Category Archives: Cats

Look What Desiree Found!

Desiree has been a veterinary technician assistant with Bernville Veterinary Clinic since 2002. She graduated from Penn State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. Last week, while on her nightly walk with her right-hand hound, Dobbie, Desiree happened across this beautiful 6-month-old kitten, who walked right up to them and started purring away. Scarlett, as Desiree named the kitten, was examined and vaccinated by Dr. Pickett. Everyone is charmed by her extra toes, her playfulness and her lovable nature. Today, Scarlett will be spayed, fully vaccinated, dewormed and ready for her forever home.


Fritz and Squirt came to Bernville by a few good samaritans who found them while hiking. They were very weak and sick when they came to us. Two weeks later we are happy to report that they are bouncy, happy and growing like weeds. These two handsome fellas are looking for their furever homes, they need a loving home with great people because they are partially blind from being so sick. Please call us at 610-488-0166 if you are interested in adopting these beautiful babies.  

Dogs & Cats must be vaccinated for rabies as required by Pennsylvania law

Vaccinations are a critical part of preventive care for your pet. Vaccines protect our pets from many diseases including rabies, distemper and Lyme disease (May is Lyme disease awareness month and we’ll have a full story about it tomorrow). Each dog and cat is different, so our veterinarians develop custom vaccinations plans for each pet. Our veterinarians will determine which vaccinations your pet needs and how often they will be administered. For more information about our vaccines, go to or call to schedule an appointment 610.488.0166


Did you know…
  • Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (compared to human’s 6 muscles each). A cat can rotate its ears independently 180 degrees, and can turn in the direction of sound 10 times faster than those of the best watchdog.
  • Cats’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans and dogs. Cats’ hearing stops at 65 khz (kilohertz); humans’ hearing stops at 20 khz.

Question: Which US President Had the Most Pets?

It’s Primary Election Day! We were wondering which politician was the most pet-friendly and that led to trying to guess which President had the most pets. This is what we discovered: Answer: Although we can’t say with absolute certainty, it seems like the correct answer is Calvin Coolidge (President from 1923-1929). Below are a list of his 26 documented pets (he may have had more!) 1. Rob Roy – White Collies 2. Prudence Prim – White Collies 3. Peter Pan – Terrier 4. Paul Pry – Airedale Terrier 5. Calamity Jane – Shetland Sheepdog 6. Tiny Tim 7. Blackberry – Chow Chows 8. Ruby Rouch – Collie 9. Boston Beans – Bulldog 10. King Cole – German shepherd 11. Palo Alto – Bird dog 12. Bessie – Collie 13. Rebecca – Raccoon 14. Horace – Raccoon 15. Ebeneezer – Donkey 16. Nip – Canary 17. Tuck – Canary 18. Enoch – Goose 19. Smoky – Bobcat 20. Tiger – Cat 21. Tax Reduction – Lion Cub 22. Budget Bureau – Lion Cub 23. Billy – Pygmy Hippo 24. A Wallaby 25. A Duiker (a very small antelope) 26. A Black Bear

Ask the Vet’s Pets: Which plants in my garden are toxic for my cat?

Dear Christopher Cat: We live in the country, and our cats enjoy venturing outdoors on nice days. As I plan my garden, how can I avoid plants that are toxic to cats? Christopher Responds: Many plants are toxic to pets, including chrysanthemums, clematis, coleus, daffodils, geranium, hibiscus, hosta, hyacinths, most ivies and lilies, peony, sweet William, tulips and vinca. You ask about pet-safe plants, but you also should ensure the safety of other elements of your garden. For example, cocoa mulch is toxic if ingested, because it contains theobromine and caffeine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate and seizures. Use a mulch of hardwood or pine instead. Insecticides and herbicides can pose problems too. Research on phenoxy-type herbicides shows they increase the incidence of cancer. Non-phenoxy herbicides, such as Roundup, do not increase cancer risk. Don’t use slug bait that contains metaldehyde, which can be fatal to pets and wildlife. Check the Internet or your cooperative extension service for safe alternatives. For a comprehensive list and photos of pet-safe garden plants, visit the Animal Poison Control Center. Finally, don’t forget to plant catnip, cat thyme and cat grass for your kitties.  

How to Manage Your Cat’s Claws

Your cat’s claws are her favorite tools, useful in climbing, grooming, hunting, self-defense and playing. Your job is to help keep her claws in good shape, by trimming them periodically and providing opportunities for your cat to sharpen them on sturdy, immovable scratching posts. Let’s start with trimming your cat’s claws, using a human toenail trimmer or a cat claw trimmer. Choose a time when you and your cat are relaxed. Wrap your left arm around your cat and hold her front paw in your left hand, so you can clip with your right hand.* Place your left thumb on top of your cat’s toe and your forefinger beneath it. Gently squeeze to expose the claw. When you look at the claw from the side, you’ll see the pink “quick” inside – and the curved hook that forms the end of the claw. With the trimmer in your right hand, cut off the claw’s hook. Avoid the quick to prevent discomfort. Pet and praise your cat as you trim each claw. If you prefer to trim claws only occasionally, fit your cat with plastic claw caps like Soft Paws. To use them, trim your cat’s claws, apply a bit of the supplied glue to the inside of each cap and slide the cap onto the claw. Cuddle your cat for several minutes while the glue dries. As the claws grow over the next four to six weeks, the nail caps will drop off and you’ll need to repeat the process. It’s also important to offer your cat scratching posts, because scratching is a normal cat behavior. The posts should be at least three feet high, so your cat can stretch while she scratches. It’s best to situate some posts vertically and others horizontally. The scratching posts must be stable, because cats don’t like posts that totter. Entice your cat to use each post by rubbing catnip on the surface and flicking a feather toy against it. *If you are left-handed, reverse these directions: Hold your cat with your right arm and clip with your left hand.

Survivor story: Nittany!

Nittany first came into our clinic feeling a little under the weather. By the next day he was in critical condition and needed hospitalization. We diagnosed him with diabetes among other ailments, and for the next few days we hoped for the best but expected the worst. He wasn’t eating and had very little energy. Together with his wonderful parents we were able to nurse him back to health and get him home. He still comes in for regular visits to make sure he is doing well. We are all very happy that he is back home with his family where he is happiest.

Meet our cute clinic cats, Tux, Oreo and Puss Cat

The clinic cats, Tux (right), Oreo (left), and Puss Cat (not pictured) have all come to us in different ways. We have had many clinic cats over the years but they are our most interesting trio. They mostly enjoy lounging around and soaking up all of the attention they can. Tux on the other hand, spends his days visiting clients and their pets. You might see us chasing him throughout the clinic and removing him from your exam room on our busier days.