AXIS Pharmacy Northwest is proud to announce Dr. Kathryn Mattick of Cats Exclusive in Shoreline, Washington as its September 2020 “Vet of the Month.” Dr. Mattick graduated from the Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in 2004 and joined Cats Exclusive in 2011. In addition to working with cats, Dr. Mattick also has experience in animal shelter medicine.
In this interview, Dr. Mattick shares a bit about what makes Cats Exclusive special, the “true” way into a kitten’s heart as well as the odd object that she found in the back of a feline’s throat!
Tell us a little bit about Cats Exclusive.
Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center has been open since 1981. Our practice focuses on the unique needs of cats. We have 6 veterinarians who adore cats and are in tune with providing the best care for their medical and behavioral issues. We also have a retail store just for cats that has everything they require and more. For clients who need someone to look after their cats while out of town, we have a separate boarding facility with large townhouses for their comfort and we give them lots of TLC.
What makes your veterinary clinic special/unique?
We are a Gold Standard Cat-Friendly Practice, and we strive to provide cats with their preferred quiet environment and gentle, safe handling. This means most exams are performed with the cat’s utmost comfort in mind. Most of my patients are examined sitting next to me on the bench in the exam room resting on a towel spritzed with Feliway, a pheromone to help alleviate stress. Treats are also a big help with gaining a cat’s trust; most kittens agree that aerosol cheese with bacon is the way to their hearts!
Client education is also something we pride ourselves on. Our staff has been trained on many behavioral, nutritional and medical topics to help answer questions from the common to the uncommon. Our veterinarians take the time to explain options of care and testing that is tailored to an individual patient’s and family’s need.
When was the moment you decided that you wanted to be a veterinarian?
When I was in 3rd grade, I would perform exams on our family dog with the assistance of my brother and used one of my Dad’s legal pads to record my exam findings. I think I use fewer hearts now in my medical records and my spelling has improved! After college I adopted my first cat from a shelter; it was love at first sight and I have been a cat fan ever since. My first career was in the business world, but I always felt like something was missing, so returned to school and became a veterinarian 16 years ago.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a veterinarian, thus far?
It’s hard to pick one moment. But I recall a cat who came to see me with mouth pain, she was unable to eat. I discovered a sewing needle stuck in the back of her throat and removed it. It was an instant reward and she started eating right after.
For you, what is the most challenging aspect of being a veterinarian?
The most difficult aspect is discussing end-of-life with clients. Especially during the pandemic, pets are even more important to our health and well-being. Too many people feel isolated and alone right now. I try to ensure pet owners have resources for grieving before and after their loss, and we have a compassionate staff member check in on clients we think might need extra care.
In what ways has veterinary medicine changed over the last 5-10 years?
Clients are more educated now and can easily access information online. They expect a higher level of care and knowledge for their cats, and we rely more on advanced diagnostics to meet their needs.
What is your most radical prediction for the future of veterinary medicine?
Some medical care can be provided through telemedicine instead of in-clinic visits. Although we started this format during the beginning of the pandemic, the convenience for the client and patient makes me think it will continue in the future.
What is something that consistently surprises pet owners about cats?
Cats meow to communicate with humans. They adapt their vocal range to get the required response from us. So that extra urgent meow that results in dinner being served shows they have trained us well!
Which charities or organizations are you most passionate about?
Cornell Feline Health Center, Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, cat shelters — adoption is the way to go!
Outside of veterinary medicine, what are your hobbies/interests?
I had knee surgery this summer and just bought a new road bike to help with my PT-approved activity. I also have a Vespa that I like to ride. Although the summer is winding down, my garden is still quite needy. Anyone need a zucchini?!
Congratulations again to Dr. Mattick on being selected as our “Vet of the Month”. We thank you for all that you and your team at Cats Exclusive do for our feline community wish you all the very best!
Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center
19203 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
Phone: 206-546-2287 (CATS)
Do you have a stellar vet that you’d like to nominate for our “Vet of the Month”?
If so, we’d love to hear from you! Email Dave Doane at firstname.lastname@example.org with your nomination and share a bit about why you think they are a deserving candidate. Who knows? They could be next month’s recipient!
— Sponsored by AXIS Pharmacy Northwest