Having happy and healthy pets is achievable from an early age!
Feline Holistic Treatment Options (continued from last month)
- Antioxidants– During times of extreme stress, an animal’s requirements for antioxidants can increase as much as seven-fold. Antioxidants are vital for protecting the body from free radicals which can damage the body’s cells causing disease and cancer. High stress is one of the main causes of increased free radical formation and hence the increased need for antioxidants. A cheap and easy source of antioxidant is turmeric, which is also an anti-inflammatory, you can also use green tea added to drinking water (for the Catechins), and Vitamin C and E. Start with a small pinch of turmeric added to food daily and 20 mg of calcium ascorbate and a drop of Vitamin E orally (in the food) once a day.
- Valerian-chamomile tea can be used under a holistic vet’s supervision. These herbs may be added to the food or drinking water and are very calming, and can be used with other behaviour modification techniques.
- Acupuncture– many musculoskeletal problems respond very well to acupuncture, which can be very calming and balancing to worried individuals as well as providing pain relief. There is a cycle that goes together with anxiety, pain, and musculoskeletal problems. If the muscle tension is released, pain is removed, and some of the anxiety will be released.
- Dentistry– never underestimate the pain a sore tooth can cause! Dental denial is a common incidence, and a cat over the age of eight years is bound to have one or more teeth affected with a caries type of dental disease called Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesion, which means that the cat is in pain chronically and needs an immediate appointment with his/her veterinary dentist! Many cats will become much more placid and cooperative once their mouth is not painful. Dentistry is an analgesic and a potent behaviour tool!
- Aerobic exercise and hunting: These normal behaviour patterns need to be expressed in appropriate ways. See below.
Play aggression: This is inappropriate biting and scratching from a cat that has not been through adequate socialisation and kitten play (e.g. one that is weaned too early—before 14 weeks of age) or one that is played with roughly and was not corrected when it hurts their human caregiver. Making a startling noise, such as clapped hands, or loud voice, or spray it with a strong jet of water to re direct their attention, then walk away or turn your back to the cat. Do not physically punish the cat, this only teaches the cat that you will play back roughly and the cat will respond with intensified violence. Whenever you play with your cat use a toy, if you do not, the cat will recognise your hands/fingers as toys to be “killed”. Rolled up tin foil or paper, toy mice, and attached extendible flexible elastic roping to your waist when you walk will give your cat plenty of aerobic exercise.
If your pet is not improving you need to contact your veterinarian.