In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 78.2 million dog owners and 86.4 million cat owners. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog, and thirty-three percent own at least one cat. Total pet industry expenditures for the year totaled 50.84 billion dollars for 2011, increasing about 2 billion dollars from the previous year, with a 2-3 billion dollar increase observable year over year.
But this relationship is certainly not all one-sided. There are numerous proven health benefits associated with pet ownership. Pets help to lower blood pressure with recent statistics released showing that people with hypertension showed lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than those who did not own a pet.
Pets provide companionship, which can result in greater psychological stability, which is proven to protect from heart disease. People with pets have been shown to make fewer doctor visits, and they help fight depression and loneliness also.
So what do these statistics demonstrate? There a lot of people out there who love their pets, and a lot of pets out there who love their people. As a pet owner myself (I have 5-month old kitten named Lily), I am well aware of all the benefits and rewards of having an animal companion.
Every so often however, the kitten seems to want to climb the drapes when I want to sleep, or thinks it is a good idea to explore high up cabinets instead of playing with her toys on the ground. Trying to redirect an animal’s attention, especially a baby animal’s, is no easy feat. Sometimes your puppy would rather chew your shoes than his rawhide. We’ve all been there.
Enter technology. Every day on this blog we write about the historic and life altering technologies that power our business and personal lives. Luckily for our pets (and ourselves!), the benefits of technology are not only for humans. Companies market everything from computerized identification tags to automatic doors and feeders, streamlining our pet’s lives as well as our own.
The other day I was perusing CNN Technology and stumbled upon something quite brilliant. An iPad app made to entertain cats. If you take a look at the video above, you can see several very pleased kittens happily playing with several iPad games designed just for them.
One enterprising developer authored three games meant to entertain and stimulate the world’s cats, and even allows their owners to gather statistics on their reflexes and intelligence. The games are as you’d imagine (protecting cheese from mice, navigating a tomato around a bull’s eye), and the application comes equipped with a feature that shuffles between games to keep cat’s attention when signs of boredom appear.
Pretty nifty idea, right? As long as you have a screen protector (to protect against sharp kitten claws), you can put your iPad to good use entertaining your pets in a safe and fun way. As an indoor cat owner, this strikes me as a very innovative use of technology, and not only pleases me, but my pet