While the neuro-psychological benefits of acupuncture have long been recognised in Western medicine, many people are surprised this can be applied to cats.
Acupuncture involves placing very fine needles into specific points to inhibit pain transmission via nervous pathways and to stimulate release of pain relieving chemicals, including endorphins, in the brain and spinal cord.
Acupuncture for cats:
Releases many neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones, some of which are endorphins, the “natural pain-killing” hormones
Relieves muscle spasms
Stimulates nerves & and your cat’s immune system
Acupuncture is an ongoing therapy, just like medication - not a “one-time fix”.
Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional veterinary medicine. Specific diseases that may be treated using acupuncture in cats include:
• Chronic pain – especially due to arthritis
• Urinary and faecal incontinence
• Chronic unresolved diarrhoea or constipation
• Immune dysfunction
• Chronic breathing problems – feline asthma/bronchitis
• Stress related disease, such as over grooming, inappropriate urination or aggression.
Fear not - the needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin and inserting them is a relatively painless process. Your cat may feel a small scratch but it is not uncomfortable. It’s often a joy to see cats that have been suffering chronic pain curl up with relief and go to sleep during the treatment!
Acupuncture is a very safe treatment when administered by a trained practitioner like ours. Side effects are rare but they can happen on occasions. The cat’s condition can seem worse for 48 hours after the first treatment. Others may feel lethargic for 24 hours after treatment.
Every patient is different. Patients with chronic issues may be treated initially weekly for four weeks with follow-up treatments as often as every month. Less chronic conditions may be treated every two weeks for a month, then with sessions gradually reduced.
Like humans, not all cats respond to acupuncture. Positive responses may be observed after the first session. However it can take up to four treatments to determine if it’s working for a patient. Acupuncture is an ongoing therapy like medication not a “one-time fix”, nor is it a cure-all.
Each session may vary in length. The temperament of your cat can also influence how much acupuncture we attempt. Rest assured, even the most mischievous of our patients tend to relax and respond well once the needles are placed!
If you think your cat would benefit from acupuncture or you would like to know more please contact The London Cat Clinic on 0203 740 1112.