We’re all animal lovers — and especially cat lovers. That’s why you’re here after all. But it’s also why I’m here. Rudolph was the cat that motivated me to become a veterinarian and my two current kitties inspired me to become a toymaker. I know firsthand the ability that animals have to change our lives. I’d love to share with you the story of how Dezi & Roo came to be.
As a veterinarian, my practice focused on cats only. It’s an area I’ve always been passionate about. From rescuing homeless felines to addressing their specific needs, I find it to be the most rewarding part of veterinary care. There’s just something about cats, after all.
But one thing that came up again and again with my patients were questions from their owners about behavior problems. Why is my cat aggressive? Why does my cat sometimes not use his litter box? How can I stop my kitty from scratching the furniture? The answers to these questions were simple, but so many of my clients failed to realize the importance of meaningful play in their cat’s lives.
To be fair, I think a lot of people get cats because they think they are more low-maintenance than dogs. And in a few ways, this is true. But overall, a cat needs just as much love and attention as their canine counterparts. And they also need sufficient play time.
Dog owners seem to inherently understand that taking Spot to the park, playing fetch, or even a simple walk around the neighborhood will improve his mood and physical health. But when it comes to their cats, they expect them to laze about all day and night without much human interaction or stimulation.
This is reflected in the cat aisle at most pet stores as well. Fun cat toys are decidedly lacking and the ones that do exist seem to be for humans to enjoy rather than their cats. I knew that I could affect change better by being an advocate for feline play than I ever could as a vet. I knew what cats like to do when they play, and more importantly, I had two willing test subjects of my own — my cats.
So I left my veterinary practice and began handcrafting enrichment toys that cats actually want to play with. From the Hide and Sneak to the brand new Looper, cats go crazy for Dezi & Roo toys. It’s so wonderful to hear my customers tell me their cats have transformed through play and no longer exhibit unwanted behaviors. But the most rewarding part is knowing their cats are happy and healthy because they get to use their brains and bodies the way nature intended.