One Paw at a Time: Keeping the Dog Out of the Litter Box

Keeping the Dog Out of the Litter BoxLiving with both dogs and cats can be a wonderful experience. Not only do we get to connect with and enjoy these two very different species, but watching them play, snuggle, and even annoy each other is a fun and meaningful aspect of pet ownership.

Of course, living with multiple pets has its challenges, especially when  Fido has a tendency to raid the litter box. Not only do pet owners hate this disgusting practice, it’s also highly likely that the cat doesn’t appreciate their private bathroom being invaded by the family dog!

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much effort to keep your dog out of the litter box, and your team at OVRS is here to help you every step of the way.


Kitty on the Move: Our Top 10 Cat Toys for Fun and Friskiness

cat toysThere’s no question that indoor cats enjoy better health and increased longevity than their outdoor counterparts. Your indoor cat may be safe and cozy, but their feline instincts don’t know the difference. Without an outlet for excess energy, indoor cats can wreak havoc on furniture and belongings, get into potentially hazardous substances, and soil the home.

Your team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to help you provide your cat with the physical and mental enrichment they deserve (and save your couch in the process). Join us as we share our picks for 2018’s top 10 cat toys designed with active cats in mind!


What New Studies on Pets Reveal About Our Furry Friends

pet studiesHalf of all American households include pets. Considering companion animals have been part of our lives since the hunter-gatherer days, it makes sense that we would devote considerable time and resources to studying them.

Indeed, scientists are constantly looking for new ways to learn about our four-legged friends, and pet owners are just as eager to find out what makes their pets tick! By taking a look at  some of the new studies on pets, we can gain considerable insights into our furry best pals.


An Age-Old Mystery: Why do Cats Sleep so Much?

cats sleepWhere is your cat right now? If you’re reading this on your tablet or laptop, there’s a good chance he or she is attempting to schedule an unplanned snuggle – right on top of the screen. If Fluffy is absent, he or she is likely either dreaming or waking up from the 9th cat nap of the day. Cats are definitely lounge lovers, but there’s more to this indulgence than meets the eye. Cats sleep an average of 16-20 hours every day, but why?

Sleep Patterns

While many cats are active at night (especially kittens), their species is actually classified as crepuscular, meaning they “come alive” at dawn and dusk. This is explained by the fact that other natural predators are usually hunting in the deep night or daytime hours.


The Good Samaritan’s Guide: How to Help Feral Cats

17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously described life outside society as “nasty, brutish, and short”. The same can be said for the lives of feral cats (also called “community cats”). Feral cats generally eat from trash bins and must deal with temperature extremes, traffic, mistreatment from humans and other cats, infections, disease, flea infestations, and more.

Anyone who lives near a population of community cats knows how quickly their numbers can grow, and how susceptible the individuals are to disease and injury. Knowing how to help feral cats is key in reducing their numbers and keeping the population healthy.

Life on the Fringe

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a feral cat is defined as “any cat who is too poorly socialized to be handled…and who cannot be placed into a typical pet home”. Unlike a stray cat, who has become lost or been abandoned by the owners, feral cats are not used to contact with people and are generally too fearful or aggressive to be handled or adopted.

The Wonderful World of Hairballs! Your Questions Answered

It’s a rare cat owner who gets away without cleaning up a hairball or two (or many, many more). Most feline fanciers are more than familiar with the telltale low hacking sound that accompanies a soggy, hairy, unidentifiable mess on their couch, bed, or new cashmere sweater.

Have you ever wondered why cats produce hairballs? Is it normal? Is it healthy? Can anything be done to stop–or at least reduce–the amount of hairballs produced? Look no further; your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services have everything you’ve ever wanted to know about hairballs right here!


Special Delivery: Why Cats Like Boxes

cat in the postal boxCats know there’s nothing as fascinating as a plain old cardboard box. Almost any cat owner who has ever left an empty box lying around for more than a few minutes can attest to this feline behavior. In fact, even non cat owners are familiar with the image of a cat squeezed into a too-small cardboard box. But it begs the question: Just why do cats like boxes so much anyway?

Cat In The Box

Cats in the wild are solitary predators who are curious, secretive, and spend hours sleeping and hiding. It makes sense, then, that a box could fulfill a variety of needs for a cat, including: Continue…

Born Free: Making Life Safer For Outdoor Cats

Cat climbing tree“My cat is bored.”

“Cats are born to hunt.”

“My cat can’t get enough exercise inside the home.”

“My cat is destructive indoors.”

These are just a few of the reasons typically given by owners who allow their cats to roam freely outside.

Most cat owners have good intentions when they make the decision to let their cat have free run of the great outdoors, but we want to make you aware of the risks associated with an outdoor cat and this practice and how to avoid some of them. Continue…

Heart Disease in Cats: What Every Feline Fanatic Should Know

OVRS_iStock_000003578356_LargeHeart problems are serious business, no matter what your species. And cats are no exception. Unfortunately, heart disease in cats can be very difficult to detect. That’s where your family veterinarian may recommend a consultation with one of the veterinary cardiologists at OVRS to help in diagnosing, treating and managing your cat’s heart condition. Learn what every cat owner should know about their feline friend’s cardiovascular health. Continue…

Cat Conflict? Consider Our Clinical Trial

Cats in a struggleThis spring, OVRS’ veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Theresa DePorter, DVM, MRCVS, DECAWBM, DACVB, will be spearheading a clinical trial of a new pheromone aimed at alleviating aggression and tension between cats in a multi-cat household.

If your cats are prone to fighting amongst themselves this clinical trial may be an exciting opportunity for you and your cats. If you are interested in participating in the study, here are the qualifications and requirements for your consideration.

Are Your Cats Fighting?

Feline housemates don’t always get along. Aggression may include fighting but often occurs as passive blocking and staring. Feline victims may hide, flee or even scream when attacked. Thankfully, there is new hope for peace and harmony among your feline friends. Continue…