CAM For Cats - Quick Reference Guide
 
How It Works
How It Can Help Your Cat
Risks
General Comments
Acupuncture Stimulates the nervous system • Improves mobility
• Reduces pain from arthritis, illness, surgery or injury
• Helps the body heal
Needle-induced trauma or infection Acupuncture is considered a part of veterinary medicine.
Chiropractic or Veterinary Manual Therapy Increases rangeof- motion in joints Relieves pain and improves function for certain problems Paralysis or joint injury from excessive force or inappropriate treatment If the person treating your cat is not a veterinarian, make sure a veterinarian is providing supervision.
Flower Essence Therapy Works on emotional and mental states Improves behavior problems, such as fear and aggression • Cat may become hyper
• Undesired or unexpected behaviors may occur.
Cats are very sensitive to alcohol; essences are best not used directly in the mouth. They can be applied topically to fur or paws and may be tolerated when mixed with canned food.
Herbs These “plant drugs” work biochemically. May benefit many conditions, but almost no research has been done on herbs for cats Severe illness or death if toxic to cats Cats metabolize drugs and herbs differently than humans. Herbs also interact or interfere with medications. Check with your veterinarian first!
Homeopathy Works under the premise that “like treats like” to purge disease from the body. Remedies contain small doses of substances that in large quantities would cause disease. • Used for everything from sneezing to cancer
• May help with behavior issues such as anxiety and aggression
Homeopaths believe that if the wrong remedy is chosen, symptoms may worsen. If any symptoms worsen or new ones arise, take your cat to the veterinarian for a recheck.
Massage Relaxes muscles and reduces tension • Increases mobility
• Reduces pain
Excessively deep massage could cause injury. Not all cats enjoy massage, especially from strangers.
Nutraceuticals Natural remedies produced from food Certain nutraceuticals provide nutritional building blocks that help repair tissues. • Glandulars (e.g., thyroid and adrenals) may contain active hormones
• High-potency vitamin and mineral supplements are usually unnecessary and may cause toxicoses.
Check with your veterinarian before giving your cat any nutraceuticals.
Probiotics These “good” bacteria provide healthy intestinal flora. • Anti-diarrheal
• Anti-allergy
• Anti-inflammatory
Usually safe, unless the cat is severely immune-deficient Some contain garlic, which is toxic to cats.
Reiki or Healing Touch The practitioner manipulates energy flow through the animal by way of hand placements and movements on the patient’s body. Healing energy is sent to the patient. • Relieves acute and chronic pain
• Increases energy
• Stimulates healing
• Supports treatment of chronic diseases, such as kidney failure and cancer
Animals are very sensitive to energy work. Too much of it can make them lethargic or vomit. Reiki or Healing Touch sessions on animals should last no longer than 20 minutes. The practitioner should not perform energy work if he/she is sick, tired or has consumed alcohol or drugs. If the practitioner’s intention is biased and not in the patient’s best interest, animals may refuse to sit still and become irritated.

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