Brush Up on Your Feline Dental Basics and Save 15% on Cleanings at Nob Hill Cat Clinic during the Month of September!

Brush Up on Your Feline Dental Basics and Save 15% on Cleanings at Nob Hill Cat Clinic during the Month of September!

Addressing a cat’s oral hygiene and health contributes to their overall wellness. There are many ways to do so, but one of the most important is scheduling dental cleanings and procedures when advised to do so by your veterinarian. Make sure to take advantage of our dental special this coming month and save 15% on your cat’s anesthetic dental cleaning!

You may wonder how your veterinarian determines your pet is in need of a dental procedure and what you can do at home to promote your feline friend’s dental health on a daily basis. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we hear from cat parents at Nob Hill Cat Clinic.


What can I do to address my cat’s oral hygiene at home?

There are several ways to help your cat maintain a healthy smile. One of the most effective is tooth brushing. The idea of brushing your cat’s teeth may seem intimidating, but most cats can adapt to regular tooth brushing if it is introduced in a slow and gentle manner. Regular brushing can help extend the time between professional cleanings and reduce buildup of bacteria in your cat’s mouth.

First, ensure that you are using cat-appropriate toothpaste and brushes. You can purchase feline tooth brushing kits at Nob Hill Cat Clinic, online, or at many local pet stores. Choosing a small brush and enzymatic, feline toothpaste is important for your pet’s oral health and safety.

Try introducing the toothpaste in a non-invasive or intimidating manner. Most are flavored, and your pet may actually enjoy the taste. Place a very small amount of the toothpaste on your cat’s teeth or gums or allow them to lick it off of your finger. Start by touching your pet’s mouth, gums, and teeth more frequently. Reward tolerance with treats or high praise.

When your cat is more comfortable with the taste of the toothpaste and having their mouth handled, you can try introducing their toothbrush. Some cat parent’s prefer a finger toothbrush, one that fits over an index finger and allows more precise access to their cat’s teeth. Others may prefer a long, small brush; this variety can provide distance between your hand and your cat’s teeth if they enjoy chewing on the brush or are more sensitive to having their teeth touched.

Start with short, gentle brushing sessions followed by treats or other positive reinforcement. As your cat becomes more comfortable, steadily increase how thorough your brushing sessions are. Make sure to brush canines and back molars, as these teeth often fall prey to bacteria and tartar buildup. Ideally, you should brush your cat’s teeth once a day, but three times a week is often more realistic. Tooth brushing is only effective if done thoroughly and regularly. Do your best not to force brushing sessions. This may make your cat less compliant to sessions in the future.

There are several dental treats that can help break down bacteria in your cat’s mouth. Enzymatic treats can attack bacteria and help scrape light buildup off of their teeth. However, treats are often ineffective at treating progressed dental disease and are not nearly as helpful as an anesthetic dental cleaning or regular teeth brushing.


When is it time for an anesthetic dental cleaning?

Your veterinarian will let you know if they deem an anesthetic dental cleaning necessary for your cat. Some of the most common reasons your veterinarian may recommend a cleaning are: progressed dental disease, stomatitis, tooth resorption, the need for tooth extraction, and excessive tartar, calculus, or gingivitis. At a certain point, your cat’s dental disease will most likely require an anesthetic dental cleaning and x-rays. About 90% of cats develop a dental issue requiring professional care during their lifetime, and this is not a reflection on their owner. Cats often simply develop health problems requiring veterinary intervention, and this includes dental disease.


What oral symptoms should I look out for at home?

The best way to keep an eye on your cat’s dental health at home is to develop a regular oral care routine. This will help you notice and address changes to your cat’s gums or teeth and determine whether a visit to Nob Hill Cat Clinic is necessary outside of regular checkups. Foul breath, persistent drooling, difficulty eating, or apparent pain around the mouth or jaw could be signs that your cat’s teeth may need to be assessed by a veterinarian.

