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Arden Moore
The Pet Edu-Tainer
Pet expert and best-selling author

Marty Becker - America’s Beloved Vet Is Back!

Dr. Marty Becker

Dr. Marty Becker, DVM

Dr. Marty Becker, the popular veterinary contributor for ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” makes a second appearance on Pet Life Radio’s “Oh Behave” show and this time, he gets catty. He talks with host Arden Moore about the fascinating and frustrating world of felines and shares some funny and amazing facts from his New York Times bestseller, “Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet?” Curious, as say a cat? We have the purr-fect show for you


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“There is nothing like a shaggy dog baby, they are shagadelic and this is the place to find out how to achieve harmony in the household with the old pets.  Yeah, peace, harmony, pet pal, holy Shih Tzu baby.  You will learn how to keep your pets from chewing your shoes or eating your cat, it is all about relationships baby.  You and your pet, you know, pet!  So tune in, turn on and get ready for the positively grooviest pet podcast on the planet.  That’s a lot of P’s baby, isn’t it?

What’s this show called?

“Oh Behave!!”

No, really, what is this show called?

“Oh Behave!!” with your shagadelic host Arden Moore.  What’s happening Arden, yeaaah baby, yeah, yeah, tell us.”

Arden Moore:  Welcome to the “Oh Behave!!” show on PetLifeRadio.  I’m your host, Arden Moore.  Thank you for joining us.  Today, our show, we are going to delve into the fascinating, the frustrating and the fun feline world.  Joining us to help better understand the feline mystique, if you will, is our very special guest and friend, Dr. Marty Becker.  Hey Marty, welcome back to the show.

Dr. Marty Becker: Oh thank you, thank you.  I love being on and talking about pets and I love being on the show with you my friend.

Arden Moore: Well, you’re good man.  You know folks, Dr. Marty Becker has been called the best loved family doctor for pets and I can tell you for a million reasons.  He has championed the people pet bond all over this universe.  He is the vet correspondent for the ABC Today, Good Morning America show.  He has been on a PBS special.  He has had his radio show.  He has had a syndicated column with Gina Spadafori.  He has the strongest typing fingers.  He has written many best selling books and you know what, he delivers all his information with not only expertise and smarts but lots of humor.  We are going to be back to chat with Dr. Marty Becker and all things C-A-T right after these messages.

“Would you like to go out?  Well, actually I was talking to your owner.  I mean on a date baby, yeah you and me baby.  “Oh Behave!!” will be right back after these groovy shagadelic messages, oh yeah!

[Commercial Break].

“We are switched back on baby, yeah.  So let’s talk pets with our smashing host, pet edu-tainer, Arden Moore and the groovy show that is cool baby, really shagadelic, “Oh Behave!!”

Arden Moore: Welcome back, you are listening to the “Oh Behave!!” show on Pet Life Radio.  I’m your host, Arden Moore.  We welcome today Dr. Marty Becker, the best selling author and resident veterinarian on ABC’s Good Morning America.  Welcome Mary, Marty; I called you Mary! Welcome Marty, I am glad you are back.  You didn’t have a gender change did you since our last introduction?

Dr. Marty Becker: Sometime during this -- I have got to confess to something, should I do it now or…?

Arden Moore: Yeah, go ahead.

Dr. Marty Becker: All right, I live up in the mountains on Almost Heaven Ranch deep in the mountains of Northern Idaho.

Arden Moore: I love the name of your place, Almost Heaven…

Dr. Marty Becker: We have about 30 or 40 mile view down the throat of this glacial river valley.  We got 150 acres up here, deep in the wilderness and we have got wolves and coyotes and moose and elk and deer and wild turkeys and just everything you could think about up here.  We have barn cats and we have had either dogs or coyotes chase our cats up a tree.  And if you ever watched cats go up a tree, you know, they have like these clamp-ons, it is very easy to go up, but not very easy to go down.

Arden Moore: What do you mean, what do they have? I am sorry.

Dr. Marty Becker: Well, it is like clamp-on, it is like these climbers you see on Everest where they have those things on their feet where they clamp on to the tree, but they can just go up really easy, but cats really aren’t made to go back down.  They can’t think to go down backwards.  We came home from a trip a while back and the caretakers of our house said, you know, Colby, Colby is this C-O-L-B-Y, this black cat, real creative name here.  He had been up in the tree four days.

