Name: Dr Elizabeth Colleran

Web Site: http://chicocats.com

Bio: Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

Chico Hospital for Cats
548 W East Ave,
Chico, CA

Phone: 530-892-2287‎

Website: http://chicocats.com/
Facebook: Profile Page
Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

Cat Hospital of Portland
8065 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

Phone: 503-235-7005
Fax: 503-234-0042

Website: http://portlandcats.net/
Facebook: Profile Page
Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

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    Why Can’t We All Just Get Along

    January 3rd, 2014

    All of us want our cats to get along with one another. If nothing happens, no one is fighting, we think that all is well. Since cats are solitary hunters, their first instinct is to avoid confrontation. Getting hurt might mean being unable to provide the next meal. So we need to look closer at the way in which our cats interact to better understand how to keep stress to a minimum. Unwanted social interaction is a source of tension and can precipitate unwanted behavior.

    Recently, I was asked to help with a behavior problem in a household of 4 unrelated cats ranging in age from 4 to 14 years old. While she related her story, she commented that she knew all of her cats get along because they all eat together at the same time and on the kitchen counter. Whew, what a red flag! I asked her to take a picture of the cats the next morning as they ate breakfast. Smart phones take quick and easy video or pictures, a terrific source of good information.

    She sent the pictures the next day. They showed all four cats at four separate food bowls on the same kitchen counter. One of them was eating but displayed a very tense body posture. One was staring at the one eating. The other two were looking away from one another with very alert forward ears and seemed to be trying to approach the food without making eye contact.

    While this did not turn out to be the only source of stress in the household, it was surely one of them. Cats who are unrelated do not much care to be so close to one another under most circumstances. They tend to divide up the house into time and space. Two cats may be seen on the same couch but not at the same time. One may routinely walk through the house using two rooms but not a third where another cat typically resides.
    Food is a primary need, the most important one and, therefore, the one that will make cats who prefer to keep some space between them to share close proximity. Turn taking and sharing are human behaviors and ones we willing undertake. Not so cats. Eating is a solitary activity for these independent hunters. My client’s cats were willing to override the social tension of being forced to share counter space in order to be fed. But their body language, the vocalization and pacing behavior she described indicated that this feeding ritual was very difficult to cope with.

    I advised her to feed the cats in multiple locations around the house and some distance from the litterboxes. We also increased the number of water bowls, moving them away from the food to encourage drinking. These were placed at very accessible stations, even one in each of the two cat trees. The theory goes that cats won’t drink water as readily at a place where they eat. In the wild, a meal would have been an executed mouse whose body parts might contaminate nearby water. So it is thought that cats will more readily drink in places where food is not consumed.

    We had more work to do to diffuse the tension among the cats in this family, but that day we made a good start.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

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    Why do Cats Purr?

    October 31st, 2013

    Lions can’t purr. If you can roar, you can’t purr. But if you are another wild cat, like a civet, mountain lion, or bobcat, purring is your unique gift. The laryngeal muscles oscillate at 25 – 150 Hz causing a sudden separation of vocal cords during both inhalation and exhalation. Our companion cats do seem to purr more often when they are contented with their situation but that isn’t the only time they purr. The purr is so low pitched that we almost feel it as much as we hear it.

    Cats also purr when they are frightened or stressed. Often, cats will purr in the context of the veterinary visit which is always a bit stressful. Theories abound, but like the smile in humans, perhaps it is an appeasing gesture in that context. It might be similar to the reasons people smile, contentment surely, but also when we are nervous or want something.

    If you have found your cat’s purring to be a bit annoying in the morning when he wants you to get up but not when you are petting him, it is because the two are different! Cats learned to add a higher pitch purr to the lower 25 Hz pitch that is more of a cry-meow. This insistent purr is intended to elicit a faster reaction from humans. Researchers theorize that cats may have learned to tap into a mammalian response for nurturing offspring by embedding a cry within a call that is normally associated with contentment. The baby who wants to be fed cries, hence cats learn to add the high pitch to their purr.

    Cats also purr when they are giving birth, nursing, or wounded. Researchers have shown that purring may have an evolutionary healing advantage. Many experts theorize that the range of 25 Hz might be a sort of built-in physical therapy. This frequency is used in humans to accelerate wound healing and improve bone density. Purring may be a form of pain management and self-healing. Because cats have adapted to conserve energy via long periods of rest and sleep, it is possible that purring is a low energy mechanism that stimulates muscles and bones without a lot of energy, too. It may contribute to the lower occurrence of osteoporosis or bone dysplasias in cats than dogs.