If you can, attempt to observe any small changes to your cat’s teeth or gums as well. Does your cat have redness or bleeding around the gums? Does she appear to have tartar or calculus buildup? Do you notice any small, red lesions or holes in your pet’s teeth? Dental disease can progress quickly. Regular checkups, at-home oral care, and monitoring your cat’s mouth can help our veterinary team at Nob Hill Cat Clinic keep your cat’s mouth in tip-top shape.


My veterinarian said my cat needs a dental cleaning or procedure. Is there anything I can do at home instead?

Unfortunately, feline dental disease often progresses past the point of being addressed at home. Regular brushing can help prevent bacteria buildup, but most cats still require professional dental care. If our veterinarians are recommending a dental, it is likely because your pet’s teeth have reached this point. He or she may suspect necessary extractions. An anesthetic dental cleaning also allows your veterinarian a closer look at your cat’s dental health through x-rays.

Make sure to take advantage of our regular dental specials! Nob Hill Cat Clinic is offering 15% anesthetic dental cleanings during the month of September this Fall!

Dental disease can be painful and affect your cat’s overall health and well-being. Scheduling an anesthetic dental cleaning or procedure when recommended by a veterinarian is an important part of their regular care.

If you ever have any questions regarding your cat’s health, dental or otherwise, make an appointment to speak with one of our veterinarians at Nob Hill Cat Clinic by calling 415-776-6122. We look forward to hearing from you!

-Kaitlin Murphy

Why is My Cat Itching? Let’s Talk about Skin Issues in Felines.

Why is My Cat Itching?

Let’s Talk about Skin Issues in Felines.

Allergy season is upon us, and there’s no better time to talk about allergies affecting your feline friend. Many feline allergies reveal themselves in your cat’s coat and skin. There are a variety of skin conditions that can affect cats, and some of them can seriously impact their health and well-being. Regular check-ups can help keep allergies and other skin conditions under control as well as provide valuable insight into other issues that may be affecting your cat’s health.

Allergic Reactions

Cats, like their human companions, can suffer from allergies. Feline allergic reactions can range from sneezing and discharge to swelling or skin lesions. Flaky skin or hair loss may be an indication that your pet is having a bad reaction to something in their environment.

It’s important to assess any environmental changes and report them during your veterinary appointment. A change in diet, home improvements, new plants, or recent medical treatment are all important factors to consider when determining the cause of your pet’s discomfort.

A relatively common cause of a skin-related allergic reaction in cats is a diet change. Your vet may recommend transitioning to a novel protein food or previous diet. Often times, specific proteins or grains are the culprit. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to isolate the exact product your cat is allergic to, as most foods contain a long list of what may be considered potential allergens. It may take weeks to months to see the positive effects of a healthy transition.

Treating an allergy can be as simple as removing an allergen from the environment. However, your vet may recommend medication to help boost your pet’s immune response or treat any bacterial infections resulting from open wounds or lesions.


Flea Allergy Dermatitis

A flea allergy is one of the most common causes of dermatitis in cats and can result in mild to severe dermatological symptoms. Symptoms may include scratching, over-grooming, hair loss, flakiness, redness, or lesions. You may notice flea bites of your own or even see live fleas or dirt on your cat.

Many owners don’t actually see fleas on their pet or in their environment, as it doesn’t take many to produce an allergic reaction. Cats are also excellent groomers and may ingest their tiny companions. Even indoor cats can be affected; fleas can be tracked in from outside on clothes or shoes. A few quick swipes with a flea comb may turn up fleas or flea dirt, small, black pieces of flea feces that turn copper when wetted.

A steroid can be helpful in treating flea allergy dermatitis, but the most important step is ensuring that your pet won’t be bitten in the future. This involves putting your cat on a flea preventative and thoroughly eliminating fleas from their environment.

Topical and oral flea preventatives will continuously kill fleas on your pet, while a bath may help destroy an initial infestation. There are several ways to treat your home, including: deep cleaning, flea bombing, sprays, and the hiring of pest control professionals. Frequent treatment and vacuuming will help eliminate stubborn eggs or dormant fleas that survived previous efforts.


Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Fungal and bacterial infections can cause serious health issues for your pet. They may result in lesions or weaken your cat’s immune system, making them more susceptible to other infections. Bacterial infections are a common side effect of other dermatological troubles, as scratching can cause then spread bacteria to open wounds. Your vet may recommend oral or injectable antibiotics and wound treatment to ensure that your cat makes a full recovery.

Ringworm is a relatively common fungal infection that causes patches of hair loss and scaly skin in felines. It is most often seen in kittens, elderly cats, and those with suppressed immune systems. Ringworm can also cross species, meaning you can develop lesions as well. If diagnosed with ringworm, your pet will most likely have to take antifungal medications, and, in some cases, special baths to treat the infection.


At Nob Hill Cat Clinic, your cat’s health is our priority. We’d like to enlist your help! Run your hands down your pet’s back, look at their paws and ears, and schedule an appointment in addition to their regular check-ups should you notice anything out of the ordinary. Skin problems, like most health issues, are best treated early. Together, we can get your cat back to their healthiest and happiest selves.

-Kaitlin Murphy

A Mew Year’s Resolution: Your Cat’s Guide to a Slimmer 2019

A Mew Year’s Resolution: Your Cat’s Guide to a Slimmer 2019

Did Dr. Doe gently suggest a weight loss regimen at your cat’s last checkup? A 2014 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention research study found that 58% of U.S. cats are overweight. Although it may be difficult to hear, finding out your pet is overweight is the first step in improving his lifestyle.

Being overweight carries risks for your cat. Overweight or obese cats are four and a half times more likely to develop diabetes than their optimal weight counterparts and may experience arthritis at an earlier age. They may also have trouble grooming themselves appropriately, leading to a dull coat, dander, and a less than clean rear end. Ultimately, obese cats are two times as likely to die in middle age, between six and twelve years.

Helping your cat achieve and maintain a healthy weight is important to his overall health and well-being. There are many steps you can take to help your cat lose weight, and many of them echo what human physicians recommend for their patients.

Eat Right

Have a discussion with your veterinarian about your cat’s diet; it may need an upgrade. Canned food, especially diets designed for weight loss and a healthy metabolism, may help your pet shed some unwanted insulation.

Canned food has a higher water and protein content and a lower carbohydrate content than a dry diet, which may help facilitate weight loss. It also encourages pet parents to feed at specific mealtimes, allowing them to monitor and better control their cat’s caloric intake. Free feeding, though convenient, can promote overeating.

Human food may also be taking a toll on your cat’s waistline. Many of the foods we enjoy, and may or may not share with our feline companions, are calorie rich. Minimizing or eliminating human food from your cat’s diet may help them achieve their weight loss goals.

If you have concerns about your cat’s diet, make an appointment to discuss it with a veterinarian. They will be more than happy to advise you on a diet that meets both you and your pet’s needs. You can email us at, or give us a call to schedule at 415-776-6122.



Cats spend a lot of their day grooming and sleeping. Unfortunately, many of them don’t get the exercise they need to stay fit and trim. Age or mobility limiting factors may encourage your cat to remain sedentary.

Finding ways to motivate your less than motivated cat to move around a bit is the best way to help them get their daily steps in. Try finding toys or activities that your cat genuinely enjoys. Laser pointers or cat wands may encourage active play, as they help your pet tap into their predatory instincts. Catnip can also facilitate play in certain cats.

Does your cat not seem particularly interested in toys? There are little changes you can make to add activity into their day. Feeding your pet in a different area of the house than they usually lounge in or adding cat trees to your home can help your pet get moving. A little movement can make a big difference in their energy level and overall health.

Weight loss should never be sudden or severe, and a sudden drop may indicate or exacerbate underlying health issues. Every cat is unique and deserves a diet and exercise plan to match. Make an appointment to discuss weight concerns with the staff at Nob Hill Cat Clinic. We also offer a variety of diets that are designed for obese or overweight cats. While you’re at it, you may want to schedule a sanitary shave to help your feline friend stay clean until they meet their weight loss goal!


-Kaitlin Murphy

15% off Grooming Services this December!

