Holistic Health Tips for Cats

Cats are independent creatures and while we admire their ability to take care of themselves, there are things we can do to help them live a full, healthy life. The holistic approach looks at diet, fitness, and emotional balance as interrelated aspects of overall health.

This approach focuses on everyday steps that affect long-term health-well suited to independent felines whose days tend to be routine.

What is the best diet for a cat?

Diet is the first step in the holistic pet health care approach. Many holistic veterinarians view a diet of processed pet foods that contain chemical preservatives and animal by-products as an underlying factor in many diseases.

Choose a natural or organic cat food that does not contain chemical preservatives, by-products or grains. You may have to try different brands and flavors to find something your cat will eat. Freshly made food is ideal if you have the time. However cats have strict dietary requirements with regard to protein, calcium, and amino acids, so follow specific recipes.

Should I give my cat dietary supplements? Dietary supplements-particularly antioxidants-provide essential nutrients that help prevent many diseases. Even high-quality pet foods can fall short on providing the necessary vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Processed foods are not a complete substitute for the natural diet felines would consume in the wild. Nutritional supplements help to make up for the nutrient depletion in cooked, processed foods. Supplements can also help with problems such as:

  • Allergies
  • Hairballs
  • Eye Infections
  • Digestive problems
  • Liver Disease

Should I allow my cat to go outdoors?

Many professional pet organizations recommend that cats be indoor pets. It limits the risk of getting lost, fights, getting run-over, and inadvertent exposure to toxins. In practice, always keeping your cat in can be difficult-because they want to go outside. In most cases, there is no law that guides this decision. When your cat is young and exploring new territory, there is a risk it will get lost or be in an accident. But cats are smart and instinctively territorial, and in time they get the lay of the land and will stay in the immediate area of home.

Outdoor cats can scratch on trees and get exercise, but they risk being out in the world. Ultimately, this is a personal choice for you as an owner.

How can I keep curiosity from killing my cat?

It is important to keep chemical household products out of reach. These include:

  • Insect and mouse traps
  • Household cleaning products
  • Antifreeze, oil and gas
  • Human medications
  • Mothballs, batteries, cigarettes, coffee grounds, and alcoholic drinks