    Purring may also have contributed to the fact that there are more companion cats than dogs these days. We regularly pet our cats for their sake but also for the sense of peace and relaxation that comes from listening to a cat purr. It calms us down, lowers our blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart attack.

    Continue to Why do Cats Purr? (Part 2 of 2)

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

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    How Many Social Groups Live in Your House?

    September 18th, 2013

    Last week, I helped with an interview for Cat Fancy Magazine about litterbox matters. It is always good to remind everyone of the principals of a clean bathroom for our housecats. A bigger question arises from that though and that is, “do you know how many social groups live in your house?” This question is central to solving many issues that create stress in a household in which more than one unrelated cat lives.

    In my home, there are two house cats. The first one to move in with us is Bodaishin. He was a six year old intact male when we rescued him two years ago. As many people do, my husband and I live very busy lives and are often out of the house for long periods of time. I concluded that Bo was not getting as much of a lively life as I thought he should have. I contacted the breeder from whom I acquired Bo about another cat. (The story of his life and why he needed to come to us is another story)

    There was an 18 month old intact male who wasn’t a very good example of his breed so, like Bo, he was living by himself in a small enclosure. Perfect, a youngster who needed a new life. Oddly, his breeder dropped him off at my practice and departed before we could meet and talk about “Andy”.

    He was a freaked out, unsocialized kid who thought we were going to kill him. It took weeks before he calmed down. During that time, we had, not a two cat household, but a “one plus one” household. Neither we nor Bo could get near him and Bo seemed none too pleased at the home invasion by this interloper.

    We had a room for Andy which contained a cat tree, a big 28 quart clothing storage box for a litterbox, food and water bowls and toys. Every day, we sat quietly in the room waiting for him to approach. Bo was not allowed into the room. After a time, he learned that he was safe and began to allow petting and slowly but surely we began to integrate him into the rest of the house. Bo was very interested in him as time went on.

    Six months later, both cat trees are in the living room. The two litterboxes remain, as well as the separate food and water spots. We assumed that we would continue to be a “one plus one” household. Much to our surprise, and quite slowly Bo and Andy began to play together, shooting through the house and wrestling. Even more slowly and surprisingly, they began to groom one another, sleep in the same bad curled up like yin and yang, and rub each other entwining tails in passing. It may have helped that Bodaishin is Andy’s grandfather, a fact I found out much later.

    So now we are a “two cat” household with one big social group that includes my husband and me. The key to knowing which is which are the three behaviors:

    • Sleeping entwined,
    • Grooming each other often, and
    • Rubbing each other willingly in passing.

    It isn’t important to the cats whether we humans engage in these behaviors, but it might not be a bad idea!

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

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    Finding a Veterinarian Worthy of your Cat

    June 23rd, 2013

    A wonderful client with whom I had enjoyed a great relationship for a number of years, tearfully told me last week that she was moving across country. Her career had taken a positive turn and a dream job awaited her in North Carolina. We both shared some tears and then started to talk about how we would make the transition as easy for her and her cats as we could.

    She had a good plan for moving her cats that took into consideration the stress that this disruption would cause. The cats would stay in her home with all the objects and routine remaining as familiar as possible. Her son, whom the cats all loved, would stay with them while she made several trips back and forth to get the new house ready. She had Feliway plugged in. The carriers were in their spots as part of the furniture in the living room and her son would continue to put treats in the carriers and otherwise keep up the normal routine as much as possible.

    Margaret, my client, had found a place to live and would get settled there before moving the cats in an attempt to mimic, again, as much of the normal routine as she could. Her commitment to her beloved Grace and Oscar was touching. We talked about a few more ideas for making travel uneventful as they drove across the country together in a month or so.

    Then she asked me a really interesting question. “Can you help me find a veterinarian that will take as good care of Grace and Oscar as you and your staff have done?” We both got a little choked up again. I said I would do my best.

    As it turned out, I could not find a veterinarian in that city with whom I was familiar. There was not a feline exclusive practice there. My go-to resource for reference is www.catvets.com, because I could look for a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners or a veterinary establishment that is a Cat Friendly Practice. I struck out there, too.

