The Boston Cat Hospital at 3840 Washington Street has been serving area felines since 1981. They pride themselves on being a full-service veterinary clinic specializing in individualized care for cats—only cats.
Medical services offered include annual physicals, diagnostic and therapeutic services, surgical services, dentistry and end-of-life treatment. They also provide boarding services.
In 1981, Dr. Tom Elston founded the Boston Cat Hospital, the first feline-only veterinary practice in all of New England, then located at 496 Park Drive. At the time, there were no other hospitals specializing in cats and Dr. Elston wanted to change that. He saw that cats were the preferred pets for urban locations because they were generally happy in apartments and didn’t need wide open spaces like dogs did.
Dr. Patricia Gallo started working for Dr. Elston in 1988 and purchased the practice from him in 1991 when he moved to California to practice cat care there. In 2014, she moved it to its current location on the border of Jamaica Plain and Roslindale.
Gazette spoke with Dr. Gallo about the benefits of bringing your cat to a cat-only clinic.
“People who work at a cat-only practice have an expertise in how to handle cats,” she said. “Everyone on our staff, from the receptionists to the techs to the doctors have skills that others don’t have.”
She gave examples such as swaddling with special blankets, speaking in a soothing tone of voice, and allowing cats to come out of their carriers on their own.
“I take a lot of time just talking to the cat and getting it to relax in my presence,” she added.
Dr. Gallo said she educates cat owners about how they can manage their pet’s anxiety prior to a visit with the use of medications at home that will put them at ease. She said her priority is to have a “happy cat and a happy owner.”
“Today my first client said, ‘You are so good with this cat. She is usually horrible at the vet,’” she said.
Dr. Gallo also emphasized the importance of helping cat owners to strengthen their bond with their animal and teaching them how to manage behavioral issues at home.
Also at the practice are Dr. Gallo’s husband Dr. Paul M. Henricks who specializes in abdominal ultrasounds, internal medicine consults and dermatology; and Dr. Josh Gidlewski, who specializes in cardiology.
For more information about the Boston Cat Hospital, visit thebostoncathospital.com. To make an appointment, call 617-522-7877.