Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
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Environmental Enrichment and Your Feline Friend!

Cats are a very popular pet and are increasingly kept indoors as more of our population lives in busy cities. By keeping your cat indoors, you can substantially increase its lifespan. Risks of catfights, toxicities, vehicles, and predators can significantly reduce when cats remain indoors. On the other hand, keeping a cat indoors does substantially decrease the amount of stimulation they receive, and owners often cite boredom as a reason to allow their cats outdoors. In the wild, a cat would spend a significant portion of their day hunting and foraging for food, observing their environment and keeping safe from predators. Our coddled indoor pets do not have these challenges but do need options to fill their day besides sleeping and eating their easily accessible food.

We see many problems associated with cats that have too much time on their hands. Obesity, which can lead to diabetes and arthritis, is very common. Aggressive or OCD behaviours can also occur as an outlet for all that pent-up energy. Stress-related diseases such as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis can be triggered by boredom which is a stressor in cats. All of these conditions can be prevented or managed, at least in part, by adding some simple additions to our households that encourage our cats to interact with their environment.

Start by giving your cat opportunities to work for their meals. You can make or buy food puzzles and balls to make meal times last longer. These can be as simple as stacked toilet paper rolls in a box with kibbles hidden inside that the cat has to fish out. Hiding part of your cat’s rations around the house will also keep them busy foraging throughout the day – this can be started slowly by letting your cat see you `hide` a favourite treat. As they become accustomed to the routine, they will know to look around for hidden goodies. It is important to ensure the treats or food you hide are a part of the total calories your cat receives in a day, so extra treats do not sneak up on their waistline.

Vertical Spaces: Everyone knows how cats love to get up high, but our homes tend to have limited opportunities to fulfill this behaviour. Adding shelves with carpeted traction significantly increases the available space within your home for your feline friends and give them that safe, high place they crave. This is especially important in multi-cat households where the floor space may be limited and negative interactions can occur if the cats feel too crowded. Your vertical setup can be quite simple but be warned that your cats wall mounted creations can get quite extravagant as you realize how much they enjoy getting around without touching the floor. Various options can be bought or easily custom made to fit your decor and avoid the `crazy cat person` status.

Take the time to figure out what makes your cat excited to play. Most will have a preference for either mouse or bird-like prey. Some may enjoy a rousing game of chase the string, while others enjoy a ball. Many cats are happy to play as long as the owner plays with them, so a game of fetch is not uncommon. Laser pointers can also be quite an entertaining option for both you and the cat. There are apps available now that have different skittering creatures across a tablet. Having multiple toy options is important as cats, like us, become bored with the same old thing day and day out. Changing the toys out will keep them fresh and exciting.

Contrary to popular belief, cats can be trained to perform tricks. They just require the right motivation. Positive reinforcement (often with treats) will get most cats interested in figuring out what you want and get them willing to give it a try. There are multiple websites and youtube channels devoted to this topic with clicker training being quite popular and effective. It is not just the rovers of the world who can wow your house guests with their tricks.

Window Perches: Cats love to look outside and see what is happening. A comfy perch by a window allows your buddy to soak up some sun rays and people watch.

Safe outdoor spaces: More people are creating “catios” which allow cat`s access to the outdoors without free reign over the neighbourhood. This can be as simple as a small enclosure outside a window or as elaborate as an enclosed deck or balcony. Placing bird feeders nearby will give your cat something extra to watch.

These are only a few ways in which you can make your indoor space more exciting and stimulating for your feline friend. We would encourage you to incorporate a couple of ideas to start and add from there. It will be fun for both of you and make your cat a happier and better housemate.

Written By: Dr. Laura Davenport

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Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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Last updated: May 29, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day then we were pre-COVID.

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. OPERATING HOURS

During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!

Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet’s much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business.

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

We are continuing to expand our hours to better serve our clients and social distance our team with 1 vet and 1 tech here until 11:00 pm, 7 days a week.


Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital