All Posts By


Why Your Cat Needs to Knead

By Uncategorized

Why Your Cat Needs to Knead

If you’re a cat lover, you’ve no doubt noticed your cat meticulously kneading the surface beneath her, whether it’s your bed, blanket, or lap. This adorable feline behavior is also known as “making biscuits,” and her eyes may glaze over in an expression of pure contentment while she’s doing it! 

At Eastside Veterinary Associates, we love helping your feline companions live their best, healthiest, lives. If you’re wondering what all the kneading is about, we’ve got some insights to help you understand this delightfully quirky cat behavior.

What’s All the Kneading About?

False claws for cats. The cat lies on the bed with bright false claws

From companion pets to pumas, kneading is an instinctive behavior seen in virtually every cat species. A definitive answer as to why they knead isn’t confirmed, but plenty of theories abound, including: 

  • It’s leftover behavior from nursing: Kittens knead their mother’s tummies to stimulate milk production, so when your cat displays this behavior, she’s likely recalling fond memories of bonding with her mother. 
  • She’s putting her pleasure on full display: Your cat may knead your lap to show her deep affection for you—drawing parallels between you as her primary caregiver and the birth mother who nursed her.
  • She’s marking her turf: Cats often communicate through scent, and her little paws are releasing her own personal scent markers as she kneads, sending a signal to other pets that your lap is hers!
  • She’s making a comfy bed: If you’ve ever wondered, “Why does my cat knead blankets?,” one explanation is that your cat’s wild ancestors had to knead tall weeds and grasses to make a spot for snoozing, and this behavior may have carried over into domesticated cats.
  • She’s caring for her claws: As your cat’s claws grow, she needs to shed the outer layers, and the process of repeatedly kneading may facilitate this.  

Accommodating Excessive Kneading in Cats

Kneading is natural, and positively adorable, but sometimes it comes with collateral damage in the form of torn blankets, furniture, and your clothes. Scolding is never the answer, but here are a few pointers to help make all that biscuit making more manageable:

  • Keep your cat’s nails trimmed or capped (ask us for a demonstration!).
  • Create a designated, thick blanket that she’s allowed to knead to her heart’s content. Spray it with a pheromone-based product to make it especially attractive to her.
  • If she starts to knead your legs or the sofa, redirect her attention with treats or a toy, and then offer her the opportunity to knead her designated blanket.
  • Keep her entertained with plenty of indoor enrichment so she’s ready to settle in sooner at naptime.

We’re Here for All Your Cat Needs

Keep your cat healthy and happy so she can make biscuits well into her golden years! Schedule a comprehensive wellness exam, and let us know if we can answer any other questions you have about your feline’s fascinating behavior.

veterinarian cleaning dogs teeth

3 Facts About Pet Dental Care Every Pet Owner Should Know

By Uncategorized

Pet’s teeth and gums need just as much love and attention as our’s do, but oral health is an often overlooked facet of dog or cat ownership. Dog and cat dental care is an essential element of overall pet wellness, however, and your friends at Eastside Veterinary Associates want to make it easier than ever to give it to them. Here are some facts about the importance of pet dental care so you can be sure you can keep their teeth and gums in top shape:


  1. Dental Disease Is More Common than You Think

Most cats and dogs will have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3, which means you have to start thinking about caring for teeth and gums early in their lives. Dental disease can manifest in many different ways, including:

  • Visible yellow or brown buildup on the teeth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Changes in eating or chewing habits
  • Pawing at the face
  • Loose teeth
  • Depression


If you notice any of the above in your dog or cat, you should schedule a dental appointment with your veterinarian. 

  1. Anesthesia Is Essential for Proper Dental Cleanings

Cat and dog teeth cleaning without anesthesia can be dangerous and not effective. Veterinarians use anesthesia when cleaning your pet’s teeth to ensure that your pets do not feel undue stress during the procedure. Anesthesia also allows them to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums, which will help prevent future issues with tartar and periodontal disease.


  1. Pet Dental Care Is a Team Effort

Although professional dental cleanings are hugely important, they alone are not enough to completely ward off all forms of periodontal disease. If you want to give your pets the best defense against infections in the mouth, you have to do your part at home, too. Talk to your veterinarian about the best kind of home toothpaste and brush to use for your cats and dogs to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Eastside Veterinary Associates are here to help you get the pet dental care your pet needs. From routine cleanings to surgery, our dedicated team will always do our best for your pets. We are proud to partner up with you for your pet’s health.

cat holding up paw

Frito Feet: Why Do My Pet’s Paws Smell Like Corn Chips?

By Uncategorized

Have you ever caught a whiff of corn chips when you are close to your dog’s paws? If so, you might wonder if you are imagining things. Chances are, you’re not! If you’ve ever noticed your pup’s feet are smelling like fritos, you’re not alone. This occurrence can be quite common, and is nothing to be concerned about.  

Dogs produce a variety of smells—some good, some bad, and some that remind you of corn chips! The team at Eastside Veterinary Associates is here to explain the phenomenon of frito feet, and why your dog’s paws may smell like corn chips. 

Funky and Frequent: Bacteria on the Feet 

Generally, the interesting smells that come from your dog’s feet should be nothing to worry about. The smells happen because a variety of bacteria and fungi come into contact with your pet’s paws on a daily basis. This is normal, because your pet’s feet touch all the microbes and various substances they encounter on the ground. The bacteria and fungi that remain on your pet’s paws and skin are responsible for the variety of smells that might tickle your nose. To make matters even more funky, dogs who lick their paws often can add even more bacteria to the equation. 

The bacteria responsible for the yeasty, popcorn, or frito smells are known as Proteus or Pseudomonas. The odor can also come from the build up of sweat between your dog’s paw pads, toes, and fur. Things can get extra smelly when the balance between good and bad bacteria is off, or when other problems are thrown into the mix.

dog with frito feet

dog with frito feet

No Longer Corn Chips 

If the smell becomes overwhelming, hard to ignore, or takes a turn for the worse, it could indicate a bigger issue. Contact your veterinarian if your pet’s paws display any of the following issues: 

  • Odor, redness, or scaling 
  • A cut or abrasion that produces odor or puss  
  • An object lodged between the paw pad and the foot or toes
  • Inflammation on the feet or paw pad
  • Toenail infections 

The above can be symptoms of bacteria or fungi overgrowth, an infection, skin dryness, or more. Have your veterinarian team look at your pet’s paws to determine the cause of the odors,  and to come up with a treatment plan so your pet can get back to having happy feet. 

Keep Em’ Clean 

The best way to avoid funky feet odors on your pet is to maintain a regular hygiene routine. Wash your pet’s paws after hikes or long outdoor walks through various terrain, and inspect them frequently for bug bites, cuts, or irritation. Pamper your pooch with cooling paw wipes or balm to keep them clean and moisturized after outdoor time. You can also consider investing in some dog booties to help protect your pet’s paws from the elements and outdoor bacteria.

Pay attention to your pet’s licking habits, and check out their paws if they seem to be licking or chewing them more than normal. 

If you have any concerns about your pet’s paws or overall wellness, the team at Eastside Veterinary Associates can help! Give us a call at our Kirkland location at (425) 822-7788 or our Newcastle / Renton location at (425) 276-4100 to speak with our friendly and helpful team.