Sooner or later, almost everyone who shares a home with a cat discovers "natural health" or hears about holistic veterinary procedures such as acupuncture, massage therapy or homeopathic remedies. To the novice, some of these terms may sound strangely mysterious, although many of them have been in practice for hundreds of years. Holistic medicine is not intended to replace traditional "allopathic" veterinary care, but in conjunction, the two can ensure optimal health and well-being for your cat.
Natural Foods for Cats
As consumers learn more about researching ingredients of standard commercial foods for their pets, many have opted to switch to a natural raw foods diet for cats. It makes sense; after all, raw meat is the staple diet in the wild for cats of all sizes. Cats are obligate carnivores, and their development has given them all the tools they need to utilize the raw meat they need to survive. With research and education, you can simulate the food your cat would be eating in the wild.
Perhaps the most famous study of a raw food diet for cats was done by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger in the mid-21st century.
- Raw Food Diets for Cats - a Natural Solution
- "Food Pets Die For," by Ann N. Martin and Michael W. Fox
- "Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats," by Kymythy R. Schultze
- "Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets," by Donald R. Strombeck
Holistic Medicine for Cats
The AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association) defines holistic veterinary care best:
"Holistic medicine, by its very nature, is humane to the core. The wholeness of its scope will set up a lifestyle for the animal that is most appropriate. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy and respect."
By learning more about alternative veterinary, you can work together with your veterinarian as a health team in monitoring your cat's health and providing proactive measures at home and in the veterinary office to ensure that kitty will attain optimal health and well-being.
Holistic veterinary medicine encompasses a number of modalities in addition to traditional surgery and medicine, including but not limited to:
- Chiropractic Manipulation
- Nutritional Therapy
- Vitamin and Mineral Augmentation Therapy
- Herbal Medicine
- Therapeutic Massage
- Nosodes as an alternative to vaccines
- "Nature of Animal Healing," by Martin Goldstein, DVM
- "Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats," by Martin Zucker
- "Raising Cats Naturally - How to care for your cat the way nature intended," by Michelle T. Bernard
Natural Health Care at Home
More and more writers on feline topics are advising us to learn how to "think like a cat," and this advice holds true whether we are discussing food and nutrition, training, or behavior modification.
Most so-called "behavioral problems" in cats are the result of our own all-too-human ignorance of the way cats think; we tend to try to mold their little psyches into our idea of the way they should act. It's amazing how many problems can be solved, once we modify our own behavior by realigning our thinking.
You may embrace natural health care for your cats as little or as far as you want to take it, depending on your own beliefs and the availability of local resources. Many people start by choosing premium cat foods with no chemical additives, good protein sources and no added fillers, and move on from there.
It's clear to me, however, that once you start down that road you'll find there is no turning back. Enjoy your exploration!
- "Think Like a Cat," by Pam Johnson-Bennett
- " New Natural Cat: A Complete Guide for Finicky Owners," by Anitra Frazier
- "Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats," by Richard H. Pitcairn