- Our Staff
to the belief that the world is going to the dogs, Dr. Arnold
Plotnick has made a career believing in felines. He is the
founder of Manhattan Cat Specialists (MCS), a cats-only
veterinary facility on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As a
native New Yorker who is board-certified by both the American
College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and the American
Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), Plotnick is uniquely
qualified in this capacity. In fact, he is currently one of only
a handful of board-certified cat specialists in the United
Plotnick knew at an early age that he wanted to be a
veterinarian. “My childhood cat once swallowed a sewing needle
with thread,” he said. “When the vet put the X-ray on the viewer
and I saw the needle, I knew at that moment that this is what I
wanted to do.”
After earning a master’s degree in immunology in 1983 from the
University of Florida in Gainesville, Plotnick attended UF’s
College of Veterinary Medicine the following year. He graduated
with honors, finishing fourth in his class and elected into The
Society of Phi Zeta, the Honor Society of Veterinary Medicine.
He then attended the University of Pennsylvania’s School of
Veterinary Medicine, where he completed a one-year internship in
small animal medicine and surgery. “I started to be known as
‘The Cat Guy’ when I was at Penn,” said Plotnick. “My professors
and fellow interns could see that I had a kinship with cats and
encouraged it. I’m grateful that they did.”
Plotnick took his academic flair for felines to the real world
of private practice when he became an associate veterinarian at
the Cat Hospital at Towson, a high-quality cats-only veterinary
hospital in Towson, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. However,
Plotnick eventually left to pursue a residency in small animal
internal medicine at Colorado State University and became
board-certified in small animal internal medicine in 1997. While
he was chief of staff and hospital director of VetSmart Pet
Hospital and Health Center in Columbia, Maryland, Plotnick
became board-certified in feline medicine in 1999.
Seeking to return to his hometown, he accepted the position of
vice president of animal health at The American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the oldest animal
welfare organization in the United States. He was promoted a
year later to vice president of the prestigious ASPCA Bergh
Memorial Animal Hospital.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001,
Plotnick strongly believed that he wanted to use his special
skills to make a significant contribution to the renewal of New
York City. He decided to pursue his dream of running his own cat
hospital. He left The ASPCA soon after the terrorist attacks and
began seeking financing for his venture. In January of 2003,
Manhattan Cat Specialists was born. “MCS is just a small part of
the city’s economy, but rebuilding our economy takes place one
small business at a time.”
In addition to routine veterinary services such as vaccinations,
dentistry, neutering and spaying, MCS also offers
state-of-the-art procedures including blood typing, micro
chipping and blood pressure measurement. Plotnick has also
designed unique wellness programs for middle aged cats and
geriatric cats. “Cats are different from dogs, so MCS is
designed to be different than most veterinary hospitals,” he
said. “Because cats don’t like leaving the safety of their
space, they exhibit great stress when visiting the veterinarian.
As a result, I’ve tried to create a peaceful environment that
replicates home.” The muted colors, soft lighting and soothing
music help to bring about a calming atmosphere appreciated by
both his pet-clientele as well as their human counterparts.
“I’ve had many customers tell me that their previous
veterinarians needed to sedate their pets for a check-up.
They’re amazed when I examine their cats with no sedation and no
problems,” he said. “My staff and I pride ourselves on making
every visit as tranquil as possible for both parties.”
In addition to his veterinary duties, Plotnick spends much of
his time writing. He is the medical editor of Catnip magazine,
and is a regular contributor to CatFancy magazine. He is on the
editorial advisory board of the veterinary journal Veterinary
Forum, and is one of the feline experts on CatChannel.com.
Dr. Plotnick's Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Plotnick's Pets
Dr. Plotnick's Blog:
"Cat Man Do" |
Dr. Plotnick on
Dr. Victoria Sheheri
Victoria Sheheri grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she spent
her childhood and teenage years caring for a large assortment of
outdoor stray cats and kittens as well as two indoor cats. She
remains deeply grateful to them for all they taught her,
particularly in terms of nursing sick cats back to health.