    The best I could do is a good plan for anyone looking for a new veterinarian:

    • Search the internet for local practices and check websites. There will be a sense of what is important to that group and an emphasis that may guide you;
    • Pick more than two to call and inquire about the practice. Ask questions about their approach to new cat patients. It almost doesn’t matter what you ask, just engage the person who answers the phone and get a sense of their enthusiasm for your conversation;
    • Ask about coming to the practice for a tour. If the answer is an enthusiastic agreement, check that one on your list with a “yes”; and finally,
    • Go by yourself, no cats, and meet some of the people in the practice. Have a tour and see how it feels to you. Have a nice conversation and see how welcome you feel.

    Too often, people make an appointment, bring their cat and then don’t like the experience. But there is a sense of being trapped. You have an appointment, implying agreement to service. If it doesn’t feel right, it is hard to extract yourself from the situation without discomfort at best, perhaps embarrassment, even agreeing to some treatment for your beloved cat that doesn’t sit quite right. Better plan is to go alone and if it feels like a good fit, make an appointment before you leave.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    More PostsWebsite

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    Does Pancreatitis Mean the End?

    March 21st, 2013

    I wrote last time about the choice my client Louis had to make to end the life of his beloved cat, Nadia. It is always a struggle for the owner and his/her veterinarian to make these decisions. Worse, of course, for the client because of the years of love and companionship that have transpired. The strongest desire of the cat owner facing the loss of a beloved companion is to do what is best for the kitty.  Sometimes, the outcome that seems the least likely though, can mean a new reality for a cat and his owner. Let’s talk this time about Garfield.

    Garfield, no surprise, is an orange tabby about 15 years old. He came in 6 months ago, just not feeling right. His bloodwork and urinalysis were not completely normal and it was obvious that he had severe pancreatitis. We started his treatment for that and he got somewhat better but just not quite back to normal. Perhaps we had not gotten to the bottom of the problem!

    We did another ultrasound and, no surprise, his pancreas looked abnormal but everything was otherwise fine. A few days later and quite suddenly, Garfield took a turn for the worse. This time his bloodwork was far less normal; the white part of his eyes looked a tiny bit yellow;  and, his ultrasound showed a large blocked gall bladder and a little fluid around his liver. The findings had changed a great deal in a very short time.

    We contacted our favorite surgeon, one that I had been very happy with for many years. That afternoon, Garfield went to Dr. Griffin’s practice, 100 miles away. The next day, he had a complicated surgery to connect his gall bladder to his small intestine to allow his pancreas to heal and give his gall bladder a safe way to empty.  A tube was placed in his esophagus to allow for adequate nutrition and administration of medicine. He came home with antibiotics, pain medication, liver supportive medication and more. We worked with the client to make sure he received adequate calories through the tube and got all of his medications.

    As each day went by, Garfield got a little bit better. He began to gain weight and started to eat a little on his own. After three weeks, he was eating enough on his own that we removed the tube in his esophagus. We monitored him carefully for several months, both by examination and laboratory values. He is doing just fine.

    The message of Garfield for me is that, even when things look complicated and very, very serious, good things can and do happen. We all need to stay optimistic and realistic, making sure not to allow for suffering or discomfort. If we maintain Quality of Life during a severe illness, we can be proud of our work together. The owner is the single most important member of the healthcare team. We are here to help make sure that is always true.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    More PostsWebsite

    2 Comments "

    Lost Cat Behavior

    January 31st, 2013

    We recently adopted a young adult cat, Andy, for our seven year cat, Bodaishin. Bo had thoroughly enjoyed the two cats who came with our house sitter for two weeks and we realized he could use the company. Andy was still nervous with us as Thanksgiving approached but seemed to be settling down.

    For Thanksgiving there would be nine for dinner with the centerpiece an outdoor old fashioned bread oven that served as our oven and warm place for conversation. People were in and out all day. At some point, Andy, who is dark chocolate brown disappeared. He had never been outdoors.

    As nervous as he was, we thought he might be hiding in the house. After searching every cupboard and inch of the house we realized he had gotten outside. For the next day we scoured the property and surrounding area. Nothing.

    We assumed he was terrified and would not approach us for awhile. Naturally, he was microchipped, but someone would have to find him first. In our attached garage, we set his cat tree, a heated bed he liked, his litter box, food and water with a light on a timer set for dusk. The door to the outdoors was propped open.

