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.)*

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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.

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(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!

 

 

September goodies!

September is happy, healthy pet month and here are some simple ways to keep your kitty blissful and in good health!

One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is to have them examined by a veterinarian. Kitties 7 and younger, it is recommended that they get exams and blood work once a year, but for our senior kitties and up, every 6 months is advised. Exams include a full head-to-tail physical and sometimes vaccines or a blood profile might be recommended. Blood work can assess the organs and help catch potentially fatal issues early. Some vaccines may not be necessary for your pet so talk with your veterinarian about what’s right for you.

Fleas can be a big problem in San Francisco! Fleas are resilient and some treatments are less effective than they used to be. Flea infestation can be massively frustrating and can cause health issues for you and your kitty. There are many choices when it comes to flea prevention; there are topical treatments, oral medications and collars to choose from and your vet can help you decide.

Ask us about our special deal on Cheristin!

Teeth brushing is a great way to help keep your cat's mouth clean and stink free! Dental disease sneaks up on you; weekly, if not daily, teeth brushing can help prevent gingivitis and other dental issues. Tasty flavored toothpastes are available for cats in a variety of flavors including chicken, seafood, malt, and even beef! Using a small baby toothbrush or “finger brush” (available here as well as most pet stores) massage the teeth and gums in small circular patterns- top, bottom, front, and back! We are aware most cats don't like brushing, but just the action of rubbing stimulates blood flow to the gums and promotes healing! Try to make it a positive experience with yummy toothpaste and by offering dental treats afterwards, or maybe a favorite toy/snack! Dental prophylaxis procedures (dental cleanings) under anesthesia are necessary to clean the teeth thoroughly and should be done regularly as directed by your veterinarian.

Grooming is not just for aesthetics. Routine grooming can help prevent matted hair, urine scalding, and more. Not every cat needs a lion-cut or panty-clip; but regular baths, brushing, and nail trimming helps keep your cat looking keen and feeling great!

The inside of your kitty is just as important as the outside, and diet is a great way to help maintain proper nutrition and health. Dry versus wet, prepared versus raw- with all the food types and brands out there its easy to get overwhelmed! Talk with your vet to see what diet is recommended for your cat's individual nutritional needs and be sure to wash food and water bowls daily with hot and soapy water.

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to animals. Supplying a variety of toys and surfaces for your cat to climb and play on will help make them happy. Rotate toys periodically to avoid boredom and to keep things fresh. Play with your cat to bond with them and give interactive toys or a puzzle ball to stimulate their minds. Catnip is always a fun treat!

 

 

 

 

                                                                           

August is National Immunization Awareness Month! 

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and we all know vaccinating your cat is one of the best ways to take care of your kitty by preventing life-threatening diseases. But what are vaccines, why do we vaccinate, and what are the risks associated with vaccination?

Vaccines help fight the disease-causing organisms. They contain antigens that trick the body's immune system into reacting mildly to the vaccine, which is a killed or modified virus. By acting like the disease and allowing to body to attack, vaccines permit the body to learn how to fight these horrible illnesses. They have now prepared the body and taught it how to fight off the disease, or severely reduce the severity.  

Vaccines are quite important as they aid in the health of your cats. It is very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that's right for your cat. We factor in age of the cat, condition, and husbandry to see if vaccines are appropriate for your cat. That said, there are core vaccines that are regarded as imperative to all cats. There are also laws associated with vaccination, requiring certain vaccines and proof thereof (eg: Rabies is legally required in almost every state for all pets.)

There are few risks connected to vaccination. They do mildly stimulate the cat's immune system and this stimulation can cause lethargy or soreness at the injection site (just like when you get vaccinated!)

That said, it is important to realize that vaccines have aided in saving incalculable lives, and play a crucial role in the fight against feline infectious disease.

 

Happy, healthy pets!

September is happy, healthy pet month and here are some simple ways to keep your kitty blissful and in good health!

 

One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is to have them examined by a veterinarian. Kitties 7 and younger, it is recommended that they get exams and blood work once a year, but for our senior kitties and up, every 6 months is advised. Exams include a full head-to-tail physical and sometimes vaccines or a blood profile might be recommended. Blood work can assess the organs and help catch potentially fatal issues early. Some vaccines may not be necessary for your pet so talk with your veterinarian about what’s right for you.

 

Fleas can be a big problem in San Francisco! Fleas are resilient and some treatments are less effective than they used to be. Flea infestation can be massively frustrating and can cause health issues for you and your kitty. There are many choices when it comes to flea prevention; there are topical treatments, oral medications and collars to choose from and your vet can help you decide.

Ask us about our special deal on Cheristin!

 

Teeth brushing is a great way to help keep your cat's mouth clean and stink free! Dental disease sneaks up on you; weekly, if not daily, teeth brushing can help prevent gingivitis and other dental issues. Tasty flavored toothpastes are available for cats in a variety of flavors including chicken, seafood, malt, and even beef! Using a small baby toothbrush or “finger brush” (available here as well as most pet stores) massage the teeth and gums in small circular patterns- top, bottom, front, and back! We are aware most cats don't like brushing, but just the action of rubbing stimulates blood flow to the gums and promotes healing! Try to make it a positive experience with yummy toothpaste and by offering dental treats afterwards, or maybe a favorite toy/snack! Dental prophylaxis procedures (dental cleanings) under anesthesia are necessary to clean the teeth thoroughly and should be done regularly as directed by your veterinarian.

