic animal rescue story and explains the domestic cat. Appl Anim Behav Sci 64:193–211, 1999. AVMF’s mission. To order, visit www.vetpals.org or call 888-281-6400.2. Bradshaw JWS, Hall SL: Affiliative behaviour of related and unrelated pairs of cats in catteries: A Additional newsletters may be obtained by contacting us at preliminary report. Appl Anim Behav Sci 63:251–255, 1999. feedback@hartz.com or by phone at 800-275-1414.3. Bradshaw JWS, Hall S, Robinson I: Behavioural enrichment for indoor cats: A role for object play. Proc 1st Int Conf Vet Behav Med:216, 1997.4. Denenberg S: Cat toy play trial: A comparison of NOTEWORTHY different toys. Proc Annu Sci Symp Anim Behav: Veterinarian Arnold Plotnick Wins the 25–33, 2003 Hartz Glamour-Puss Award at the 20055. Hall SL, Bradshaw JWS, Robinson IH: Object play Cat Writers’ Association Conference in adult domestic cats: The roles of habituation and disinhibition. Appl Anim Behav Sci 79(3):263–271, Continuing its dedication to the human–animal 2002. bond, Hartz is proud to announce that the winner of6. Turner D, Bateson P (eds): The Domestic Cat: The the 2005 Hartz Glamour-Puss Award is veterinarian Biology of Its Behavior, ed 2. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p 14. Arnold Plotnick. The Cat Writers’ Association, an7. Beaver BV: Feline Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians. organization dedicated to professionals writing about Dr. Arnold Plotnick, left, receives the 2005 Hartz Philadelphia, WB Saunders, 1992, p 128. cats, teamed up with Hartz for this award that honors Glamour-Puss award from Dr. Albert Ahn, Vice8. Chon E: The effects of queen (Felis sylvestris)- the best entry on the topic of feline skin and coat care. President of Corporate Communications and Consumer Relations with The Hartz Mountain rearing versus hand-rearing on feline aggression Dr. Plotnick’s winning article, “Brush Up on Hair Corporation, at the 2005 Cat Writer’s and other problematic behaviors, in Mills D, Levine Loss,” gives important information to pet owners Association Conference. E, Landsberg G, et al (eds): Current Issues and about caring for the feline skin and coat and discusses Research in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine. West common reasons for hair loss in cats. The Hartz Glamour-Puss judge, Carol Harvey, said, “I found Lafayette, IN, Purdue University Press, 2005, pp it to be very informative, educating, and interesting.” 201–202. Dr. Plotnick is a veterinarian and owner of Manhattan Cat Specialists, a feline-exclusive veterinary facility located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He is board certified in felineADDITIONAL RESOURCES medicine and is a frequent contributor to both Cat Fancy and Catnip magazines. He is also theIndoor Cat Initiative: Available at www.indoorcat.org/ Medical Editor for Catnip magazine. index.php; accessed December 2005. According to Dr. Albert Ahn, Vice President of Corporate Communications and ConsumerAAFP Behavior Guidelines: Available at http://aafponline. Relations with The Hartz Mountain Corporation, “Hartz appreciates the opportunity to org/resources/guidelines/Feline_Behavior_Guidelines. acknowledge great cat writers like Dr. Plotnick who help enhance the treasured relationship pdf; accessed December 2005. between pets and their caring owners.” As an award recipient, Dr. Plotnick received a cash prize, as well as a custom-designed award FEBRUARY 2006 • VOL. 4, NO. 1 7 by renowned Texan artist, Peggy Dee.
  8. 8. Hartz Names Hurricane ReliefVolunteer “Veterinarian ofthe Year” Dr. Michael Reinhart, right, receives the 2006 Veterinarian of the Year award from Dr. Albert Dr. Michael Reinhart, a passionate hurricane relief volunteer, Ahn, Vice President of Corporate Communicationshas been named Veterinarian of the Year for 2006 by The Hartz and Consumer Relations at Hartz.Mountain Corporation. example to us all of how we should react in times of crisis—to A graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary help those in need get back on their feet in any way we can.”Medicine, Dr. Reinhart is heavily involved in youth and Dr. Reinhart was nominated for this award by Deboraheducational programs in his area, routinely speaking at local Whitman, a longtime client who praised not only his diagnosticschools about the veterinary profession and animal care and and surgical abilities but also his dedication to his patients andencouraging students to shadow him in his clinic, the Jacaranda community. Ms. Whitman wrote, “He left his own family, twoAnimal Hospital in Venice, Florida. towns away, on Christmas Eve, to hurry down the interstate and Dr. Reinhart’s relief efforts began during Hurricane Charley. met my son and his critically ill dog at the office. Dr. ReinhartHe and his staff mobilized immediately after the storm. Driving immediately performed emergency surgery, saving the dog’sinto total devastation, they began to rescue people and their life.” Dr. Reinhart has a reputation of putting his patients aheadanimals trapped in their homes. Within 24 hours, he helped set of himself, often staying overnight at the hospital if an animal isup a mobile, round-the-clock clinic to treat animals that had in critical condition.been lost or injured during the storm. The runners up were Dr. James Zgoda of the Otterkill Animal After Charley, Dr. Reinhart spent 3 weeks in the hurricane- Hospital in Campbell Hall, New York, and Dr. Ava Frick of thedamaged area providing veterinary services and working with Animal Fitness Center in Union, Missouri. Dr. Zgoda, a graduatevolunteers from the ManaTEEN Club, a local organization that of Cornell University, volunteers at a no-kill sanctuary that housesengages teenagers in community service. He also contacted homeless, retired, and special needs animals. His mission is notmajor corporations and solicited donations of cameras to take just to save the lives of companion animals but also to ensure thepictures of the destruction for insurance payments, paint cans best possible quality of life for them. Dr. Frick, a graduate of thefor makeshift mailboxes, cell phone service, and animal food and University of Missouri, is the only veterinarian in the state ofmedical supplies. Missouri who is certified in animal chiropractics practicing totally “Dr. Reinhart’s dedication to his profession and his in the specialty of animal rehabilitation. Her innovative facilitycommunity has touched the lives of many in their hour of provides a variety of treatments including nutritional support,need,” said Dr. Albert Ahn, Vice President of Corporate massage, hydrotherapy, and ultrasound to help heal animalsCommunications and Consumer Relations at Hartz. “He is an following illness, injury, or surgery.Veterinary Learning Systems PRESORTED STANDARD780 Township Line Road U.S. POSTAGEYardley, PA 19067 PAID BENSALEM, PA PERMIT #118 402223