    Twice a day, one of us drove 30 miles from the hospital to our home to check for “Andy sign”. The litter box was used early on and some food gone, but he was nowhere to be found. Finally, after two days, he was in the garage and in his bed.  The search over, I shut the door to the outside, opened the door to the house. With plenty of food and water for the rest of the day, I quietly drove away. Later that day, he was in the house and in one of his many beds.

    By providing a safe familiar environment with all the necessary amenities, Andy calmed down enough to return to the things he knew better than the strange environment that he had encountered outdoors. His fear of this wild place in which he landed likely caused him to hide and stay quiet for the time, early on, when we searched for him. Cats respond to threats by fleeing first and fighting last. His instinct was to flee and hide. We had to wait long enough for him to feel safe enough to explore his way home.

    By understanding our mistakes in allowing this to happen we have made some changes to our behavior around doors. We also needed to understand how a cat experiences an abrupt change in circumstances and how he would react. By providing the time for him to recover and the resources he knew well, we  made it possible for him to come home.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    More PostsWebsite

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    Cat Toys – How Curiosity Kills the Roll

    November 28th, 2012

    My cat Bo has an irritating behavior that I have learned to live with. When he can, he will unravel all the toilet paper on the dispenser and spread it all over the floor of the bathroom. He does it because it is fun and each time he grabs the roll more paper unravels which is reward enough to keep doing it. He never tires of the trick.

    Toys for cats should be like that, interesting and rewarding. Playing with your cat is not only a pleasure for you but an important part of life for your cat. Some people complain that their cat will walk away after playing for only a few minutes. Play is a mimic for the hunting behavior that is part of all cats’ normal repertoire. Each hunt is brief and intense, so play periods should be the same. He is not losing interest, just taking a break. Many short play periods through the day are just what they need to spend big bursts of energy. Playing for a little while and often is perfect.

    Cats are naturally curious. Anything that looks different, moves rapidly or sounds intriguing are worthy of investigation. A variety of toys that move or sound like mice or birds can keep their attention. Many toys are free and quite satisfying for a cat. A paper bag on the floor can be just the thing to climb into and investigate.

    Play is essential, almost as much as eating and drinking. Stimulating toys available in safe places in the house are key.  A scratching post with toys attached, a cat tree high enough to play safely away from unfamiliar animals or people, and interactive play with people make a great difference in quality of life for cats indoors.

    Our domesticated cats are closer to their original ancestors from 10,000 years ago than any other domesticated animal. That means they are the same wild cats just in a dramatically different  environment, our homes. So providing them the opportunity to act out their normal feline behavior in ways that are safe and acceptable to us is a critical part of life and mean that our cats will have wonderful, emotionally satisfying lives.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    More PostsWebsite

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    Food Recalls

    October 20th, 2012

    In 2007, a large food recall took place as a result of melamine contamination. Both dogs and cats were affected. This raised a safety concern about pet food that has not been helped by ten reports of national food recalls from March 2009 to March 2010. In the month of March 2010, there were more than 45 recalls of human food products with Salmonella as a common inciting cause.  Now, there are many people who wish to home cook for their cats.

    Other safety issues I hear are artificial preservatives, colors, and flavoring. Many fear that food additives play a role in cancer incidence, allergies or autoimmune disorders. The FDA governs the use of these additives and evaluates them for safety. “Who trusts the government?” is the response I hear to my assurances.

    The desire to home cook for your cat is deserving of a measured response, one that reflects the complexity of cooking for a carnivore and the difficulty of uncovering adequate information about many products.

    Food preferences in the cat are both instinctive and acquired. Taste receptors in cats are specialized for eating meat. Kittens acquire taste preferences from exposure to flavors transmitted in the uterus and in milk. They also learn appropriate food choices from their mother. These include food texture and odor as well as taste.

    The balance of vitamins and minerals must be balanced correctly. In a study of home-prepared diets calcium-phosphorus ratios, Vitamin A and E levels along with potassium, copper and zinc were inadequate. Everyone has good intentions but not always a good outcome.

    As long as you work with a veterinary nutritionist, there is minimal risk. You must follow all the ingredient and additive instructions to the letter. Many veterinary nutritionists are available for phone consultation and are able to analyze individual diets for nutritional adequacy. That does not guarantee that the flavor, texture or odor will be acceptable to your cat, however. Serious illness can result when a cat refuses to eat. Make sure your beloved companion likes the food well enough to take in adequate calories for the longterm which may require multiple foods to avoid monotony.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    More PostsWebsite

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    Loss of a Cat

    September 3rd, 2012

    When Louis brought Nadia for her dental cleaning and evaluation, he was pleased to know her bloodwork and blood pressure were good and that we could help with her bad breath. As he left, he spoke softly to her, stroked her head, smiled and wished her luck. We never imagined that we would find a mass under her tongue that would end her life.

