A Cat-Friendly Veterinarian
Westside Pet Hospital has earned the Cat-Friendly Practice certification from the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
The focus of the Cat-Friendly program is to create a calmer environment to lessen the stress of taking your cat to the veterinarian. We adhere to a comprehensive checklist to verify that we are especially qualified and dedicated to making your cat’s every visit as pleasant as possible and beneficial for you.
To earn the Cat-Friendly designation, we received training on how to approach and handle cats in a gentle, empathetic, and caring manner. We have a special waiting room to separate your cat from dogs and other disturbances. We also use a calming pheromone in our cat exam rooms to lessen anxiety.
We are trained on how to help you and your kitty come see us. Prepared materials illustrate ways to make the veterinarian visit easier for the two of you. Continuing education on feline health issues, specialized equipment, and a separate cat-friendly hospital ward exemplify the commitment we have made to be a Cat-Friendly Practice.
Our goal is to provide you with various ways to enhance your cat’s health and well-being.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of Bend Oregon’s finest cat-friendly veterinary practices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cats Going To The Vet:
My cat hates going to the vet. What can I do?
Part of our training to become a Cat-Friendly Practice is to make visits to our office easier for both you and your cat. Give us a call and we’ll send you a pamphlet about preparing for the visit. We also have samples of our synthetic pheromone that can help relax your cat for the trip.
Westside Pet Hospital knows how difficult it can be to bring in your cat for an examination or procedure. New sights, sounds, and car travel can create a lot of anxiety.
Our clinic is now dispensing a medication that will help reduce the anxiety and stress your cat experiences. The medication is given orally 2-3 hours prior to your scheduled visit.
The cost of the medication is $20. Please give us a call at (541) 678-5440 to schedule an appointment or to get more information.
Why does my cat need to go to the veterinarian?
Cats are great at hiding disease. Changes in behavior such as interaction with the family, hiding more, not climbing stairs or jumping up on countertops may be your cat’s way of saying things aren’t right.
Changes in eating and drinking behavior or rapid gain or loss of weight may indicate many different disease processes. If your cat’s breath is bad enough to chase you into the other room, it may indicate dental disease or worse.
How should I feed my cat?
A healthy, balanced diet is essential for your cat’s health. Cats need meat in their diets. This means they need food especially formulated for cats.
Dry cat foods are convenient for pet owners. They stay fresh, are economical and help clean your cat’s teeth. The chief concern is that cats on dry foods never consume enough water.
Canned cat food has increased moisture content, making it a good source of water. It also tastes better and there are a variety of flavors which is helpful if your cat is a finicky eater. It has been found that canned food is a valuable component in weight loss programs.
What and how much to feed become the important questions. An average sized adult cat weighing nine pounds should consume about 240 kilocalories a day. That’s roughly a ½ cup of dry food or 1 to 1 ½ cans of canned per day. A combination of canned and dry food is a wise way to feed your cat. Offer them canned food twice daily. Feed dry food by putting the bowl down for twenty minutes twice daily.
Is obesity a problem in cats?
It’s not that we’re intentionally overfeeding our cats, it’s that our kitties, who are mostly indoors, are little couch potatoes now, and their nutritional needs are much lower. Although a pudgy kitty may look cute, obesity in cats is associated with diabetes, arthritis, urinary tract disease and fatty infiltration of the liver.
Feeding your cat properly will help them live a long, trim life.
I’ve heard a lot about enriching my cat’s environment. Do they need it?
Your cat’s happiness is greatly influenced by their environment.
Cats prefer a little clutter. It provides them a degree of camouflage to roam the house, and offers places to hide behind or climb on top of. And let’s be honest, it’s the perfect excuse for a little messiness in your home.
Cats naturally spend up to six hours a day foraging for food. You can imitate the hunt for food by scattering kibble across the floor, hiding small handfuls around the house, or by using a Kitty Kong stuffed with food.
Cats are natural climbers. It is important for them to have high places such as open cupboards, elevated scratching posts, or a space on a bookshelf to give them places to rest and observe their surroundings. Cats need down time too so secret hideaways like high places to sit or plenty of places to disappear from view are important.
