It can be stressful to get a cat to the vet -- Dr. Geri Katz knows that. Between coaxing a cat into a carrier and being sniffed at by big strange dogs or other animals in the waiting room, the trip can cause major anxiety on a feline and its owner.
That is one of the reasons why Katz decided to open AristoKatz -- a cats-only veterinary clinic nestled on Kings Highway East, which opened in April.
“I wanted to create a more home, welcoming atmosphere for cats and their owners.”
Katz, a Trumbull resident, has been working with animals for a long time. After graduating from the School of Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, Katz was an associate at several hospitals until two years ago, when she began began her own home practice, making house calls for both dogs and cats.
AristoKatz is a “larger scale extension” of that practice, Katz said. While she will still make house calls for dogs, the Fairfield clinic is strictly feline friendly.
Katz likes dogs and enjoys working with them, but caring and treating cats requires “a little more intuition.”
“They’re very quite, more subtle,” Katz said. “They don’t show pain at all.”
A cat’s stoicism can be misleading for owners, and Dr. Katz hopes that she can highlight preventative care for felines to her clients.
“Cats need preventative care too,” she said. “They don’t really [show pain] until it’s too late.”
For example, a cat may stop eating when its feeling sick, but it can be hard to tell it’s losing weight until the problem has persisted for a while. Cats tend to be intolerant of dry food, too -- as Katz explained, felines aren’t meant to be grain or carb eaters and some may vomit regularly after eating.
“My experience is that vets tell people that cats just vomit, that’s what they do,” Katz said. “I don’t feel that way -- that’s my big thing. I try to educate people on how to feed their cats. A lot of time just modifying their diet really helps.”
Besides educating clients, Katz offers a wide range of veterinary services at the clinic (a full list of is available on the AristoKatz website):
- Head-to-toe exams for kittens, cats, and senior cats;
- Vaccines (“always as appropriate,” Katz added);
- Lab work;
- Dental cleanings;
- Procedures like extractions;
- X-rays and dental X-rays;
- Exploratory surgeries;
- Spays and neuters;
- Allergy testing;
- Management of chronic diseases and diagnoses
Katz does not perform orthopedic surgery, but she will refer a client to board-certified veterinarians she knows who are skilled in that area.
AristoKatz will hold an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, but Katz encourages any cat owners with concerns or who aren’t sure whether to bring their pets in to “just call.”
“My motivation is to give cats happy lives however I can assist,” Katz said. “They do suffer in silence, but that doesn’t mean they’re OK.”
[Editor’s Note: AristoKatz is located at 636 Kings Highway East, though the entrance and parking lot are on Berwick Avenue. You can contact the staff at AristoKatz by phone (203-690-1099) or look for more information on the veterinary facility’s website.
AristoKatz is open Monday – Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., open every other Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., and closed on Friday and Sunday. House calls can be made by appointment.]