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Meet the People: Lauren Smith, DVM | Cat Adoption Team

Eggplant background with blue and yellow text that reads, "Meet the People." Photo in center of Dr. Smith behind a counter holding a fuzzy cat named Huggie.

Before she ever knew veterinary medicine would be her career, Dr. Lauren Smith was “obsessed” with taking care of cats. “My kitties have been my best friends,” she says, “and every touchstone moment in my life has been punctuated by which cats I had at that moment in time.”

Her first experience in vet care was volunteering at a mixed animal practice in her hometown of Ellensburg, Wash., in 7th grade. From then on, she knew it was her calling.

After graduating from veterinary school at Washington State University, Dr. Smith began her professional life at a feline clinic. And when she took ownership of Hart Road Animal Hospital in 2014, one of the first things she did was get the practice certified as a Cat Friendly Practice®.

“No feeling is better than helping a cat owner get their cat a good outcome,” says Dr. Smith.

She explains that caring for cats is different from other species. Cats are better at disguising their symptoms, and it can be difficult for pet parents to get medication into them. Dr. Smith strongly encourages cat owners to provide veterinary care for the entire life of their cat, even if the cat seems OK.

In addition to caring for her clients, she loves her own cats too! Dr. Smith and her husband Rick currently share their home with a clowder of three cats: Carmelita (the shy one), Miney (a one-eyed Siamese), and Riley (who answers to Ry-Ry).

Her passion for cats is what brought Dr. Smith to Cat Adoption Team in the mid-2000s. She volunteered as a spay/neuter surgeon for many years. And when she no longer had time to do that, she found new ways to stay involved. Hart Road Animal Hospital regularly donates supplies and supports CAT’s fundraising efforts.

“The mission of CAT so closely parallels my passion for kitties,” says Dr. Smith, “Supporting CAT helps me feel I can go beyond helping the individual patients I see.”

About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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