Arden Moore: Oh my gosh!

Dr. Marty Becker: And when I am talking about a tree, I am talking a 70-foot pine tree.  So, we waited four days.  And I put cat food down, called him down, put a ladder up there, got as close as I could which is about less than half way up.  Four days he didn’t get down, five days he didn’t come down, six days; on the sixth day I figured out, you know, I told my kids, I said, “Have you ever seen a cat’s skeleton on a tree.”  Well, they eventually come down.  Somehow they come down, they get weak, they fall down and so finally, he stopped meowing and I thought oh my gosh, so I was worried sick, we are all worried sick for this cat and we tried everything, so finally I got a chain saw and I cut the tree down.  This is Paul Bunyan, this tree is 2.5 feet in diameter on the base and he went flying out of there and he leapt about 6 or 8 feet away from my son and we got him and we took him to the vet hospital and he was very very dehydrated, but he made it and he is doing good.

Arden Moore: Wow, that was like two of his nine lives just taken right then.

Dr. Marty Becker: But for everybody out there, they have all seen these -- you know, the fire departments don’t get these cats out of the trees anymore and there are, I finally talked to some people and not every cat comes out of a tree, you know, a lot of times they get…

Arden Moore: Well, that is the term you were saying, cat skeleton, that is really scary.  I guess folks who are listening to Dr. Marty Becker and he knows all things dogs and cats.  And, he just talked about his real story about Colby, his cat.  He is the best selling author New York Times, if we may, that is some small newspaper I heard on the East Coast.  The book is called “Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet.”  He co-authored this writing gem with his writing partner, Gina Spadafori.  Marty, so basic question.  Do cats always land on their feet?

Dr. Marty Becker: Well, they try.

Arden Moore: OK.

Dr. Marty Becker: Here is what cats do.  I have actually watched some kittens the other day that were playing and there were five kittens and one of them couldn’t quite figure it out.  He’d fall, he’d just fall straight on his head and the other four, they were like these X-Game athletes.  And if you have ever watched them in slow motion, you know these people that are skateboarders or the BMX bicyclists or anything or snowboarders, what they do is, these cats turn their head and they sight the ground and then they spiral their body into position and then they spread out.  And it is really weird for these cats because they have fallen as far as 42 stories and survived.

Arden Moore: Oh my gosh.

Dr. Marty Becker: But they will try and get flying squirrel action and they reach terminal velocity.  And the weird thing that they do is right before they hit, they arch their back to kind of take compression out of it and then they relax.  So, you know, I am 53 years old and if I jumped off something 18 inches high, I’d stiffen up like before I landed, but cats relax, they arch their back and they take this compression and spread it over all four limbs.  And it is really funny, often the veterinarian if a cat has fallen out of a great distance, what you see fractured is not their legs, but their symphysis of their chin where the two halves of their lower jaw meet because their chin will actually hit the ground.

Arden Moore: Oh my gosh.

Dr. Marty Becker: So, the answer is no, they don’t always land on their feet.  Yet, they are very adept at spiralling into position.  And it is amazing there is something called the high-rise syndrome where cats will often, you know, leap at a bug or a bird and fall out the window and that’s why people that live in cities like Manhattan or other places just really encourage people to have screens on their windows.

Arden Moore: Yeah, it seems to me that there is a whole new cottage industry of safe enclosures for cats that live indoors that can have a little bit of the taste of the outdoors safely.  And so you can be very decorative and cheek and most of all functional, right?

Dr. Marty Becker: Right, I definitely like what you are talking about.  Some of these new cat sensors and stuff that it kind of reminds me of a modern day really neat little zoo.  You know, they have the fences turned backwards, they can’t climb over it, yet they can get outside and feel the wind on their face and chase a bug in the grass and yet they are not going to attack the songbirds and stuff either.

Arden Moore: Yeah and they are not going to be a coyote appetizer either hopefully.  You know, we are talking to Dr. Marty Becker and he wrote this book called “Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet.”  I love the title of your books.  He is also, for any of you out there, written many of the successful series in the chicken soup line for pet lover’s soul and dog, cat.  I don’t think you have done cow yet, you haven’t done for the cow lovers so, but maybe that’s coming up.

