Natural Cat Care and Holistic Alternatives

Our pets really do feel like family members—that’s why we make homemade cat treats. Hercules, our Bengal cat, loves them. Even though he loves the treats, he still prefers to be with our daughter. They’re best buds!

In addition to feeding our cats healthy food, we’ve tried to be conscious cat parents in other decisions we make. Our biggest health care goal is to prevent our beloved pet’s suffering. I try to keep all our pets away from the veterinary clinic (and I understand that accessibility is a concern for people living in rural areas).

Over the years, I’ve learned some holistic and natural cat care tips you might want to explore for your feline friend.

Preventative Natural Care for Cats

Just like I try to prevent health issues in the first place with my family, we’re trying to practice preventative pet care. A bonus is that it’s cheaper to prevent something than it is to treat it.

These holistic cat care tips are just as important as regular veterinary care.

Healthy Food

Cats are carnivores, and they need animal protein in order to thrive. When searching for cat food, consider what cats eat in the wild. You want a meat-based food.

Depending on your cat’s individual health, talk to your vet about what might be best for them. You can make your cat’s food at home, but it is important to inform your vet to ensure that your cat gets all the nutrients they need.

For convenience, I prefer to buy premade cat foods. In the past, some of our cats have been finicky eaters, so we’ve had to try different flavors and products before we found one they loved.

We love this brand of high-quality cat food. Nom Nom Now. They will help you personalize your cat’s menu according to their needs. They will ask you questions about your cat’s age, weight, and other pertinent information.

I also trust Thrive Market’s values for both human and pet food. See their options for both wet and dry cat foods here.

As always, go slow with any change to your cat’s diet. Start with a few bites of the new food and then gradually transition to the new product.

Hygiene

Although cats are less likely to need care than dogs, there are still things that we can do to ensure our cats’ health.

Be sure to brush your cat’s hair regularly to help prevent hairballs and digestive upset. I recommend a wooden setThis is how it should be done. Some cats even love to be gently vacuumed.

You might be able to make non-toxic substitutions for cat products that you already use.

Your cat should be bathed every 4-6 weeks. You may want to bathe them more frequently if they’ve gotten dirty or been exposed to fleas or chemicals. We love to use unscented castile soap to wash our cats.

Cat Toothpaste

Unfortunately, you can’t use your own natural toothpaste on your cat. There are a few ingredients that aren’t safe for them:

  • Sweeteners – You don’t want to give your cat xylitol or stevia.
  • Essential oils –  Most aren’t safe for cats.
  • Fluoride – Cats can’t break it down.

Instead, you’ll want to find natural cat toothpaste. Some people may only use natural cat toothpaste. coconut oil to brush their cat’s teeth because they don’t fight it as much. It could be a better choice for feline oral care. If you have a favorite non-toxic cat toothpaste brand, please leave a comment and let me know.

Toys

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have worked hard to eliminate plastic from our lives as much as I can.

You’d be surprised at how many cat toys contain synthetic fibers. Because cats bite their toys, they’re ingesting those fibers. I prefer 100% cotton (and organic, if I can) and avoid plastics.

Our cats have stolen our kids’ toys from time to time. It got me thinking that I could use many of my younger toys for our cats as I know they are safe. Learn more about the safest kid toys I recommendYou can also use it for your cat.

Natural Litter

We don’t want to expose our cats to toxic chemicalsYou should remind them to use the bathroom every time they do. I try to avoid artificial scents as they can be endocrine disruptors.

It is important to choose a litter that does the job. Here are the natural cat litter brands I recommend because they’re non-toxic and biodegradable:

Feline pine

Made from 100% pineThis one has the strongest odor. The wood is very absorbent. Be sure to get the non-clumping product because the clumping one has mineral oil, which I don’t recommend because it’s made from petroleum.

Sustainably Yours

Made from corn and cassava this cat litter helps absorb odors. Although I like the natural pine scent, this is what I recommend if you have allergies.

Just like with food, you’ll want to transition your cat gently to a new litter. You should pour about 1-2 inches of the new litter onto the bottom, and then add your old litter to the top. After mixing it, let your cat mix it for a couple days before switching to your non-toxic litter.

If your cat begins to go outside of the box, it may take them longer to adjust. Revert to using the original litter on the bottom. Then, gradually reduce the amount you use for the top.