Nob Hill Cat Clinic December Grooming Special

For the most part, cats are able to adequately attend to their own hygiene needs. However, age, fleas, and special circumstances may call for a little human intervention. Nob Hill Cat Clinic offers a variety of grooming options to keep your feline friend looking and feeling their very best. Grooming services are 15% off during the month of December!


Many cats require regular brushing, especially long and medium haired breeds. Your feline friend may develop mats, a dense, extensive knot in the fur. Mats often form on areas of the body that are difficult for you or your pet to reach, and this may make them less noticeable at first. Unfortunately, if not addressed early, mats can become impossible to comb out and shaving may be necessary.

Regular comb-outs keep your pet comfortable and prevent the oil and dander buildup associated with matting. Our staff can recommend a comb-out schedule based on your cat’s individual coat.

Nail Trims

Trimming nails can be an intimidating task for pet owners. Many cats are uncooperative or unused to having their nails clipped. Our practiced staff are able to trim your pet’s nails quickly and safely, minimizing anxiety.

Regularly trimming your cat’s nails keeps them from growing into their paw pads, a painful and potentially dangerous event. It also helps save your furniture and, quite possibly, your skin. We recommend trimming your pet’s nails every 4-6 weeks. However, every pet is different and may require more frequent or infrequent grooming attention.

Nob Hill Cat Clinic also offers Soft Paws application and maintenance. Soft Paws are small, plastic caps that fit over your cat’s trimmed nail. They come in a wide range of colors and designs and adhere to your cat’s nails with a non-toxic adhesive.


Anal Gland Expression

Cats have two, small pea-sized sacs known as anal glands. Anal glands contain a heavily-scented liquid that is unique to your pet. Your cat has their own signature scent! Usually, your cat expresses a small amount of fluid each time they defecate. They may also express their anal glands when frightened.

Unfortunately, anal glands can become blocked or inflamed. If your cat is scooting or licking their rear end excessively, they may need help expressing their anal glands. However, some affected cats may not show obvious signs of distress, so regular veterinary checkups can illuminate potential problems. Expressing anal glands helps alleviate discomfort and prevent further blockage.

Expressing anal glands can be a rather smelly and uncomfortable experience for both you and your pet. Nob Hill Cat Clinic staff can ensure expression is as quick and low-stress as possible.


Baths are an excellent option for cats that may have difficulty grooming themselves due to age, weight, or other physical circumstances. They can also be helpful when your pet gets into a bit of mischief or has fleas.

We use a gentle shampoo, curated especially for cats. Your pet is sure to come out smelling and feeling like the best version of themselves.

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Lion Shaves

Lion shaves involve shaving a cat’s coat with the exception of their mane, face, feet, and tail tip. The end result is quite charming and prevents matting and excessive shedding. Lion shaves are a longer process and often require a day to complete.

Pair a lion shave with a bath, nail trim, or other services to maximize your cat’s visit with us!

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Grooming is an important part of your cat’s overall health and well-being. An exam and FVRCP vaccine are also crucial to a cat’s health during their grooming stay and are required for grooming at Nob Hill Cat Clinic. Treat your cat to a spa day during the month of December and get 15% off grooming services!


-Kaitlin Murphy

How Can I Keep My Cat Safe this Holiday Season?

How Can I Keep My Cat Safe this Holiday Season?

The holidays are a whirlwind of excitement and celebration. However, our feline companions may not experience the same warm feelings surrounding these events. Holidays can be a difficult time for pets as novel stimuli and people enter their homes. Keeping your cat safe during these coming months is important, and there are several steps pet parents can take to make holiday events easier for feline friends.

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Holiday Food

One of the best parts of any celebration is the food! Winter holidays often revolve around a dinner or family gathering involving a myriad of edible wonders. The likelihood is that your pet will be just as tempted as you are.

Please remember that many of the foods you enjoy are not necessarily safe options for your cat. For example, alcohol, chocolate, citrus, grapes, nuts, onions, and garlic are all potentially dangerous and often more plentiful at holiday gatherings.

