Raising a holistic cat requires a slightly different approach than the holistic dog. While the same principles apply, cats can be more sensitive to medications and some cats are quite particular about changes in diet.
It is easiest to start as kittens, however, that does not mean an adult cat cannot switch to an holistic lifestyle. For some households, though, be forewarned that a lot of patience will be required.
Because some cats are quite sensitive to medication – either taste, or reactive/allergic – the holistic approach ultimately means less medication as your veterinarian will help you get to the underlying cause of your cat’s health issues. Simply treating symptoms means the problems will come back and be harder to treat. Holistic medication options include homeopathics, herbs, tinctures, homotoxicology, and flower essences, in addition to traditional medication as needed.
Diet is probably the number one concern for cats; it treats 80% of their health care concerns organically, without ever having to use medicines. In an ideal situation, the holistic cat will eat a diet of balanced meats – healthy, whole foods with minimal processing. Because many cats are hooked on dry cat food, this may be the largest battle for cat owners who wish for a holistic life for their cats. In some cases, it may take years to switch a cat to healthy, real food. Baby steps and patience are the trick – try different foods, different recipes, different authors until you find what works for your cat.
The benefits of a holistically reared cat include the fact that it will hardly shed, thus won’t experience hairballs. Great food and homeopathic detoxification will help many cats decrease shedding.
An holistic cat will have very few vaccines in its life. These cats will have great quality of life into their late teens. They’ll remain flexible and limber because they receive regular chiropractic or acupuncture care. By keeping flexible, the cats are less likely to get bladder infections associated with older age. And of course their immune system is stronger due to great nutrition.
If any of these scenarios sound appealing to you, then holistic medicine might be what you are looking for to care for your cat. When you find the right holistic veterinarian, you will find a health care partner committed to doing the nest for your kitty. AHVMA.org is a good place to start looking for your holistic health partner.