After graduation from college, Dr. Sheheri worked in several
different office and restaurant positions and with racehorses at
a horse farm before returning to school to pursue her dream of
becoming a veterinarian. While completing the requirements for
veterinary school, she worked as a veterinary technician in a
busy neighborhood small animal hospital.
Dr. Sheheri graduated from Cornell University's College of
Veterinary Medicine and soon after returned to New York City,
where she worked in a feline-only hospital for several years.
Dr. Sheheri has also worked as a small animal veterinarian in
New Jersey. She has been with Manhattan Cats since September
Dr. Sheheri currently lives in Hoboken with her husband and
their cat, Bad Apple, who subscribes to the "a single cat is a
happy cat" philosophy. She is thrilled to be working at
Manhattan Cats and having the opportunity to help provide care
for MCS' many wonderful patients and their owners.
Dr. Sheheri is a member of the American Veterinary Medical
Association, American Association of Feline Practitioners, and
the Veterinary Information Network. She spends much of her free
time researching feline health matters.
has been with Manhattan Cat Specialists since the day we opened
(January 1st, 2003). Hiromi
began her veterinary technician career as a volunteer for The
ASPCA. Soon after
that, she was hired by The ASPCA to work as an animal care
that time, she assisted the veterinary technicians and
veterinarians in nearly every department, and became so inspired
by their work that she chose to return to college, at the age of
35, to obtain her degree and license in veterinary technology.
She recently graduated (with honors!) from the Veterinary
Technology program at LaGuardia Community College.
a technician, Hiromi’s areas of interest include patient care,
anesthetic monitoring, and radiology.
Under Hiromi’s watchful eye, inpatients are always clean,
dry, well-fed, and happy. Her
soothing manner puts even the most nervous and skittish cats at
ease. Hiromi also has
an interest in veterinary nutrition, and is a certified Hill’s
Veterinary Nutrition Advocate.
Hiromi lives in Weehawken, NJ with her Greek
husband, her teenage son, and two orange tabby cats.
Hiromi was born in Tokyo, Japan, and our Japanese-speaking
clientele are grateful that Hiromi is able to serve as a
translator, especially when complicated medical conditions and
instructions are being explained.
not taking care of animals, Hiromi likes to relax by jogging, listening to music, and taking leisurely walks.
Hiromi's Feline Articles in Japanese
Rita is Manhattan Cat
Specialists' Hospital Manager. She joined us in June, 2003. Rita
is a licensed veterinary technician, having obtained her license
in 1999, after graduating from LaGuardia Community College’s
veterinary technology program in 1998. After graduation, she
worked at The ASPCA as a surgery and treatment room technician.
Rita’s areas of expertise include anesthesia, surgical nursing,
and veterinary dentistry. With her primary training as a surgery
technician, Rita is very proficient at anesthetic monitoring.
Most cat owners are apprehensive when their cat is scheduled for
a procedure that requires anesthesia. Under Rita’s care, our
clients have nothing to fear, all of our patients are
anesthetized gently, and recover smoothly and uneventfully. She
loves inpatient care, and as a nurse she knows that it isn't
only medication that helps an animal recover, but just a
soothing voice, and caring touch can matter so much to a sick,
scared animal, and their owners as well. A native New Yorker,
Rita was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn,
currently lives with her husband Tommy in Peekskill NY, and they
are expecting their 1st child in mid September 2011. Rita's
mother also lives with them in Peekskill, and they have 5 cats,
Matthew, Chango, Boo Boo, Diamond and Liz.
Meet Rita's Pets
Gina, a veterinary technician at MCS, has worked with animals
starting with cows at a dairy farm at the age of 9 in her
hometown in upstate New York. She joined the kennel staff at the
Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield, MA where she worked as a
dog trainer, vet tech, and canine adoption counselor for 7
years. During her time at the humane society, she achieved her
Bachelor of Arts' degree from Wheaton College in Norton, MA in
Biopsychology, where her focus was on animal behavior and
neuroscience. Because of her work at the shelter, Gina became
very interested in educating the public about positive training
techniques, behavior, and adoption. After graduating from
Wheaton in 2009, she moved to Portland, ME where she worked as a
veterinary technician for a small animal hospital. Gina's time
in Maine inspired her to go back to school to get her Master's
degree. She moved to New York City in July of 2010 to attend
Hunter College's Master's program in Animal Behavior and
Conservation in the school's Biopsychology department.