Feeding table scraps may be tempting, but certain ingredients can actually be toxic to your pet. Discourage relatives from doing so. Your adorable, begging feline may be disappointed, but their stomachs and other internal organs will be grateful. Keeping food out of your cat’s reach, separating your pet from the gathering, and swiftly packing up leftovers are excellent ways to keep them from indulging while your head is turned.

Bones are of particular concern and are commonly given to pets by well-meaning, misguided owners and friends. Bones are a choking hazard and may splinter, potentially harming your cat’s digestive system. You may want to give your pet their own holiday treat; a small amount of boiled, boneless, unseasoned chicken is a tasty alternative to bones or table scraps.

If you’re concerned your pet may have ingested a potentially harmful substance, please call poison control at 888-426-4435.



Holiday decorations pose another risk for digestive issues or entanglement. Many decorations involve cords or small, potentially ingestible objects. Cord protectors or an alternative decorating style may be in order if you have a particularly mischievous cat. You can also try monitoring your pet or keeping them in a separate, undecorated area of the house when you’re out and about.

Foreign body ingestions are very dangerous and can be fatal. Immediate medical attention is required in such situations. You can reach Nob Hill Cat Clinic at 415-776-6122. We have daytime hours only, so we may direct you to your local emergency clinic.


Stress and Traveling

Holidays, though exciting, can be a stressful experience for both humans and their feline companions. Relatives may not be as knowledgeable about feline behavior or etiquette. It may be a good idea to set boundaries in terms of what your pet is comfortable with. Do they get nervous when strangers pick them up? Are they a door dasher? Loud noises and strong smells can also be stressful for your cat, as they are more sensitive to these stimuli than humans are.  

Letting your visitors know your cat’s preferences or containing pets to an area of the house in which they feel safe may help avoid undue stress. Doors are constantly opening during visits, so making sure your pet is microchipped also increases the likelihood that they’ll return home should they decide an adventure is in order.

If you celebrate the holidays elsewhere, it may be tempting to bring your cat with you. After all, holidays are about sharing time with the ones you love. However, traveling is generally very stressful for cats and may not be the best choice for your pet. Pet-sitters and boarding facilities are a lower stress alternative in many cases.

Nob Hill Cat Clinic provides medical and traditional boarding options for your feline friend. Spots fill up fast, so booking early is an excellent idea. Experienced technicians will care for and monitor your pet’s health and behavior, alerting our veterinarians to any potential concerns. We offer medication administration, treatment, exams, labs, and grooming services, all of which can be done during your pet’s stay.

If you are a new client or are hoping to travel with your pet, please book an exam with us to discuss a health plan.


The staff of Nob Hill Cat Clinic wishes you a very happy holiday season!

By Kaitlin Murphy

Dental Special October 2018: What an Anesthetic Dental Cleaning Means for your Pet

Dental Special October 2018:

What an Anesthetic Dental Cleaning Means for your Pet

Did your veterinarian mention that your cat is in need of a dental? No need to worry! Anesthetic dental cleanings are 15% off at Nob Hill Cat Clinic in October!

Dental disease is a common and highly treatable condition in cats and affects between 50 and 90% of cats over four years of age. Unfortunately, dental disease can impact your cat’s quality of life as it progresses, causing some pets to cease eating certain foods, become lethargic, drool, or paw at their mouth.

What Causes Dental Disease?

Dental disease is the result of a buildup of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Unlike humans, cats often don’t receive regular dental care, including cleanings or regular tooth brushing. Even those that do may fall prey to an accumulation of bacteria on their teeth or along their gum line.

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When and Why is a Dental Cleaning Necessary?

Your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning for a variety of reasons. Generally, they will advise a cleaning if your pet’s dental health is at risk or is already compromised. There are a myriad of feline dental diseases and complications, many of which can be greatly improved by a thorough dental cleaning. A anesthetic dental cleaning also allows your veterinarian to take radiographs of your cat’s mouth, illuminating potential problems that may not be visible to the naked eye.