Dr. Marty Becker: Done horses, done chicken soup for horse…

Arden Moore: OK, all right, all right.  So what made you and Gina Spadafori team up to write this particular book about “101 of the Most Perplexing Questions Answered About Feline Unfathomables, (that is hard to say) Medical Mysteries and Befuddling Behaviors.”

Dr. Marty Becker:  Well, we get questions all the time.  You know, we have a column, it is a nice little syndicated column through Universal Press Syndicate and myself being on TV or lecturing to large groups, people ask you questions, the same questions over and over and sometimes, you know, the communicator, Arden you probably fall into this trap too, you think you know the answer, so that is the answer you regurgitate when in fact information has changed or there is fresh perspectives on it.  So what we did is we took 101 of the most common questions that we had and then we went out to experts, went out to 50 of the world’s top experts in medicine behavior and found out the authentic answers to these questions.  And I can specifically remember three of them that probably that started this.  One was, why do cats urinate on your clothes.  The second one was, why do cats go from relax to bite when you rub their stomach and why do cats go to the person who hates cats.  And so, we found out the answers to that and do you want me to tell you the answers to those.

Arden Moore: Hey, we are dying to know, yes if you want to go ahead, let us do those.

Dr. Marty Becker: All right, why do cats urinate on your clothes?  You hear this all the time, that pink cat is trying to spite me, you know, so I am going on a vacation, I am going on a trip and I come home and the cat has urinated on my clothes.  Well, first of all, cats aren’t capable of spite.  That is a human emotion, not a feline emotion.  So what happens is cats actually are drawn to the place of the highest concentration of your scent and that is your clothes, that is your bed.  And believe it or not what the experts say is they are stressed, they are missing you, so they are giving you a gift and rather than a gift of chocolate or flowers, they are giving you the gift of urine, which unfortunately most of us don’t like.

Arden Moore: Yeah, of they are kitty cologne, I mean you can’t buy it any store.

Dr. Marty Becker: Not too popular, so what do you do?  There is two things you can do.  One is keep your clothes up or keep your bedroom door locked so the cat doesn’t have access to where your scent is.  Number two, Feliway, which is the feline cheek hormone.  It is the synthetic version of the feline cheek hormone and if we have cats or seen cats, they will rub up against you, what we call bunting and they will rub their side of their cheek against you and it is like giving you a hug, it is very pleasurable, there is cheek hormone for a cat is so delightful, it is like going home after a hard day at home and having two glasses of wine or pop in a valley, I mean just thinking, ahhhhh, God life is great, you know.  Well, you go to a pet store or a veterinary hospital and you buy a defuser that has Feliway is the brand, F-E-L-I-W-A-Y.  It plugs into an outlet like a fuse you’d get at a Bath and Body Works and instead of sliced pumpkin that my wife has in her house right now, you have cheek hormone in it.

Arden Moore: But you can’t smell it, but they can, right?

Dr. Marty Becker: Exactly, nobody is going to come to your house and walk in go, sniff, sniff, sniff, oh my gosh, they got cheek hormone in here again, you know.

Arden Moore: [Laughs]…”we have to leave sorry, we just forgot, we left the dishwasher running.”

Dr. Marty Becker: So, the cat absolutely, it solves so many behavioral problems, 50% of inappropriate elimination.  50% of the cats that are urinating inappropriately on your bedding or your clothes, that disappears just with the simple application of that defuser.

Arden Moore: You know you are right Dr. Becker.  When it comes to cats, they can’t tell you, “Hey, I really had a bad hair day or I am really missing you, every time I see that suitcase come out.” And I guess this is one way of them being able to show you their type of stress, right?

Dr. Marty Becker: That is why a show like this is so important because you can help cats or dogs live happier, healthier fuller lives by actually understanding.  This cat is not a little tiny 8 or 12 pound person in a fur coat, I mean it is a different species.  And you have to understand how this different species respond.  One thing is it frustrates people.  Why do cats go from delight to bite so quickly when you rub their stomach?  We have all rubbed the stomach of a cat and you think, well you ungrateful little devil.  You know, it hooks you with its claws or bites you.

Arden Moore: Yeah and you know, sometimes the kitty goes airborne sadly which should not be done, do not do this at home listeners.

