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Ep239 - Dr. Lynn Bahr: “I like to look at life through a cat’s point of view, not my point of view, and I think that that helps me to understand them better, to communicate with them better, and to know what they need.”

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Interview! Dr. Lynn Bahr, Feline Veterinarian and Owner of Dezi and Roo “I like to look at life through a cat’s point of view, not my point of view, and I think that that helps me to understand them better, to communicate with them better, and to know what they need.” How did a dog-loving legal secretary end up becoming a cat-only veterinarian and founder of a cat toy company? By meeting the right cat, of course! Dr. Lynn Bahr didn’t even know she liked cats until she met her first cat, Rudolph. Rudolph went on to change Lynn’s life, inspiring her not only to go to veterinary school, but also to become a feline-only practitioner who focuses on the unique needs of cats. Fast forward nearly forty years, and Lynn’s current cats, Dezi and Roo, have now inspired her to become an entrepreneur, starting a company called… you guessed it: Dezi & Roo. The company sells cat toys and catnip alternatives as a way to address the specific needs of today’s indoor-only cats.   The move to an indoor-only lifestyle for so many cats has, in fact, been the biggest challenge of Lynn’s career. She feels that vets have done a great job promoting the health and safety benefits of an indoor-only life for cats, but not such a great job on helping owners know what to do with their cats now that they are inside. Lynn thinks of indoor-only cats almost as a new breed, and in her veterinary practice, she is seeing cats developing diseases and illnesses tied to being solely indoors. She worries about indoor-only cats lacking enrichment, getting little sunlight and fresh air, and having no ability to eat grass. As a veterinarian, Lynn has been able to talk with her individual clients about these issues, but over time, she found she wanted to be able to reach a larger audience—which is how Dezi & Roo got started. Through the company, Lynn hopes to provide not only specific tools to help with enriching the lives of indoor-only cats, but also education for cat owners.   Lynn wants her clients and customers to try to see life from a cat’s point of view, and hopes that Dezi & Roo’s products—like the Hide & Sneak cat tunnel, a combination of three of cats’ favorite things: paper, boxes, and tunnels—will help. Lynn points out that toy rotation is very important in order to keep cats interested in them, as is cat owners physically playing with their cats, not just leaving out a basket of toys. She wants owners to think about bringing the outdoors in for their cats in the form of cat grass, a varied diet, and by allowing their cats to “forage” for their food in a variety of ways, including things as simple as putting food up on a table to encourage cats to jump up to it.   You can follow Lynn’s blog and learn more at deziroo.com.

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