Chicago Cat Clinic

Our History

The history of Chicago Cat Clinic and how it has impacted the lives of its patients, veterinarians, and staff members.

Our History

The History of Chicago Cat Clinic

Chicago Cat Clinic was founded by the late Dr. Barbara Stein in 1975 at its current location, 5301 West Devon Avenue, on Chicago’s northwest side. It lies in the beautiful Edgebrook neighborhood. Dr. Stein was a pioneering woman in veterinary medicine. She was one of only four women in her graduating class and founded what was to be the second exclusively feline veterinary practice in the United States. She was an author of early feline medicine texts – especially those dealing with reproduction. Dr. Stein was involved in much of the early clinical research concerning feline hyperthyroidism. She traveled extensively within the United States and internationally lecturing as a practitioner specialist.

For many years, cats were treated as small dogs. Feline-specific veterinarians have worked to dispel this attitude. In fact, there are tremendous differences in dietary requirements, metabolic pathways, socialization and behavior patterns, drug dosing, responses to vaccination, prevalent diseases, etc. Through the years, interest in feline practice has grown tremendously. Research investigating problems unique to the feline abounds. Cats are much less likely to be treated as small dogs these days. We are proud to have been a part of that transformation in our profession.

In 1990, Dr. John Nordwall graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota and moved to Chicago to work with Dr. Stein at the Chicago Cat Clinic. Since Dr. Stein’s death in 1999, he has been directing the practice and continuing to maintain the high quality of progressive and compassionate veterinary medicine always practiced at the clinic. In the fall of 2001, Dr. Nordwall purchased the clinic from Dr. Stein’s estate and has been working hard to improve upon the high quality of service and care so many have come to expect at the Chicago Cat Clinic.

Dr. Nordwall is joined by Dr. Larissa Olenych, Dr. Lenyr Munoz, and wonderful support staff who make the work we do possible. We have two employees who have been with the practice for over 35 years. Pat Mages, our office manager began working with Dr. Stein in 1980, and Rana Richmond, our head receptionist, started in 1976. These practice leaders offer remarkable leadership and experience which helps all of us to be as thorough and efficient in our care as possible. We currently have a staff of 12 which includes 3 receptionists and 5 veterinary assistants.

We at the Chicago Cat Clinic are excited about the future. With the tremendous advancements in feline health care, we are seeing cats live longer with quality lives. To this end, we are working to establish more comprehensive and frequent geriatric cat evaluations. Our hope is to intervene before a problem becomes too advanced to treat. These incredible animals work themselves into our lives in powerful ways. We hope to lengthen and enhance the years that caretakers can spend with their beloved cats.