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.

bath cat 3.jpg

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!

Lion cut.jpg

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.

halloween kitty.JPG

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.

kitty teeth.png

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.

lil potato10.gif

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.

lil potato6.gif

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!

lil potato8.gif

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!

lil potato9.gif

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.

flea bite2.jpg

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!

lil potato7 smaller.gif


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 http://www.pawproject.org/ for more information about declawing and why we advise against doing so.

Meow... meeeooow... MEOW!!

Cats use a variety of meow types in a general, nonspecific way to attract the attention of their caretakers. It follows that additional cues such as body postures, orientation and activity level are equally important for communication. Studies suggest that cats use a variety of meows in general and again, paired with body language, they try to effectively communicate with people. Body language includes facial expressions, body, and tail positions to help express their feelings and get their message across.

Cats vocalize frequently with owners, with the "meow" noise being the most common. Purring is also a very common kitty sound, and is usually associated with pleasure or contentment- though some veterinarians report purring in sick or painful cats as well. Interestingly, the majority of pet cats use the meow almost exclusively when interacting with humans but do not typically use it when interacting with other cats.

Meows are highly variable and vary with each situation, but all signify some type of good-natured social encounter. Individual cats are known to develop an entire set of different meows for specific situations when interacting with human caretakers. They develop a myriad of meows- a meow for food, play, or cuddles- all specially made for their humans and help establish understandable communication.

Adult cats typically purr when they are in contact with a human caretaker, a familiar person, or even other cats! Another type is the trill or the "chirrup". This vocalization is commonly produced when greeting people or cats, and paired with open body language, an erect but relaxed tail in a question mark position. Now these physical and vocal cues are not true for every cat, as they all have unique personalities and quirks.

FUN FACT: The purr is one of the few vocalizations that occur with the mouth closed, and during both inhalation and exhalation, versus just exhalation like most!

A cat will generally either greet in a friendly confident manner, or not approach at all. The nose-to-nose, or the nose touch, is a way cats typically greet other familiar cats. Some cats have altered this behavior to incorporate human contact and will sniff an appendage then rub their face. Some cats roll on their back to greet their owners, a behavior normally demonstrated by female cats as an invitation to play or be petted. Felines do not engage in dominant/submissive behavior that is seen in dogs. The belly-up position is most commonly a play posture. Though we cat owners know that even though the belly floof is the softest of floofs, it typically comes with a bite or two upon contact.


Cats do vocalize with other cats when it comes to territory or personal space, and that's when the deep yowls come into play. Cats also hiss when they are fearful and/or defensive. The spit is considered to be a more intense form of the hiss, and is used to deter predators or avert threats. The howling, hissing, and spitting is usually paired up with a large sideways body posture, with the cat making themselves seem larger than their opponent. Most negative cat interactions are typically resolved through only vocalizations, but some fights can occur.

Elderly felines can become senile, and when that occurs, owners might hear them yowl at night or even during the day for no seemingly reason. Studies show that senility in cats cause deafness, confusion, and ataxia. It is uncertain why these cats meow so vociferously and frequently, but the meowing seems to be directed at no one and might exhibit new meows from their repertoire.


Dental Awareness Month!

Dental disease is extremely common in pets, with over 70% of cats having significant dental disease by the age of 3. A full dental prophylaxsis, under anesthesia, is recommended routinely to help prevent advancement of dental disease. Similar to an iceberg, only part of the tooth shows, with the roots going deep into the underlying tissues where most of the harm occurs. Dental radiographs, or x-rays, are necessary to detect any changes to the internal structure and roots of the teeth. Those offering anesthesia-free dentals do not proficiently clean the rear teeth or below the gingival line, leaving bacteria to fester and grow.

Dental disease effects more than just the teeth. It can introduce dangerous bacteria into the bloodstream, causing infection and even weakening of the heart! One of the simplest things you can do to help prevent disease between cleanings is by brushing the teeth daily. However, we realize we can only do so much with our feline friends. If they tolerate brushing enough, even 3 times a week would be considerable in the fight against dental disease.

Proper dental hygiene, along with prophylaxis procedures, can really help our kitties live longer, fuller, healthier lives!

Call today to schedule a cleaning and receive 15% off all month of November!

Black Cats are PURRfect!

Fear of black cats originated in Western history 1600-1700s. When the pilgrims came to America they brought with them a deep-seated fear of black cats, thinking they were couriers or aides to the devil/demons. To this day, the black cat is widely recognized as bad luck or as a bad omen. Some shelters refuse to adopt out black cats around Halloween, fearing that these cats will be used as props and decorations. Other shelters embrace the holiday and offer special adoption arrangements for our melanin-filled feline friends. There are over 22 breeds of cat that can have the full black coloring we love so much. Some black cats have deep yellow or gold eyes due to the amount of melanin they have!

The mythology of black cats differs for each country. In the UK and Japan, these cats are considered lucky and they will grant you good fortune. If one wanders up to you and enters into your home, it is said that you will have great prosperity.

So, if you see a black cat looking spooky, thank it for gracing you with its presence and smile because you just got really lucky!


It's Fall Food Frenzy here at Nob Hill Cat Clinic! Right now you will receive a free bag of Greenies dental treats with any food purchase over $20! We love bright smiles and clean teeth so we love promoting good dental habits by brushing teeth and offering dental chews! If your kitties' breath is especially stinky, you may want to consider an oral exam and a dental prophylaxsis. Call today to see how we can improve your cat's dental health!