For three decades, owners of felines in Germantown have enjoyed a health care facility dedicated exclusively to their purring friends, as A Cat Clinic celebrates 30 years in business in Germantown.
To celebrate three decades of caring for Germantown’s cat population, the clinic will host an open house on Saturday, June, 11 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, including face painting, gift bags, and seminars about cat health at the clinic at 14200 Clopper Road in Boyds.
The clinic came to be when founder Dr. Dale Rubenstein discovered her love of animals — cats in particular and left a feline practice in Northern Virginia to start her own business in Germantown.
Rubenstein, who grew up around various types of animals, found a special interest in cats and stuck to that, becoming one of the first veterinarians to specialize exclusively in cats.
“Back then feline practice wasn’t very common and a fairly new concept,” said Dr. Rubenstein. “But Germantown was a good place to be doing it. There were many young couples with townhomes and cats were easier pets to have.”
In those days, Germantown was a large farm area with acres of land but few residents and shops, a stark contrast to how it is today. A Cat Clinic was the first feline veterinary clinic in Montgomery County at the time.
The clinic, still run by Dr. Rubenstein with the help of her associate Dr. Melissa Mustillo, prides itself on being a clinic that deeply cares for its cats and all of their needs. With a green pasture behind the building and windows and seats for the animals, Rubenstein has created an environment in which cats can relax and feel comfortable.
“It’s important to focus on environmental enrichment,” said Dr. Rubenstein. “Which has improved through the years.”
In the 30 years of caring for tabbies, Siamese, bobtails, shorthairs, and tomcats Rubenstein has seen a lot of change in the area as well as in the cats that come in for treatment. Germantown, once a small community dotted with cows from local dairy farms, has evolved and changed, and so have the animals as a result. Cats that used to be outdoorsy creatures who foraged and were solitary by nature now become more comfortable indoors with a need to interact.
Rubenstein acknowledges that there have been major changes in feline veterinary practices as well. More techniques and an improvement in nutritional knowledge in cat owners. Rubenstein said that there has been a shift in cat health, more cats are coming in with behavioral problems and are more are obese.
“There have been some crazy days, but every business has those,” said Rubenstein. “We try and give the best treatment to everybody. We understand how much their cats mean to them.”
At the clinic, they emphasize not only showing clients what their cats need but provide basic education on how to understand them better. “We have a core value of respect at the Cat Clinic,” said Rubenstein.
Rubenstein believes that one of the main reasons her clinic has been able to stay in business in Germantown for 30 years is the staff’s understanding of how much their feline patients mean to their owners. “We have respect for clients, for staff, and for the cats entrusted to our care. We understand how much the cats mean to their families, that has been my guiding principle. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Caption: Dr. Melissa Mustillo and Dr. Dale Rubenstein will celebrate 30 years of caring for Germantown’s cats and their people at A Cat Clinic on Clopper Road with an open house planned for June 11.