Gentle Pain Relief for Cats through Acupuncture

by Schmidt, MRCVS

Pain relief for cats is still an intensively researched field in veterinary medicine partly because the feline metabolic system is so different and partly because it is undeniable that the number of cats living in UK-households do outweigh the number of dogs already. Improved formulated feed and more and more sophisticated medical care help to increase their longevity.

Cat owners and veterinarians will be faced with typical diseases of civilization, like overweight, arthritis, diabetes and so on.

As a cat owner, you need to be a very good observer to find out if your feline companion is suffering from a painful condition. Cats don't show signs of pain in the same way dogs do!Often you will recognize signs of pain only as alterations in their behavior and habits: your cat might prefer to lie in warmer places, won't jump any more onto the favourite spot on the window sill or doesn't want to be stroked on certain parts of the body.

Veterinarians see the feline patient when clinical signs are already present for a certain length of time. The usual medical approach to pain relief for cats is tailored to the cat's individual needs and depends on her overall health condition. However, in most veterinary practices it comprises the use of conventional, allopathic prescribed medication only.

"Cats are not small dogs" - this is a wise and true statement and newer veterinary studies help us to understand the individual requirements of felines compared to those of canines. The cat's metabolism works differently: The feline organism needs longer to metabolize and detoxify pet medicines and painkillers than the canine system, so veterinary drugs that work well for other species might be quite toxic for cats and can be used only under close veterinary observation.

Ideally, a combination of conventional and complementary methods of pain relief for cats can help to achieve acceptable and adequate results and regain good quality of life.

One of the best researched complementary treatment is acupuncture for cats.

Acupuncture comes from the latin words acus (= needle) and pungere (= prick) and is nothing more than pin pointing anatomically the exactly-defined acupuncture points and thus stimulating the nervous system.

The nervous system stimulation we are referring to results in an increase in the level of endorphines. The effect is one of balance and modulation. When one has chronic pain, there are special pathways formed by the nerves. Acupuncture stimulates different nerves creating different pathways that are seen by the brain as having priority. After repeated applications, the brain will lose its awareness of the pathways of chronic pain, thus allowing for self-healing and the reversion back to the prior healthy state of being.

It may surprise you to learn that cats actually tolerate acupuncture very well. They tend to become relaxed both during and after a treatment. Usually, a cat's nervous system is very responsive to acupuncture therapy. You may find that there are positive results in a very short time. Of course, this depends on the condition that is being treated.

Interested in an alternative cat pain relief treatment for your own feline companion? Read more about Animal Acupuncture and download a free acupuncture chart for cats.

Dr Ellen Schmidt, a licensed veterinarian, is the owner of Pin Point Veterinary Acupuncture Practice located in the Northeast of Scotland and the webmaster of website is about veterinary pet health with a holistic approach. Learn to speed up recovery of your pet by applying gentle pain relief techniques.

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