Dr. Marty Becker: Right, what’s crazy about this is these cats when they are on their back, that is a defensive posture.  Cat is on its back often right before it is about to be eaten by something and it remembers this over the millennia and so when you rub its stomach, you overstimulate it very easily and so when they hook you with their claws or bite down…

Arden Moore: Hang on just a second, speaking of behavior, come here Chipper, my dog loves the FedEx guy, he is making a delivery.  So Chipper was doing some backup vocals for you, OK, go ahead.

Dr. Marty Becker: Well, anyway they get overstimulated and it is a defensive reaction.  So if they do grab you with their claws or do grab you with their teeth, all you do is simply relax and they will let go of you.  Now, the third question, why do cats go to the first…

Arden Moore: Well, first of all, we are going to go back to that last question and keep on it, but we have to take a commercial break right now.  So let’s continue with catty behavior with Dr. Marty Becker, you are listening to the “Oh Behave!!” show on Pet Life Radio.

“Would you like to go out? Well, actually I was talking to your owner, I mean on a date baby, yeah you and me.  “Oh Behave!!” will be right back after these groovy shagadelic messages, oh yeah!

[Commercial Break].

“We are switched back on baby, yeah.  So let’s talk pets with our smashing host, pet edutainer Arden Moore and the groovy show that is cool baby, really shagadelic, “Oh Behave!!”

Arden Moore: Welcome back, you are tuned into the “Oh Behave!!” show on Pet Life Radio.  I am your host Arden Moore.  We are talking today with Dr. Marty Becker, veterinarian, lecturer, author and just all-round cool guy.  He is solving some feline mysteries from his book “Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet,” which he coauthored with Gina Spadafori.  OK, Marty let us continue being catty.  You were giving us the third most common question you have been hurled at by perplexed people with cats.

Dr. Marty Becker: By the way, I love the name of your show.

Arden Moore: Oh thanks.

Dr. Marty Becker: As soon as I saw it, I love that, I got it, I love it.

Arden Moore: Well, you know, it is not just the doggy and the kitties that are doing things wrong, it is all about communication.  And I think that sometimes we kind of mess’em up.  I mean we just don’t understand.  I think we are more confusing and contradictory if you will than the cats and the dogs.  So, I am really in it for the people and the dogs and the cats with this show.  So, I thank you for that.

Dr. Marty Becker: Oh I just picture Austin Powers every time, “Oh Behave!!”

Arden Moore: Maybe we will get him on the show, we will see, we will see where this is going…

Dr. Marty Becker: Oh you got, “Oh Behave!!” all right.

Arden Moore: And it is kitties and doggies. All right, so talk a little about…

Dr. Marty Becker: Yeah, why does the cat go to the person who hates cats?  Those of us that love cats, let’s picture us on the couch, there is three of us, two of us love cats; one person hates cats.  And those of us that love cats, the cat walks into the room and there is two of us going, “Choose me, pick me, pick me over the other person,” you know, it is just like grade school when you are getting picked for recess.  “Oh please come to me and so, come, come, come, ohhh look at you, look at you, you are so beautiful.”  There is the other person there looking up in the air going, “I don’t like cats, don’t come to me.”

Arden Moore: Yeah, they are doing a little cross sign [laughs].

Dr. Marty Becker: Right, the cat looks over there and there is two people staring at it that want it to come and there is one person not looking at it.  And the person that is not looking at it is the person that it finds the least threatening and that is the one it goes to.  So, if you want to try it next time, next time if you want the cat to come to you, don’t look at it.  And if you don’t want the cat to come to you, you look at it, so it is exactly the opposite.

Arden Moore: Maybe even be a little bit of jumping jacks or something, singing or something for the cats musical, I don’t know, that would probably make me run, if I was a cat, and somebody started singing…

Dr. Marty Becker: Did you know I actually found a world’s hairball expert in researching this book?

Arden Moore: Cough…cough…cough…I am sorry what, really!!?  Who is this person?

Dr. Marty Becker: How would you like to be the person who knows about hairballs?

Arden Moore: You know what, they could be on that, which is that one show that they were trying to guess who your identity is in one of those reality shows, now that will be a good one.

Dr. Marty Becker: All right.

Arden Moore: Who is the hairball expert?  Oh my God, they make a living being a hairball expert.