 

Grooming is not just for aesthetics. Routine grooming can help prevent matted hair, urine scalding, and more. Not every cat needs a lion-cut or panty-clip; but regular baths, brushing, and nail trimming helps keep your cat looking keen and feeling great!

 

The inside of your kitty is just as important as the outside, and diet is a great way to help maintain proper nutrition and health. Dry versus wet, prepared versus raw- with all the food types and brands out there its easy to get overwhelmed! Talk with your vet to see what diet is recommended for your cat's individual nutritional needs and be sure to wash food and water bowls daily with hot and soapy water.

 

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to animals. Supplying a variety of toys and surfaces for your cat to climb and play on will help make them happy. Rotate toys periodically to avoid boredom and to keep things fresh. Play with your cat to bond with them and give interactive toys or a puzzle ball to stimulate their minds. Catnip is always a fantastic treat!

Vaccine Awareness!

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and we all know vaccinating your cat is one of the best ways to take care of your kitty by preventing life-threatening diseases. But what are vaccines, why do we vaccinate, and what are the risks associated with vaccination?

Vaccines help fight the disease-causing organisms. They contain antigens that trick the body's immune system into reacting mildly to the vaccine, which is a killed or modified virus. By acting like the disease and allowing to body to attack, vaccines permit the body to learn how to fight these horrible illnesses. They have now prepared the body and taught it how to fight off the disease, or severely reduce the severity.  

Vaccines are quite important as they aid in the health of your cats. It is very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that's right for your cat. We factor in age of the cat, condition, and husbandry to see if vaccines are appropriate for your cat. That said, there are core vaccines that are regarded as imperative to all cats. There are also laws associated with vaccination, requiring certain vaccines and proof thereof (eg: Rabies is legally required in almost every state for all pets.)

There are few risks connected to vaccination. They do mildly stimulate the cat's immune system and this stimulation can cause lethargy or soreness at the injection site (just like when you get vaccinated!)

That said, it is important to realize that vaccines have aided in saving incalculable lives, and play a crucial role in the fight against feline infectious disease.

 

Summer News : 5 Steps for Battling Fleas

Warm sun. A nice breeze blowing. Ah the sites and smells of summer! Unfortunately summer is flea season (yikes!) even for indoor kitties, which is why we've compiled a list of 5 Steps for Battling Fleas.

Specials for July:

We have partnered with Elanco to bring you a discount on Cheristin,  our favorite flea control! Buy a 6 pack, and get 2 free tubes free! 

"A cat can purr its way out of anything."      - Donna McCrohan

1. Indoor Cats Get Fleas Too!

This year we've noticed a lot of our beloved indoor cats getting fleas! Fleas are sneaky little buggers, and they are tiny enough to fit through screens and cracks in your apartment. Also, fleas sometimes hitch a ride on our clothing to sneak inside. So if you haven't already, now is the time to start your kitty on a monthly preventative.

2. Beware of Generic Flea Medications

Many of the generic flea medications at Costco, WalMart etc... use older techniques for flea control. Unfortunately, many flea populations have developed resistance to these once powerful products. Others use pesticides that aren't the safest for cats. We have used Revolution and Cheristan for years, and found the safe and effective on our own cats.

3. Fleas Reproduce and Spread Like Crazy!

It's important to handle a flea problem the second you notice it! Fleas multiply at an alarming rate, and the fleas you see on your cat represent only about 5-10% of the fleas in the environment. Best way to tackle the problem? We'll help with the kitty, you handle the house! Drop off your kitty in the morning for a Premium Flea Treatment, then spend the day cleaning the house (what fun!) 1. Run the bedding/curtains/towels through a wash and dryer cycle 2. Vacuum carpets and couches - a cheap flea collar can be placed in the vacuum cleaner's bag / container to take care of any eggs that might be sucked up! 3. Mop down wood floors.  We also recommend purchasing a treatment or premise spray to get all the nooks and crannies.

4. Flea Cause More Than Discomfort

Flea can also cause skin allergies, tapeworms (intestinal parasites passed to your kitty through flea larvae) and anemia (because fleas feed off your cat's blood supply it's possible, if the flea infestation is severe enough, for your cat to become anemic).

5. Become a Flea Detective.

Is your kitty scratching? Scratching is the most obvious sign your kitty may have fleas, but you can also look for flea dirt, which is actually dried blood discarded from the flea - flea poop essentially (yeah we went there). It usually looks like black pepper and can be found in your kitty's coat or on a couch or blanket. Another tool, used by the most advanced flea detectives, is a flea comb, which is much finer than a regular brush. Even the most inconspicuous flea won't stand a chance.  

* Our 3 Step Premium Flea Treatment includes a Capstar to kill live fleas, an All-Natural Oatmeal Bath to clean up, and a Cheristan application (a month long preventative)