The Year of the Cat at the Westgate Pet Clinic

The unfortunate truth in America is that cats are considered second class citizens to dogs. Shelter statistics help us paint a story about the welfare of cats. Cats are relinquished to shelters at a rate of about 2:1 compared to dogs.

Only 1% of cats are reclaimed from shelters compared to a whopping 50% of dogs, and 2/3 of all cats that enter shelters get euthanized. (ASPCA statistics)

In addition, owned cats don't receive the same level of health care as their canine counterparts. Although there are 10 million more cats in the United States then dogs, cats visit the vet about ½ as often as dogs. (AVMA 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook).

Cats are wonderful companions that deserve the same respect and healthcare as their canine counterparts.

At Westgate Pet Clinic, we are cat advocates and we're taking this year to shine a spotlight on the problems the feline species faces.

Feline Overpopulation:

Cats are expert breeders. A female cat can begin reproducing as early as 4 months of age. Cats are seasonal breeders, and during breeding season, they will come into heat every 2-3 weeks until they become pregnant. Because of this, cats can triple their own population within a year's time.

Westgate Pet Clinic has partnered with The Minnesota Spay Neuter Project to offer discounted spay/neuter services to income qualified families. Our veterinarians volunteered their time to allow us to reduce our costs. Our first spay/neuter day was held on Sunday, March 21st, and was a huge success. We look forward to continuing this program throughout the year.

Westgate was also a proud sponsor of the Minnesota Conference Forum on Feline Overpopulation held in St. Cloud, MN on May 19th, 2010. This conference was a convergence of veterinarians and shelter professionals to discuss cat overpopulation.

Education:

Understanding cat's unique behavior and how to interact with and provide for them is an important part of helping reduce behavioral problems that may negatively impact your relationship with your cat.

We offer Kitten Kindergarten for kittens' ages 8-12 weeks. This important socialization class teaches owners basic cat behavior, how to properly play with their cats, and how to avoid behavioral problems in the future. THIS CLASS IS BEING OFFERED FOR FREE this entire year. If your cat is not a kitten, but you'd be interested in attending, you can come without your cat and still learn this valuable information.

Once a month from fall to spring, Westgate Pet Clinic hosts a FREE Evening with the Veterinarian client education seminar on a variety of pet health topics. We've already presented information on important feline topics such as Urinating Outside of the Litter box, Feline Hyperthyroidism, and Kidney Disease. These power point presentations are archived on our website for you to view. Our next cat related seminar will be "Dogs are from Mars, Cats are from Venus" presented by Dr. Heather Norton Bower on Tuesday, September 21st. This seminar gives the opportunity to learn more about cat behavior and what we can do to provide the most stimulating environment for our indoor cats. Contact our receptionist to reserve your spot at this informative seminar.

Focus on the cat at Westgate Pet Clinic:

We want cats and their people to feel comfortable when coming to the doctor's office. Because of that, we've improved how we approach our feline patients. We put towels on the exam room table, spread out treats and toys in the room, and use special diffusers with feline pheromone in them to help relax cats during the visit.

Our latest change, we call the Quiet Cat Appointment. These special appointments are for cats that don't like dogs, other cats or are nervous about their veterinary visits. Between the hours of 10 to 3 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, clients can now schedule an appointment with their regular veterinarian to meet them in the lower level of our building. On the day of the appointment, clients should go directly to the lower level waiting-area, there is no need to check-in at the main level front desk. A staff member will greet you and you will be able to checkout also at the lower level. When making the appointment you must specifically request a quiet cat appointment, since we can only accommodate one special visit every 20 minutes.

At Westgate Pet Clinic, we love our feline patients and are striving to cater to their individual needs. Please contact a Westgate staff member if you have any questions about our cat services.