Currently, Gina is writing her master's thesis on the effects of
common black mold on learning, memory, and physical brain
damages in the hippocampus. She has been published in the
well-established bio-psychology journal
In her free time, Gina enjoys cooking, spending time with
friends and family, exploring the city, and reading good books
until her heart's content. She lives with her mackerel-tabby
cat, Melon, in Washington Heights.
Bio coming soon
works the reception desk here at MCS. A native New
Yorker, but currently residing in
Jersey City, she shares her home with
her husband Bruce, and a bevy of very naughty kitties.
Besides taking care of her feline brood she also helps the
stray cats in her neighborhood by feeding them and taking
part in a trap and release program in
Jersey City. Before coming to
MCS, Jackie worked as a bartender for the infamous punk rock
club, CBGB. Influenced by her rock-n-roll
surroundings, she formed the band The Chickletts, playing
bass and lead vocals with the three-piece girl group for the
last decade. Jackie is also a published writer of
short fiction. Her perfect day would include cooking a
great meal, cuddling with her husband and a good book, and
hugging each and every one of her ten (!) cats. “I
usually kiss all of them before retiring to bed…they are so
is a smart, innovative, and tech-savvy mover and shaker as
Manhattan Cat Specialists' Office Operations & Marketing Manager. He is in-tune with the digital
ecosystem of new technologies, blogging, social networking, and online communities
in relation to veterinary medicine
and felines. He ensures that MCS realizes the full potential of
emerging and trending technology.
Brad understands MCS' mission as he demonstrates communication
with the neighborhood, current and future clients, and the
public about it. He is the type of person who naturally brings
creative ideas to the table.
Although he doesn't have any cats of his own
currently, he lives with two in Washington Heights.
Liliane hails from Haiti where she's been taking
care of alley cats since she was nine. She has always known that
she wanted to work with animals and when she came to New York 10
years ago, she was ecstatic at all the volunteer opportunities! Liliane graduated from Long Island
University with honors from the Beta Beta Beta Biological
Society. She recently received her veterinary technician's
license from LaGuardia Community College. She hopes to use her
veterinary skills to help the veterinarians in Haiti.
She loves working at MCS, and is thinking she wants to go to
veterinary school. Liliane is particularly interested in
veterinary nutrition and physical therapy, but she changes her
mind a lot. She is fluent in French and would be happy to help
any French speaking clients that want to bring their cats to us.
She currently lives with her 2 dogs, Sunny and Sweet Pea, and
her cat, Ginger.
is proud to have joined Manhattan Cat Specialists in August of
2010. She lives in Astoria with her four pets; her cats named Atlian
Lola, her hamster named Minnie, and her boyfriend named Tim. Her
favorite color is pink.
Topeka came to us labeled ‘feral’ cat. Topeka
apparently got picked up by rescue workers along with a group of ferals, but she is clearly the sweetest, gentlest cat and must
have gotten out of someone’s home to end up with the stray
crowd. She’s roughly eight or nine years old and as you can see
from her picture, is absolutely beautiful. She loves belly rubs
and has recently
retired from being a ‘receptionist.' We are not planning to adopt Topeka out -
she lives here with us and Missy, our other hospital cat- and
we wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves visitors so feel
free to swing by and say hello.
Missy is our beautiful sweet & sometimes sassy
Tortie/Calico 11 year old hospital cat. You may find her on the
front reception desk as you check in. Give her a pet and
she'll appreciate it. Give her two pets and she'll swat
your hand away. She loves to jump on your lap and sleep in
a nice warm bed in the front window.
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