Gingivitis is an inflammation of gum tissue surrounding the teeth and is generally the result of untreated plaque. A cat’s immune system responds to the bacteria, causing your pet’s gums to become swollen, red, and potentially painful. During a dental cleaning, your veterinary team will remove plaque and bacteria from your cat’s teeth, reducing your pet’s immune system’s need to respond.

Although brushing a cat’s teeth can help prevent and treat gingivitis, it can also be painful or difficult. Some cases may be too advanced to benefit from regular tooth brushing alone. An anesthetic dental cleaning at Nob Hill Cat Clinic involves the removal of inflammation-causing bacteria without undue stress and pain for your pet.


Untreated gingivitis may progress and become a more serious condition: periodontitis. Periodontitis refers to destruction of the tissues connecting your cat’s teeth to other dental structures and can be non-reversible. In some cases, tooth extraction may be necessary.

An anesthetic dental cleaning and x-rays will reveal whether or not teeth need to be extracted and help prevent further damage to tooth and gum structure.

Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption originally presents as pink coloration around the base of a tooth and refers to a breakdown of tooth structure beginning within the tooth itself. It can be very painful, and afflicted cats may refuse food, drool, or react negatively to having their face touched. Some cats may not display obvious signs of pain, so their owners may not deem a visit to us necessary. However, a quicker diagnosis allows for a more effective therapeutic plan and, generally, a better prognosis.

Dental x-rays can reveal the extent to which the disease has progressed and equip your veterinarian to make a decision regarding extractions and other treatment.


What Does an Anesthetic Dental Cleaning Consist of?

At Nob Hill Cat Clinic, we generally recommend bloodwork prior to anesthesia, so your pet will need a separate visit before their cleaning. When they come in for their cleaning, your veterinary team will place an intravenous catheter in order to administer fluids or medication while they are under anesthesia; you may notice a shaved patch on your cat’s leg post-visit.

The team will monitor your cat’s vital signs as well as scale and polish his or her teeth. Dental x-rays taken during the procedure alert your veterinarian to any necessary extractions. By the time you take your feline friend home, their teeth will be clean, free of plaque and tartar, and their breath will usually smell significantly better!

An anesthetic dental cleaning at Nob Hill Cat Clinic allows your pet to rest comfortably while our medical staff work to improve their dental health. Although anesthesia carries inherent risks, pre-anesthesia bloodwork and careful monitoring during cleaning help prevent potential harm to your cat. Non-anesthetic dental cleanings are often not thorough enough to sufficiently improve your pet’s dental health. They can also be incredibly stressful and may increase your pet’s anxiety during future veterinary visits.

Anesthetic dental cleanings at a hospital you trust are an excellent way to minimize stress for your cat while ensuring a healthier lifestyle. Schedule your dental cleaning at Nob Hill Cat Clinic for October and receive 15% off!

By Kaitlin Murphy

Hyperthyroidism and the Importance of Lab Work

Hyperthyroidism and the Importance of Lab Work

As they age, a cat’s risk for disease increases. Regular veterinary visits help reveal and remedy concerns regarding your feline friend’s health and well-being. Hyperthyroidism is an excellent example of a highly treatable and diagnosable condition that our staff regularly encounters at Nob Hill Cat Clinic and Hospital.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism, also known as thyrotoxicosis, is a result of an increase in production of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones and is caused by an enlarged thyroid gland. A cat’s thyroid gland is located in their neck and impacts almost every organ in their body. The root cause of feline hyperthyroidism is not known, but treatment is generally very effective.

A cat with hyperthyroidism will often appear disheveled, thin, and present with increased appetite and thirst. Owners may notice that their cat is losing weight in spite of their insatiability. Other symptoms may include: vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, hyperactivity, vocalization, and occasional weakness, depression, or trouble breathing. Please keep in mind that every cat is unique and may or may not experience specific symptoms.

The best way to ensure your feline friend remains happy and healthy is to schedule regular veterinary check-ups and lab work when recommended.

Why is My Vet Recommending Bloodwork for my Senior Cat?

