Experiencing a Feline Friendly Clinic

Whether it’s an awed five year old along for his cat’s routine veterinary visit, a determined pre-vet student looking for experience to put on his vet school application, or a seasoned veterinarian visiting to get more insight on how to make her own clinic more feline-friendly, I love having inquisitive, eager minds at Cat Care Clinic for visits.  We have a good relation with the UW-School of Veterinary Medicine and have several students each year spend 1-2 weeks with us for an externship prior to graduation.  This is a voluntary selection for them, but more and more students are learning about the difference of a feline-friendly hospital and want to experience it.

Recently, a lovely veterinarian-to-be spent a week with us.  We were all impressed with her professionalism and knowledge.  The week flew by and despite the busy few weeks she had remaining before graduating with her doctor of veterinary medicine degree, she found time to write the kind and insightful words below:


As a 4th year veterinary student, I’ve had the unique opportunity to visit many animal hospitals in the Madison area (and around the country). While rotating through clinics, students have the chance to see the clinic from many angles including everything from how veterinarians interact with clients and pets, to how technicians and veterinarians interact with one another, to how boarded pets are treated.

While spending time shadowing at the Cat Care Clinic, it was immediately obvious that this clinic was different from any other I’ve visited. Obviously, the Cat Care Clinic is unique in its no-dogs policy; but they also incorporate many other tricks to decrease the stress of a visit to the vet for their feline patients.

Because so many feline diseases (bladder inflammation, fatty liver) are linked with, and often caused by stress, it is important to minimize this as best as possible. Cat Care Clinic methods include a calming environment with Feli-way diffusers (a feline hormone that decreases cats’ stress levels), plenty of treats and toys, a large examination room, and most importantly well-trained staff who utilize handling techniques that markedly affect the way a cat responds to a new and unfamiliar situation. The Cat Care Clinic doctors and staff understand cat behavior, and rather than physically overpowering a cat to ‘just get it done,’ they take the time to read each patient and individualize their approach. The results are cats who act like cats at the vet! Something that sounds simple, but is so rarely seen. Lastly, because patients are comfortable at the clinic, the veterinarians are able to perform thorough examinations- which often include an accurate blood pressure reading, ophthalmic exam and abdominal palpation. So often in other clinics, a complete exam is foregone because the cat has reached its limit and is no longer approachable.

For health questions not resolved with a physical exam, Cat Care Clinic has a multitude of modern resources (digital dental x-rays, ultrasound, in-house lab work), and again- a well-trained support staff, so that even evasive medical problems can be worked through.


Comments like these from professionals in the field mean the world to us, just as much as those left from happy clients. We hope your cat (and you!) can enjoy a feline-friendly, low stress visit to the vet as well, whether it is at Cat Care Clinic or another feline-friendly practice.

>^‥^<   Dr.Kat


  1. Susan Shepanek - 2016-01-22 at 9:12 PM - Reply

    Just reading this, many months since posted….Expressing here my appreciation for the Cat Care Clinic, who this 4 year vet student eloquently describes, do really devote and commit to understanding cats so that they are beheld and regarded as the magnificent beings that they are. They helped us with my 2 cats who weren’t getting along. Thank you, CC Clinic. I did not realize that physical exams potentially often are cut short, sadly, which doesn’t serve the cat, nor the vet and staff’s ability to do their job, which must be frustrating for them, too. The Feliway diffusers are an awesome improvement; clinics please take note!. Myself, I commit to making visits to the vet more bearable for my cats by giving them either Bach Flower Rescue Remedy flower essence, or Apawthecary Tranquility herbal blend, about 30 minutes before, and it does help, vs. not doing it at all. Put a blanket inside the carrier, and one over the top of it with a little peekhole, are other ways to help your cat adjust better to their experience of leaving the comfort of home, and travel in the car. In the lobby, place the carrier up on a chair, not on the floor, where dog scents and people’s footsteps coming and going is just too much to have to be vigilant about from your cat’s perspective; they feel safer from a higher vantage location point. A little understanding, and compassion, is what we cat stewards can do, and be a curious and open mind for ever-learning more. For the Cats, cheers!

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