Manhattan Cat Specialists | Dr. Arnold Plotnick, Upper West Side New York City Feline Veterinarian
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Dr. Arnold Plotnick

Contrary to the belief that the world is going to the dogs, Dr. Arnold Plotnick has made a career believing in felines. As a native New Yorker, he is the founder of Manhattan Cat Specialists, a cats-only veterinary facility on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).

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 about cats and traveling searching for cats.

Meet Dr. Plotnick's Pets

Dr. Plotnick's Blog: "Cat Man Do" | Dr. Plotnick on Twitter




Dr. Victoria Sheheri

Dr. 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 2009.

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.



Hiromi Karagiannis

Hiromi 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 technician.  During 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.

As 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.

When not taking care of animals, Hiromi likes to relax by jogging, listening to music, and taking leisurely walks.

Hiromi's Feline Articles in Japanese



Liliane Rene

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 dog, Sweet Pea, and her cat, Ginger.



Gill Nunes

Gill Nunes is a Veterinary Technician at MCS, with over 14 years experience. He has been with MCS since November, 2012. Gill was born in Rio de Janeiro-Brazil, where he achieved his Bachelor of Business degree in 2000. He is also a confirmed ‘Cat Aficionado’ and shares his home with 13 rescued cats in Rockaway. When Gill is not working he enjoys world travel and learning new languages.







Gina Manes


Gina Manes | Veterinary Technician at Manhattan Cat Specialists

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 Neuroscience.


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.





Brad Reiss

Brad 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.




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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Manhattan Cat Specialists

230 West 76th Street  |  New York, NY 10023  |  212-721-2287

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