Saturday, February 14, 2009

Here's to Your Health...Kitty

At the natural vet, where cats are given human chairs.

Perhaps I should preface this post with the disclaimer that, yes, I am a crazy cat lady. Nevertheless, what follows is still legitimate counsel. Many of you may have already begun to explore the joys of alternative and preventative health care for yourself, but did you also know that you can get the same kind of care for your pets?

The same rules generally apply - the natural practitioner is a trained veterinarian, who has decided to also treat pets using homeopathic and natural options.

My husband and I have been feeding our cats quality food and using natural remedies from Earth Animal in Connecticut for years now; most of their products are available online, so check out their website. When we moved to Seattle, we also decided to try out a natural vet, and we were happy to find the aptly named Seattle Natural Vet.

The vet, Kate Fernald, spent an hour with us during our first visit going over treatment options for our venerable kitty Toonces. Each subsequent visit is a half hour, and she patiently answers all of our questions about nutrition and alternative and traditional treatments for him. Our visits there are the least rushed, most comfortable vet visits I have ever had.


Erin said...

Libuse, thanks for the kitty advice. And bring over some of that home remedy for my my sneezing cat when you get a chance! ;)

frances said...

This is a great issue to bring to everyone's attention. I too am a crazy cat lady and I have been taking my kitties to a holistic veterinarian since I moved out to Portland, Oregon 7 plus years ago. Your experience mirrors mine exactly. I too have found my holistic vet to be patient, compassionate, and extremely informative. She has seen me and my cats through some very difficult illnesses and I know that her wisdom and advice made it possible for me to keep my late friend Daisy alive and comfortable through her bout with cancer for much longer than was expected by conventional vets.
One point I wanted to add was the importance of dental health for cats and dogs. It makes sense of course. As health-aware humans we know that dental health is key to whole body health. It is no different for our four-legged companions. It is recommended that you brush your feline and canine friends’ teeth two or three times a week. You can find special toothpaste that requires no rinsing (in flavors like fish and chicken) and toothbrushes at your vet’s office or at most healthy pet food stores. There are also special chews (C.E.T. Chews) that cats and dogs love which have certain enzymes which help to break up the plaque on their teeth. These types of enzymes can also be found in chicken necks (for cats) and turkey necks (for dogs) which you can get at your local meat counter (I would recommend asking your vet about this method before giving it a shot, however). I haven’t been able to get my cats interested in gnawing on raw chicken necks and to be honest, as a vegetarian, it’s not my favorite thing to pick up at the grocery store, but I’ve heard of others having success with this method.
Okay, I know I said that I just had one point, but I also think that flea control is an area that should be addressed when talking about natural and holistic mammal health. There are many preventative measures that can be taken to avoid flea problems that don’t involved putting chemicals on the back of your cat’s neck. Ask your vet about everything from regular flea-combing to natural powders to flea birth control)!
And, finally, I have a question...I am getting ready to move back home to Vermont in the fall. I am on the lookout for a holistic vet in the Burlington area. Does anyone know of any good resources for finding good holistic vets in different areas of the U.S.?