    After her diagnosis, we talked to Louis about his choices. He decided he could be her nurse for awhile but wouldn’t do any more surgery. We started hospice care at home. Nadia had been with him longer than many of his friends and family. His wife said that Nadia was Joined “at the hip” to Louis and would spend every waking minute with him if she could. They were soulmates she told us.

    After a time, the tumor became larger and she lost interest in eating. Louis knew the time had come but wished with all his heart that he did not have to make this choice. He hoped and hoped that she would die on her own, without suffering. Then he knew she would not.

    They came to the hospital together one last time. Louis is a very tall man with giant hands that stroked her fur as we gave her the last injection. As her breath left her body, he sobbed for awhile. We hugged and sat and talked about her. He told me stories and showed me pictures. Finally, he felt strong enough to leave though we both knew how much it hurt to leave without her.

    The loss of a pet can be as devastating as the loss of a child or spouse.  Yet often there is no one who understands how devastating it can be. Having to make the choice to end a life can often leave people feeling guilty or angry. Unlike people, there is usually no ritual to help us through the process.  There are funerals, memorials, and other rituals that would be acknowledged by most everyone for the loss of a person. Often society doesn’t acknowledge the legitimate emotional needs after the loss of a cat. It can feel very lonely and isolating when people say things like “it was just a cat.”

    Finding a way to memorialize your beloved cat is one way to deal with feelings that can be so powerful that they feel like physical pain.  My beloved cat is buried underneath a rose bush I can see from my kitchen window. Every time it blooms it is as if she has visited. There are “grief hotlines” in several of the veterinary schools staffed by students who are trained to help and to listen. Grief counselors can be your advocate.

    Sit with someone who knows you well and will understand how lonely you are feeling. The depth of your loss is real. You deserve to have the solace that comes of talking it through. The loss of a beloved family member, no matter the number of legs, can feel catastrophic.  Take the best care of yourself and your heart. Do whatever you need to heal. Don’t be reluctant or afraid to ask for help. Don’t mourn alone.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
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    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
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    Introducing a New Cat to your Home

    July 21st, 2012

    Buddy had lived with May since he was a kitten. About four years later, May thought she was getting too busy to spend an adequate amount of time with Buddy. She adopted a one year old neutered male, Bubbah. She put food, water and a bed on one end of the guest room and a litterbox at the other. Bubbah settled in and May spent as much time as she could becoming friends. She bought special toys and a special climbing tree just for him.

    The introduction of a new cat into the household must be done carefully. Cats who live in colonies in the wild drive away strangers. Buddy’s instinct will be the same. After a time in separate quarters, slow introductions can be made. A door that is open enough for the cats to see one another (but not touch) is a good first step. The extra resources – feeding place, water bowl, cat tree, resting place – are important. Each cat should have everything he needs and no need to share. As solitary hunters, sharing isn’t a concept they are willing to accept.

    Supervised “dates” come next, as the cats are introduced to each other. If there is nervousness, an escape route is key. Food helps as a distraction. If they ignore each other that is the best outcome. Slowly increasing the time they are allowed to be in the same part of the house over time will reduce the stress of the “foreign” cat occupying the “home range” of the previously “only” cat. This is seen as an invasion if it takes place too quickly and the natural reflex to either drive the stranger away or flee himself can be prevented.

    It is important to have realistic expectations. These two cats will likely tolerate one another and divide up the house into a timesharing arrangement. It is rare for two unrelated adults to become bonded, though it is not impossible.

    Dr Elizabeth Colleran

    Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

    Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

    Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

    Chico Hospital for Cats
    548 W East Ave,
    Chico, CA

    Phone: 530-892-2287‎

    Website: http://chicocats.com/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions: Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    Cat Hospital of Portland
    8065 SE 13th Ave
    Portland, OR 97202

    Phone: 503-235-7005
    Fax: 503-234-0042

    Website: http://portlandcats.net/
    Facebook: Profile Page
    Directions:Google | MapQuest | Yahoo!

    More PostsWebsite

    No Comments "

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