Regular bloodwork and urinalysis for senior cats is a crucial aspect of preventative care, as hyperthyroidism is much more common in older cats. In fact, only 5% of cats suffering from hyperthyroidism are under 10 years of age. Bloodwork reveals whether or not your cat has elevated levels of T4 in their bloodstream, allowing your vet to catch or confirm the condition.

An early diagnosis and subsequent treatment can help stabilize your cat and prevent complications, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Complications resulting from hyperthyroidism can have a detrimental effect on your cat’s eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys. A full lab panel illuminates your cat’s overall condition, the first step for successful treatment of disease and a healthy lifestyle.


How is Hyperthyroidism Treated?

There are three major forms of treatment for hyperthyroidism. An exam and lab work can help your veterinarian determine the best course of action for you and your pet. No treatment is ‘one size fits all,’ as factors such as your cat’s overall health and financial flexibility may come into play.


Medication is a typical, effective method of treating hyperthyroidism and is often a good choice for cats with resulting complications. Methimazole, also known as Tapazole, is relatively  inexpensive and is administered daily for the rest of a cat’s life. Tapazole works by lowering your pet’s thyroid hormone levels. If discontinued, these levels will begin to rise again.

Your veterinarian will most likely want to continue to monitor your cat’s T4 levels via regular blood work. Tapazole, like many medications, has possible side effects including: vomiting, depression, and reduction in appetite. These symptoms often resolve without discontinuing medication. Some cats may develop low blood cell counts, making consistent bloodwork especially critical in monitoring a cat’s progress.

Tapazole is an excellent option for pet parents that are able to effectively administer medication, have a cat with a comorbid condition, or are looking for a budget-friendly solution.

Radioactive Iodine Therapy

Radioactive iodine therapy is extremely effective in most cases and involves an injection of radioactive iodine which is absorbed into a cat’s bloodstream. It eliminates abnormal thyroid tissue while leaving healthy, normal tissue intact. This form of treatment is fast-acting, low-risk, and generally expensive.

Radioactive iodine therapy must be administered at a specialized facility, and, unfortunately, there are few in California. After treatment, cats are kept at the facility for several days until radiation levels reduce to an acceptable level. Most cats need no further hyperthyroid treatment post-therapy. In rare cases, a pet may develop hypothyroidism as a result of treatment.

Surgical Removal of the Thyroid Glands

Cats generally need to be otherwise healthy in order for surgical removal of the thyroid glands to be a viable option. This treatment is generally successful in treating hyperthyroidism. However, any surgery carries risk; in addition to complications as a result of anesthesia, damage to surrounding tissue may occur.

Due to the effectiveness of other therapies as well as potential risks involved in surgery, removal of the thyroid glands is not usually recommended.  


Ultimately, your cat’s health and safety is always our clinic’s priority. Our veterinary staff will work with you to develop the most effective, feasible treatment plan for your unique feline friend.

By Kaitlin Murphy

It's Kitten Season!

As we approach spring/summer, we enter "kitten season." Around April, May and June, veterinary service locations see an influx of cats in their infancy. Sadly, the world doesn't work the way we want it to, as hundreds to thousands of kittens are turned in to animal shelters all across the United States. And, while we do check for microchips and potential owners, most have no home to return to. Each season, shelters strive to adopt out a high volume of incoming kittens. Some offer promotions that encourage adopting out bonded siblings or a mother with her baby/babies.

Newborn kittens resemble a pink potato and are about as self-sufficient; they are born blind, hairless and with their ears closed.

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Kittens should stay with momma cat for as long as possible, so that the kittens receives colostrum after birth - the extra nutritious milk that helps make little kitty immune systems strong. Kittens should stay with momma cat until they have completed their socialization and weaning periods.

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If you do find yourself with a newborn kitten, an exam is recommended as soon as possible to make certain he or she is healthy. Although it may be tempting, don't rely too heavily on google-ing!! "Dr. Google" is not a valuable resource in most situations, as not all information on the internet is accurate or from reliable sources. A veterinarian is your best resource in the pursuit of a happy, healthy kitty.