Dr. Marty Becker: Isn’t that funny? If you have ever felt a cat’s tongue, it is raspy, it is like being, if you feel it on your fingers like being caressed by a caterpillar wearing golf shoes, you know, I mean it feels funny, but it is like a rasp and it pulls in this hair in it, augers it down their pie hole.  And it has got one way to go, you know, once it starts going, it goes down in their stomach and then when they choose to get rid of it because the hair is indigestible, they are going to have a hack attack in the middle of the night and it is going to come up on your rug or else it is going to come out the back…

Arden Moore: On your pillow?

Dr. Marty Becker:…into the litter box and you know, not too many of us get down there and peer in the litter box to see the hair that is inside the contents in there, but the fancy name, the scientific name for hairball is a trichobezoar.

Arden Moore: Say that one more time with feeling.

Dr. Marty Becker: Yeah, that would be a real good one for scrabble, wouldn’t it? T-r-i-c-h-o-b-e-z-o-a-r.

Arden Moore: Well, you won the game.

Dr. Marty Becker: But it is just hair stuck together with a sticky mucus and you know, it is not actually a ball, it is more like a cigar shape.

Arden Moore: Yeah, looks like a ball…

Dr. Marty Becker: Yeah, sometimes people think hacking is the hairball when actually it can be a symptom of a serious problem like heartworm disease or asthma.  And the easiest and best way to prevent hairballs is just brush your cat frequently.  So, the more dead hair you pull out on their brush, the less they will have to swallow when the groom and regular brushing is also good for not just your cat but your furniture.

Arden Moore: Oh yeah, absolutely.  You know, I always wanted to say, people think that a dog, you know, they take a chill pill, if you will, by chewing on a bone, preferably one that can’t splinter like a synthetic ball or one of those hard rubber toys.  But I was surprised in doing some research on you that I guess cats when they want to alleviate a little mild stress, I’ve had a bad day, well actually it turned to grooming, isn’t that right?

Dr. Marty Becker: Right, yeah groom himself, groom each other.  You know, there is one thing that is really interesting.  I wrote another book called the “Healing Power of Pets.” And we found out in there, we’ve always known pets were, you know, made us feel good.  We just didn’t know they were good for us and actually when you have physical contact with a dog, this hasn’t been proven in cats, but it is suspected that it is the same.  When you pet your dog, there is this release possibly by our chemicals, oxytoxin, the hug hormone, the serotonin, you know, the happy hormone for your brain and then phenylethamine, which is the active ingredient in chocolate and the rare thing is the dog gets the same release or the same chemicals.  So it is not a parasitic relationship, it is actually a symbiotic relationship.  And when we are sharing our, you know, a little contented, caressing the fur, this cat is curled up in your lap and the little purr motor is running.  That vibration of exactly 25 vibrations per second has proven to lower blood pressure.

Arden Moore: Wow, it is kind of amazing.  You know, I call it the full throttle purr.  That’s what Kelly does and she purrs so hard, I think she is going to collapse.  She sits there and she looks at me and she is going, “uh-huh urrrrrr…uh-huh urrrrrr…huh urrrrr” and then there is the whole other kind of purr that sounds like a distant thunderstorm, you know, Murphy my cat, it just kind of comes at you like a wind, like a breeze.  I don’t know, there is all different kinds of purrs, but have you ever tried this folks, let us see if we could.  I have been told that, we purr right, but we can’t inhale when we purr, but cats can, they are able to do that.

Dr. Marty Becker: Right, both ways.  You know what is funny, when you were doing that, it kind of made me laugh, but I think it sounded like a falling Cessna, you know, like an aeroplane up there, “uhhh…brrrr…drrrr…uhhh…urrrr…drrrr,” it is going down [laughs].

Arden Moore: I mean she gets so excited, she is like “ehh…ahhihihi…ehh…ahhihihi” but speaking of purrs I mean it is true, I mean we can say toy boat 10 times fast, faster than any cat on this planet, but we cannot purr while we are inhaling, can you , have you tried it?

Dr. Marty Becker: No, you cannot.

Arden Moore: OK.

