More and more vets are now adopting a natural approach when treating sick animals, cats included. Natural medicine denotes the use of complementary natural and traditional therapies and remedies, as opposed to conventional medicine synthetic drugs and remedies. A more holistic view is taken of ailments whereby the whole animal is considered, rather than simply the conditions that he is exhibiting.

Diagnosis takes into account everything on the checklist.

  • overall physical health
  • mental health
  • environment
  • exercise
  • daily routine
  • companionship
  • nutrition food and water
  • hygiene

What is involved?
When the vet or practitioner has ascertained what is ailing your cat, and why, he or she will decide upon the appropriate action or treatment. In some cases, treatment may simply involve making improvements to your cat’s living environment or exercise levels, or changing his diet to one that better suits his digestive system. In other instances, it may well be that a course of treatment, acupuncture, for example, may have the desired effect in curing whatever is ailing the animal. Sometimes the provision of extra companionship, either human or in the form of another animal, can have the desired effect of alleviating anxiety-induced health problems.

Do these therapies work?
Many people and vets believe and advocate that they and can recount innumerable case histories showing how natural medicine triumphed where conventional treatment failed. There appears to be little scientific research substantiate such claims where some therapies concerned such as spiritual healing and feng shui, these remedies have been used for a long time, thousands of years – and something that does not work is unlikely to be persevered with. With most forms of complementary therapy, as long as they are applied with expertise and knowledge, the worst that can happen is they have no effect.

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments – animal and human Complementary therapies should not be considered the last resort by pet owners but as viable forms of treatment that are well worth trying. The range of ailments and conditions that can benefit from natural therapies is vast. A tiny selection of these includes poisoning, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, gingivitis, constipation, cancer, nervousness, aggression, skin diseases, internal and external parasites and anal gland disorders. Ask your vet’s advice for practitioners in your area.

When to try them
Complementary therapies are so-called because most of them are complementary to each other, and many of them can be used alongside, or in conjunction with, conventional medicine. Better results or speedier recoveries can sometimes be obtained by using a combination of two or more therapies to treat a health problem, depending on what the problem is.

Finding a practitioner
An increasing number of vets are using natural healing treatments, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an experienced and trustworthy practitioner. Even if your own vet does not personally practise traditional medicine in the particular field you are interested in, he or she may be able to refer you to a reputable person who does. The internet is another valuable resource for finding a practitioner.