Herbal Remedies for Cats

By | May 7, 2014

Two paramount reasons for using herbal remedies for cats are that they are effective and have no dangerous side effects. For thousands of years, cats have naturally sought and eaten plants containing nutrients missing from their diets or that their bodies needed to fight an illness.

Dosage

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Bear in mind herbal remedies for cats will be more effective if administered in smaller doses over the course of a day rather than one large dose. Unless otherwise indicated, only give your cat herbal medicine for a 2-week period and pause for a week. Herbal remedies take time to build up effective levels in your cat’s body; taking a week off allows you to gauge the effectiveness of the treatment.

Any herb safe for human use will be safe for your cat, but cats will require proportionally less medicine because of their smaller body weight. If fresh herbs upset your cat’s digestive system, use a tincture or tea. Many tinctures are prepared with grain alcohol – a substance used for its ability to extract medicinal components from an herb but is not tolerated well in animals. Apple cider vinegar is a viable alternative to prepare a tincture for a cat.

Skin Conditions

A wide range of herbal remedies for cats can treat common problems such as sensitive skin and allergies. Fleabites are always a concern and can trigger allergic reactions in some cats. Directly applying aloe vera juice to bites or itchy patches of skin will bring instant relief. For a more potent treatment, mix aloe vera juice with garlic juice. A natural antibiotic, garlic will fight infection and vitamins C and E in the aloe will soothe irritate skin and promote healing.

Another treatment for itchy skin is peppermint. Boil peppermint leaves in water and pour the cooled liquid over the affected skin. Repeat this procedure several times per week. Peppermint works as an analgesic and antibiotic; additionally, it promotes circulation when massaged into the skin.

Tea tree oil may also be applied to dry or inflamed patches of skin. Apply it only where a cat is incapable of licking itself, as this herb is not safe for internal consumption.

Digestive Problems

A number of safe remedies exist for a variety of feline digestive issues. Some natural solutions include:

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  • Ginger Root Extract – two drops will help a simple upset stomach or motion sickness.
  • Slippery Elm Bark – a good general herb for diarrhea and vomiting, regardless of the cause. It increases mucus secretions in the stomach lining and contains antioxidants that can rejuvenate internal tissues.
  • Catnip leaves and Fennel – administer a tea brewed from these two herbs to reduce stomach spasms and cramping.

Other herbal remedies for cats that can be used for digestive issues are caraway for diarrhea, dill for nausea and parsley for constipation.

Anxiety

Nervous conditions spawned by anxiety are not reserved for humans. Some herbal treatments for cat anxiety:

  • Lemon Balm – Nervous habits such as fur-biting, skin-pulling and scratching can be reduced by giving your cat an infusion of lemon balm, a mild sedative that effectively limits nervous behavior.
  • Valerian root extract – a tranquilizer safe for cats.
  • Oat Straw extracts – used to calm hyperactivity and combat depression.
  • Chamomile tea – has a long history of use as a mild sedative. While not as potent as valerian, chamomile will also soothe intestinal upsets and heal inflammatory bowel disease in animals.

In addition, aromatherapy techniques can calm your pet. Rubbing lavender around your cat’s face or scenting lavender around its sleeping area will have a relaxing effect.

These herbal remedies for cats will save you money and work just as effectively as commercially prepared medicines. Even if your cat is not ailing, herbal supplements can strengthen its immune system and stave off health problems.