Dr. Marty Becker: You know the funny thing about purring too is a practise in veterinary and people think that purring is just contentment.  But you will often see cats purr when they are dieing, when they are in severe pain or when they are dieing they will be purring and I kind of think of it like a hug.  Sometimes you hug because you need a hug and other times you want to give a hug.  And sometimes it is just a way of saying, you know, help me, you know I’m hurting and other times it is like I feel so happy, let me hug you.

Arden Moore: Yeah, well your book is, the one book that you were talking about, “The Healing Power of Pets” that’s an amazing book that really drove home some scientifically based evidence that our pets truly are healing powers for us and it wasn’t just a bunch of antidotal evidence.  And with that said, I guess, you know, point through some more pages of your book, do cats always land on their feet.  People talk about, “Ohhh dog’s best friend is man’s best friend,” but if we really talk about, if we did a presidential election that was based on number of votes rather than electoral college, wouldn’t you think the cat would actually come up on top?

Dr. Marty Becker: Cat would definitely come up on top.

Arden Moore: So, what is all the deal, the dog has got all the PR agents or something, what is going on?

Dr. Marty Becker: You know there is all those jokes about dogs having owners and cats having agents?

Arden Moore: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Marty Becker: You know, it is really funny, as a practicing veterinarian, we still see more dogs brought in that people think cats is the pet of convenience and think that, you know, they are like, you will see these cats sitting there like a fur covered statue and the people didn’t even notice anything was wrong with him.  They had no idea, the cat had lost a third, 40% of its body weight.  And that is one of the things that I really encourage as, you know, the American Veterinarian Medical Association working for animal health has national pet wellness month where they encourage twice yearly wellness visits.  And these cats are very adept at hiding illnesses.  In the wild if they show illnesses, they are preyed upon.  And birds are even worse so they try to hide their illness, they can’t tell you where it hurts, they age so much quicker.  You know, that is one of the myths we talk about in here is the aging of dogs and cats.  If you think of a cat that’s a year old, that is equivalent of about an 18-year-old human.  They are fully mature, they are sexually active and then it goes down to next year, it is about age 25 and then it is about 4 years for every year thereafter.

Arden Moore: So that dispels the old nine-year myth and seven-year myth that you hear commonly associated.

Dr. Marty Becker: Right.

Arden Moore:  OK, so you got to think about that that’s, you are now with a young teenager after one year of the cat, but it is different with dogs, correct, based on their size?

Dr. Marty Becker: Right, and see dogs are about 18 for the first year and then 21 at age 2 because then they are a little more mentally mature, you think about them in the middle part of college and then it is five years for every year thereafter.  You know, it is funny like you were saying earlier Arden about understanding these behaviors, you know, there is cats that like to chew on sweaters and blankets.  And I had a client come in last week and wanted to know if there is something missing in their diet.  And that condition is actually called wool sucking.  And wouldn’t you like to be the behaviors that come up with that or can you imagine the cat pointing over the fence at the other cat and going, “Spark, he is a wool sucker, Spark, he is a wool sucker.”

Arden Moore: Na…na…na…na, I think the wool sucker expert probably gets together for coffee with the hairball expert?

Dr. Marty Becker: The trichobezoar, that’s what you are telling, the hairball, there you go.

Arden Moore: Yeah, I think so, but you know, you are right that is kind of disconcerting.  When I was younger I had a really amazing cat named Corky, a siamese, who would go swimming with us.  If anybody had a fishing pole, Corky was their new best friend because loved the blue gills, sushi style.  But I had this favorite little black wool sweater vest and I was the youngest of three daughters, so you know I really got my own outfit, I always had the darn hand-me-downs.  So I come home one day after school and I am so excited, we are going to go out to dinner, go to put on my black wool sweater vest and there is a hole in it, the size of a cannon ball and there is my cat, Corky looking quite smug.  And it isn’t till years later that I realize I got the breed for it, a siamese and he made a big old hole on my wool sweater.  So for our listeners, Dr. Marty Becker, explain why this happens and what can we do about it?

