Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, that’s practiced across the world as an alternative treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. You’ve probably already heard of acupuncture, and you may even have tried it yourself, but did you know that acupuncture can also be used effectively on cats and other animals?
Veterinary Acupuncture for Cats
Veterinary acupuncture can be used in a variety of ways to evaluate, prevent and treat a number of health conditions in cats. The use of very fine needles inserted into acupuncture points in the cat’s body (so fine that they won’t hurt your cat), works to re-balance energies, stimulate the body to produce natural pain relief and relax muscles. The great thing about acupuncture, as opposed to over the counter and prescribed medications and treatments, is that it has no potential side effects, and won’t interact in any way with medication your cat is already taking. Acupuncture treatments are carried out without sedation, so there are no risks from anaesthetic, which makes it the perfect complementary treatment for your cat.
How Can Acupuncture Help my Cat?
Acupuncture for cats is often used to help treat arthritis, chronic pain, asthma and allergies, and can be used either as a one-off treatment or a regular, ongoing course of treatment for many different ailments. The acupuncture points in your cat’s body can be effective as both local pain relief, and more general ‘all over’ pain relief – some points will stimulate the body’s natural pain relieving and anti-inflammatory hormones. It’s also great for improving the overall blood flow within your cat’s tissues and organs.
Is Acupuncture Suitable for my Cat?
A common misconception is that cats won’t be willing to sit still while someone sticks needles into them, but perhaps surprisingly, the majority of cats prove willing and easy to treat in this way. Of course, there are always some cats who hate visiting the vet’s office with a passion, so if your cat falls in this category, then you may have to consider whether this would work for him. If your cat fights, hisses and tries to escape even the most basic of vet check-ups, it’s unlikely he’ll suddenly change for an acupuncture session. As well as the traditional method of using acupuncture needles, there are now other methods available that don’t use needles, but instead use lasers or infrared light. If your cat is already receiving Western medical treatment for an illness, it’s worth discussing with your vet whether acupuncture is an appropriate replacement or if it can be used as a complementary treatment.
As always, and before considering any kind of holistic or other medical treatment for your cat, we recommend that you do your research, and talk to your vet. Veterinary acupuncture is not available everywhere, so if you do decide that it’s the right choice of treatment for your cat, make sure that you find a qualified and experienced veterinary acupuncturist.
Image: David McDermott via Flickr