Creature comforts expanded for cats
Monroe Street small animal clinic is taking the stress out of vet visits for cats with a cats-only annex located in the former Mallatt’s Pharmacy storefront.
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Even the staunchest cat advocates will admit that felines are a little more, er, particular, than dogs about how they like to do things. So a visit to the vet can often be a stress-inducing experience for a cat that’s not used to frequently leaving the house, let alone traveling in a car while confined to a small carrier or encountering strange, curious beasts that slobber and bark.
It was this knowledge that encouraged the owners of Lakeview Veterinary Clinic, 3518 Monroe St. in Madison, to open a cat-exclusive annex to their practice on May 21 to better serve their most persnickety patients.
“Most cats do not like change — something simple like rearranging furniture can cause stress,” says Dr. Tom Bach, veterinarian and clinic co-owner. “When we force them into a little carrier and then make them ride in a car, this is not a good start to the day for most cats. In an effort to help them feel more calm and comfortable when they reach our clinic, we created a space that caters to their needs and quells those anxieties.”
The new Cat Annex features cat trees to climb and places to perch and play in, as well as private exam rooms complete with cat beds, cat trees, and cat calming scent dispensers.
The new clinic space is located right next door at 3506 Monroe St. in the storefront that was home to Mallatt’s Pharmacy for nearly a century.
The opportunity to develop the new clinic came at the perfect time for the Lakeview team. Lakeview Veterinary Clinic has served small animals and their people since 2006. With six veterinarians on staff, the team cares for thousands of animals annually and prides itself on being a neighborhood practice.
“We had outgrown the space in our building but loved our location,” says Dr. Pam Mache, veterinarian and clinic co-owner. “By creating the Cat Annex, we can now offer more appointment time to dogs in our current practice while simultaneously providing this preferred option for cats in the new facility.”
The availability of the former Mallatt’s commercial space also proved fortuitous, notes Bach. When the space opened up, Lakeview staff began thinking about how they could use it to expand. The Cat Annex was the idea that made the most sense.
Some of the anxieties cats experience when they visit the veterinary office stem from going to a place that includes dogs as patients in the same space.
“To ensure a safe and non-stressful experience for our cat patients, dogs are not allowed in the Cat Annex,” says Bach. “Some cats are extremely anxious around dogs. In the past, we would usher the cat out our back door when dogs were in the reception area.”
Bach says the response from cat owners so far has been great. “The clinic is quiet and less stressful for everyone involved,” he notes.
Puppies, adult dogs, and any cats still interested will continue to be cared for by Bach and his associates at their original, adjacent location.