Alternative Cat Care

Cat owners want to provide the best care for their feline companions. Veterinary medicine has made incredible strides in holistic care. Even though most of these don’t have double-blind or long-term studies, I’d feel comfortable using these natural cat care options under the supervision of an experienced veterinary professional.

Chiropractic

Like humans, cats can benefit from the same things as humans. chiropractic adjustments. Both veterinarians as well as human chiropractors can be certified in animal chiropractic.

If your local veterinary hospital doesn’t offer it, search by location on the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association(AVCA) the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA). You might find that you are the perfect specialist for wellness care, and can do it all from one location.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine claims that their methods are also effective for cats. Anecdotal evidence indicates that cats respond well. acupunctureYou can use them for a variety issues. This should only be done by a licensed veterinarian.

Holistic Supplements For Cats

In addition to a healthy diet, supplements can help our furry friend’s health and well-being. Here are some natural cat care options and feline medicine that you can discuss.

Homeopathy

Even though we don’t have hard science on the efficacy of homeopathicWhile I do not recommend them as a treatment for pets or children, I think they are gentle enough. They are often used to treat issues at home.

There’s nothing to lose in trying these homeopathic remedies for minor ailments or when other treatments fail. Learn more about the research on homeopathy here.

Flower Essences

Most commonly used for stress and anxiety, these plant extracts may help soothe your cat’s nervous system. They are not as potent as essential oils.

I’d strongly consider finding a veterinarian who is familiar with flower essences to help with any other issues beyond stress and anxiety.

CBD for Cats

CBD has seen a huge rise in popularity among both pets and humans. I was recently able to do some research into CBD. best CBD oil for dogs.

CBDThis may help cats with anxiety and joint pain. I recommend cbdFX for cat CBD.

Coconut Oil

Penelope, our cat who died in a tragic accident, went insane for coconut oil. She’d steal it right off our plates.

Coconut oil could mimic the healthy fats that cats get in the wild. Learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil for pets here.

Catnip

This stuff can be very stimulating for cats. Beware of fillers in any products you purchase.

You may notice a change in your cat’s behavior if you give them a toy made with catnip. You may see other cats exhibit active behaviors such as playfulness and aggression.

Catnip effects vary depending on age and cat. Typically, the catnip-smelling behaviors last about 10 minutes before gradually disappearing.

Catnip is nutritious and safe for children, which is quite remarkable. I buy it in bulk here.

Learn more about its health benefits in this post.

Chamomile

This gentle herb is safe and suitable for delicate areas. You can use a cotton swab to dip in freshly brewed, but cooled, e.g. chamomile flower tea to wipe your cat’s eyes gently. It can soothe irritation caused by it. its health benefits. However, you should consult your vet to examine their symptoms and determine the root cause.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Cats

Essential oils can be poisonous so be careful.

According to Pet Poison Helpline, the following oils are the most dangerous for cats: “wintergreen, oil of sweet birch, citrus oil (d-limonene), pine oils, Ylang Ylang oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. Symptoms that develop depend on the type of oil involved in the exposure and can include drooling, vomiting, tremors, ataxia (wobbliness), respiratory distress, low heart rate, low body temperature, and liver failure.”

Cats don’t have an essential enzyme to process and expel essential oils from their bodies properly. Many vets discourage the use of essential oils in cats.

As mentioned above, don’t use human toothpaste on your cat since many of the natural ones include essential oils.

One of the few times I’d be comfortable using essential oils on my cat is to combat fleas. Depending on your cat’s health, cedarwood may be one safe option. I hope you never have this to deal. fleas, but here are some natural remediesIf you do.

More resources on Natural Cat Care

This article was reviewed medically by Dr. Amanda Bradbery, Ph.D. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your pet’s vetrinarian.

What natural cat care strategies do your cats use? What are your natural cat care methods? 

Sources:

  1. Stogdale L. (2010). The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 51(12), 1404.
  2. Bol, S., Caspers, J., Buckingham, L., Anderson-Shelton, G. D., Ridgway, C., Buffington, C. A., Schulz, S., & Bunnik, E. M. (2017). Responsiveness of cats (Felidae) to silver vine (Actinidia polygama), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and catnip (Nepeta cataria). BMC Veterinary Research, 13(1), 70.

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