Windows are a significant viewing point for the great outdoors. Cats prefer smaller windows in darkened rooms so they can observe the outdoors without being observed. The strategic positioning of potted house plants near large windows may just be enough camouflage for your cat to feel a little safer.
Cats spend the majority of their time asleep. Cats favor warm places to sleep and many prefer spots that have a strong familiar scent of their owners, like your bed, to give a sense of safety and security.
Cats need to scratch to maintain their claws and mark their territory. Scratching posts should be tall enough to allow them to scratch vertically at full stretch. If proper provisions aren’t made, your furniture may be next.
Providing a cat-friendly home helps your cat live a long healthy life.
I want to get another cat. How do I introduce them?
Introducing a new cat into a household with existing cats can be a challenge. This transition can take several weeks but planning ahead can create a positive relationship. Be sure to have your new addition examined by your veterinarian to make sure they are healthy.
Isolate your new cat for the first few days in a separate room with its own food, water, litter box, and toys. This separation will allow each cat to adjust to the new smells and sounds. Next, exchange bedding to familiarize the cats with each other’s scent. Then allow short introductions and make sure to reward positive behavior. Maintain normal routines, and do not allow unsupervised interactions until all signs of aggression have disappeared. To minimize trouble each cat should have its own food bowl and litter box.
Feline friends can add a lot of joy to your household. Take your time and choose wisely.
I’ve been wanting a pet but aren’t sure if a cat is right for me.
Due to their independent nature, cats can be the perfect pet for those with busy lives. Here are some tips to create a happy and safe home for your cat or kitten.
Be sure to provide a good quality food. Cats have particular nutrient requirements so make sure their food is especially formulated for cats. It’s best to feed them a measured amount twice daily because free access to food may cause weight gain. Cats like clean, fresh drinking water and adequate water intake is very important in maintaining good urinary health.
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. It’s wisest to keep your cat indoors away from harm.
One of the best ways to avoid litter box problems is to scoop the litter box daily and completely clean it weekly. Always have one more litter box than the number of cats. Most cats prefer clumping litter. It’s a good idea to provide a choice of litter until you figure out what your cat likes.
Grooming is a great way to bond with your cat. For long-haired cats, it’s important to brush them daily as they are prone to matting and it will decrease shedding. For short-haired cats, once a week is usually sufficient. Grooming can help decrease the incidence of hair balls which can make cats sick.
Toys are a fun way to exercise your cat. Different cats have different tastes, but toys that rattle or squeak will often intrigue your cat. Wands with feathers or other “prizes” attached to a string are great for bringing out the hunter in your cat. Never leave strings, rubber bands, or other small toys with your cat unattended as they may ingest them.
And remember their annual veterinary examination. Cats are great at hiding health problems. Take care of your kitty and your kitty will always be there for you.
My cat started yowling at night. Does that mean something?
There are several medical conditions related to cause a change in vocalization patterns.
Reduced hearing ability is a common one. They can’t hear themselves meow so they meow louder. Pain from arthritis makes it difficult for cats to enjoy the things they used to do. I can relate to that. Conditions such as bad teeth or urinary tract infections can be painful. Thyroid problems can cause yowling because of restlessness.
Feline cognitive dysfunction is essentially a state of confusion. This condition is mostly seen in cats over 15 years old. Other signs include pacing and disorientation. Treatments for this condition include antioxidant supplements and enriching your cat’s environment.
Cats may vocalize in response to animal activity outside the home. A new cat in the neighborhood or wildlife stalking outside may increase your cat’s anxiety level. If you see your cat reacting to something in a particular window you can cover it with a stick-on opaque window film. There is also a motion-activated water spray device that can scare away animals.
Cats may also vocalize more as their way of saying, “Hey quit ignoring me. I want some love and attention.” Or they may be saying they want more food. If this occurs at night a simple solution is to close the bedroom door.
It’s time to schedule a visit with their doctor if your cat is serenading you at night.