Dr. Marty Becker: Well, it is exactly, it is in Siamese in these oriental breeds, but it is not uncommon with general cat population.  They really don’t know what it is but it is nothing to do with a dietary deficiency.  It is one of those habits like people who chew gum or pop their knuckles or chew their fingernails, it relieves stress and brings comfort.  And again when we go back to that thing of Feliway, there is Feliway or other things that are like kitty Prozac kind of drugs.  Really some of these obsessive compulsive behaviors, sometimes people, you know, if you have something that is really really valuable like great grandma’s quilt that won the blue ribbon at the 1908 Iowa County fair, just don’t put it out.  You neither put a [xx] blanket out or you can apply tasty [xx] like bitter apple or tabasco or something.  But some experts also think that adding fiber to the cat’s diet, whether it is canned pumpkin or just some other kind of food that is higher in fiber really works.

Arden Moore: That is a great idea.  The other thing I thought was neat about your book “Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet,” you answer a lot of common questions, but then you share what I call “Hey Mabels,” you know “Hey Mabel, did you know.”  And one of the things that fascinated me in your book was you actually wrote a whole page dedicated to the “Healing Power of Feline Feces,” I guess from the ancient romans point of view.  So, none of us are – we wonder –you know the Romans conquered the world, but yet they seemed to also know a lot about cat poop, is that right?

Dr. Marty Becker: It is not funny, they actually thought it had medicinal powers, I don’t know whether it is lead in the drinking cups, they went cuckoo or wow, but funny thing, you know, we live in a horse ranch and I like many other people love the smell of horse manure especially if it is mixed with shavings, oh boy.  I am not examining it like cologne but I actually find that…

Arden Moore: Well, I hope not, next time I meet you, I hope you are not wearing a hood of horse.

Dr. Marty Becker: Dog and cat feces isn’t the best smelling stuff.  I don’t think too many people really love to go over that, ah that ambrosial smell of the cat box, wow.

Arden Moore: The best compliment I think a cat owner can get is having a guest come in your home and not say the first sentence, “oh you have a cat.”

Dr. Marty Becker: Right.

Arden Moore:  You know that is the best because if they can walk in and smell fresh air and clean, you and the cat benefit, and I think that is the biggest compliment.  But getting back to your book you actually said the Romans used this mixture of honey, cat poop, spices and fat to heal burns and wounds.  No, thank you.

Dr. Marty Becker: We definitely have some “hey Mabel” crazy stuff in there.  You know, you were talking about walking into your house and if you have ever watched dogs walk, you notice the alternate size when they walk.  So the right front paw steps forward at the same time their rear left paw does, so it is opposite sides.  Cats are different, you know, they stop with both left paws and then both right paws.  So this natural gait is called the pace and only camels and giraffe have that same natural gait, although you can train some horses to have that, but dogs…

Arden Moore: You know, I am going to pay attention to my critter crew here.  I call him the furry sad four and see how they walk.  I have never watched that.

Dr. Marty Becker: So, it is really weird to watch because they are both left legs, both right legs, alternative very uncommon in the animal world.

Arden Moore: Wow, well, that is it for today folks.  I really want to thank our very special guest, Dr. Marty Becker and our producer Adam Winter for making this show possible.  Marty, you are the Good Morning American’s vet.  You have written the two very fast selling books on the New York Times bestselling list, “Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet” and “Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet.”  How else can people get to find out a little bit more about Marty Becker and what is going on?

Dr. Marty Becker: First of all, I want to thank you again for having me on your show.  And when you talked about many people to call me America’s best loved family doctor for pets, especially my mother and my publicist are…

Arden Moore: Oh good for them, well that is two very important people.

Dr. Marty Becker: Oh I love what I do though.  I love being a veterinarian.  I love being able to talk about issues related to pets and people can watch me on Good Morning America or go to my website

Arden Moore: OK, that sounds great, again thank you Marty.  If you would like to know a little bit more about today’s show on Pet Life Radio, it is called “Oh Behave!! and get a transcript or any other show on the Pet Life Radio network.  I just ask you to please go visit and click on the “Oh Behave!!” show or any of the other great shows on this network.  If you have any questions or comments or ideas for a show, please email me at or  So until next time this is your hairball free host, Arden Moore delivering just two words for all of you, two, three and four leggers out there “Oh Behave!!”

“There is nothing like a shaggy dog baby that is shagadelic and this is the place to find out how to have harmony in the household with your pets.  Oh yeah, so stop by our pad every week and get switched on baby, switched on to the show that is all about attitude.  “Oh Behave!!” with your groovy host, pet edu-tainer Arden Moore, yeah baby yeah, every week on demand on

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