Veterinarian focuses her skills on felines
Kim Percival grew up in a household with dogs, but that did not stop her from becoming a cat person when she opened her feline-only veterinary clinic in 2000.
Cat Hospital of Austin operates out of a stone house with a large inflatable orange tabby cat on the front lawn. Inside, the hardwood floors, leather couches and plush chairs in exam rooms provide a homey atmosphere. Percival said that focusing just on cats makes for a stress-free and comfortable environment.
"I can make [the clinic] more of a home atmosphere as a cat-only facility," Percival said. "Even though it looks like home, it's also functional."
The clinic, located on about 1.75 acres of land at 13264 Pond Springs Road, offers wellness exams, vaccinations and boarding.
Before she opened her practice, Percival said Austin did not have an animal clinic that focused on cats. Because of her love for the city and for cats, she decided to open one.
Percival specializes in senior feline care with services in chiropractics and prevention and treatment for diseases common in older cats such as kidney or thyroid issues.
Sandy Vaden has been bringing her cats to Percival for at least eight years. She said her 13-year-old cat, Millie Neum, who also goes by Millie, has improved greatly through Percival's chiropractic adjustments. Percival discovered that Millie's neck bones were slightly out of alignment. After a few months of adjustments and other treatments, Millie seemed to be feeling much better, Vaden said.
"Dr. Percival is wonderful," Vaden said. "She has taken such good care of [Millie]."
Percival said she hopes to expand her business in the next five years by hiring another veterinarian and expanding her knowledge about integrative veterinary medicine, which is the practice of traditional medicine and includes more natural alternative therapy such as using herbal treatments. Furthermore, the large acreage also allows for a future expansion of the cat hospital's footprint, she said.
She said she not only loves working with cats but also with their owners.
"Cat people are a different kind of people," Percival said. "... They are usually very interested in learning about their cats. They want the best for their cats, and they tend to be very emotional about their cats. That works well because I can educate them."
In 2012, veterinarian Kim Percival became certified in animal chiropractics, which allows her to treat problems such as arthritis through gentle massage and vertebrae movement, she said. Because not many traditional pharmaceutical drugs are safe enough to treat arthritis in cats and nutritional supplements are not always effective, chiropractic therapy is often a better alternative for older cats, Percival said.
- Make sure cats are up-to-date on rabies and feline leukemia vaccinations.
- Provide fresh water daily.
- Do not leave food outside because it can attract other animals.
- Give cats flea and heartworm prevention medicine once a month, even if they are indoor-only cats. Heartworms, which are carried by mosquitos, are severe and can be fatal in cats, and mosquitos often get indoors.
- Behavior consultation
- Flea and heartworm education and prescription of prevention medications
- Health and diet management
- Dental care
- Diagnostic care
Source: Cat Hospital of Austin
Bathtub scurry: Put a pingpong ball in a dry bathtub with your cat. Plug the drain and let you cat chase after the ball. If the ball stops, continue rolling it.
Staircase dash: Throw a pingpong ball against a side wall near the top of the stairs and let your cat chase it down the stairs. When the ball bounces back down the stairs, continue throwing it back up.
Shadows on the wall: Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight on the wall while dangling cat toys in the light. Move them back forth and let your cat leap to catch the shadows.
Source: Cat Hospital of Austin
13264 Pond Springs Road, 512-258-2024, www.cathospitalofaustin.com