Taking on a newborn cat is comparable to caring for a human infant and involves consistent feedings of specific amounts, daily weight management and more. Your veterinarian can provide feeding instructions and techniques, as well as offer advice regarding your new foster. Newborns must be fed every hour or so and require a proper environmental temperature. Kittens also must be stimulated in order to urinate and defecate. No one ever said taking on a baby kitten would be easy!

Kittens grow at an incredible rate-changes can be seen from day to day, as opposed to week to week like their canine counterparts. The first 5 weeks are crucial for building feline physical and social abilities, skills typically taught by momma cat. Unfortunately, human improvisation is sometimes required. Eyes open at two weeks, revealing the smoky, glassy blue eyes that help make infants so endearing. At one month, kittens gain the ability to hear, teeth grow in, and they learn how to walk! At this point, kittens should be eating every 4-6 hours. Kittens are typically fully weaned by 6-8 weeks and are able to eat commercial kitten food. Seven weeks in is where things get even trickier. At this point, you'll find you have quite the curious creature on your hands. And to a kitten…everything is a toy!

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Your kitten is now dedicated to exploring the world around it. It can be difficult to maintain a controlled, kitten-safe environment when your tiny creature has the whole world to discover! They will play with and chew on anything- that's one way they learn about the world. Provide multiple different toys for your little nugget, lest they turn your hand or foot into a toy!

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At six months, a kitten should be emerging from his or her teenager testing phase, in which kittens may push your limits and see how they can best manipulate you. Any age cat can bond with a new owner, but it's six months to one year of age when the bond truly cements and grows.

Kittens only have so much blood, so flea and tick control is crucial. Kittens are tiny-squishy-squishy, and as a result typical flea treatments are too concentrated to use on younger kitties. Your veterinarian can help you find the best flea regimen for your new fuzzy family.

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Taking on a kitten is hard but heavily rewarding. You watch this little creature grow and transform before your eyes day by day. If you are up to the challenge of raising a kitten or two, contact your local animal shelter and ask to foster kittens. Help is always needed at shelters and they greatly appreciate the public lending a hand. You may even have the option of keeping your newly bonded kitten!

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For any questions regarding kitten infancy care, 
please call us at 415.776.6122 for information and resources.

PAWSitively PAWSome!

Scratching is a normal cat behavior and they can be conditioned to only scratch certain things (cat posts, cardboard scratchers, etc.) But sometimes our cats may not always listen to instruction -as we're sure non-compliance is an all too familiar trait that most kitties have- and they will redirect their attention to you or your property. But worry not for there are more humane options than declawing (which removes the first knuckle bone on their toes-causing long term pain and behavioral problems.)*



Invented by a veterinarian, Soft Paws have been around since 1990- but not everyone knows about this wonderful humane alternative and solution for scratching. Soft Paws are small soft acrylic caps that are securely adhered to the cats nails. These function as a barrier between the cats sharp nails and your furniture, carpet, and of course your skin! (Kneading hurts with those pointy nails!)

They come in a variety of colors ranging from a simple clear design to bright neon pink and sparkles! And various sizes to make sure your kitty is as comfortable as can be.

(Large, medium, and small sizes available in various colors!)


 We can happily arrange a time to apply Soft Paws for you or even teach you how to do it yourself! It's an easy quick application that involves trimming the nails, then applying the caps with the pet safe adhesive. They typically remain on the nail for 3-6 weeks (the usual time frame for routine nail trims). Soft Paws on indoor cats will normally last a bit longer than indoor/outdoor kitties, due to softer material in the home versus trees, concrete, dirt, etc.

These caps do eventually fall off or get ground down, but the nail remains trimmed and dull. Once you notice the caps becoming loose or if they start to fall off then it's advised to apply new caps (maybe even get a new color!) before the cat has an opportunity to sharpen their natural nails- allowing them to scratch and cause damage to you and your property.


(look at the widdle fluffy-wuffy squishsquish)



*Visit for more information about declawing and why we advise against doing so.