Albuquerque Cat Clinic

SBDC Success Stories

Albuquerque Cat Clinic was opened in April of 2004 by Emily Walker. It is a small veterinary practice catering only to feline patients. It fills an important niche in veterinary medicine – that of cat owners who don’t want their pets to endure the added stress of dog smells and sounds when they have to go to the vet.

Emily Walker has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University. She had been practicing in a “mixed” small animal practice (dogs and cats) in Yukon, Oklahoma for four years before deciding to come back home to New Mexico, where she had spent most of her childhood. During those four years, she realized that she had a special interest in and affinity for her feline patients. After doing some preliminary job searching in the Albuquerque area, she realized that there was a need not being met, and that she had the desire and ambition to try to fill the gap.

“When I first started considering opening my own practice, the whole process seemed overwhelming. Claudette Baca at the Albuquerque SBDC helped me break everything into manageable pieces, keep my projections realistic, and take my business plan from a disjointed pile of ideas to a streamlined, comprehensive look at what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. The first bank I approached approved my loan application almost immediately.”

Emily got the loan in December of 2003, and the build-out to her lease space was completed in early April of 2004. She moved into a new house and opened the doors to the clinic, all in the same week. Although it was an exhausting time, the pride she had in knowing the business was hers from concept to completion was immense. Over the last three years the business has grown by leaps and bounds. She is approaching 2000 clients, and recently finished a major expansion project that took the clinic from 1150 square feet to almost 2800 square feet by moving into the adjoining lease space. In the next five to seven years, she plans to add an associate veterinarian so she can take a vacation, and several more employees. She is working with the CNM veterinary technician program as a preceptorship location, and has taken on leadership roles with both the Albuquerque and New Mexico veterinary associations. 

Emily’s clients have been very appreciative of the quality of care she offers as well as the pleasant environment she provides for their cats’ visits. “There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t get a personal comment or card or e-mail from one of my clients telling me how much they enjoy the experience they have here. I even had one client tell me she wishes she could come here for herself, since my office is so much nicer than her regular doctor’s! I really enjoy being able to practice medicine the way I have always wanted to, and to try out ideas I would not have been able to if someone else was the boss.”

Albuquerque Cat Clinic
Emily Walker, DVM, Owner