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What does holistic cat care mean?

The Oxford dictionary definition of the word holistic is:

‘…characterized by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole.

MEDICINE: characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of an illness.’

It seems pretty straight forward, right? Yet sadly this term is being used incorrectly when it comes to helping our furry friends. Common statements I have heard when people refer to the word holistic are:

 ‘Holistic means alternative.’

 ‘Holistic means ‘woo woo’

 ‘Holistic goes against veterinary medicine.’

 ‘Holistic is new age and rubbish.’

I know everyone’s definition of holistic may vary, but for me I am inclined to agree with the Oxford dictionary! Let me tell you why.

I have tried to use one approach, one modality, one treatment option, one medicine to help my cats over the years and whilst at times we had a little progress, it wasn’t until I started using a holistic approach that I managed to get real results with their health, care and wellbeing.

Take Pickle for example. When she was constantly vomiting the vet just said, ‘keep changing her food’. It wasn’t until I did an animal communication session with her that I realised she had other imbalances in her body. And it wasn’t until we started to incorporate botanical remedies through self-selection, alongside her insulin management AND a change in diet that she showed huge improvements and stability with her diabetes.

Holistic means whole.

As my dear friend Dr Katie Woodley says – “When we use the term holistic when referring to our pets it should have a w at beginning – wholistic.”

What does holistic mean for cats?

There is no one size fits all.

There is no set route for health care management and well-being. One tablet does not cure all. One healing treatment does not fix the cat forever.

Why?

Because no two cats are the same.

Every cat is an individual.

Every cat is unique.

Every cat needs a bespoke, tailored, holistic approach to suit them. Just like us humans!

What suits me and helps me to heal – may not suit you. What tops my sparkle jar up and brings me joy, may not make you happy. That is why we need to understand that every cat is unique, and we need to try the best we can to help them.

When a cat has an issue or an imbalance in one area, we need to look at all elements that affect them to asses the best way to help. Yes, certain medications can help a particular symptom. But…

When you have physical pain in your body it can make you feel emotionally exhausted and then your mental health may be affected. It’s the same for our cats.

Treating a physical symptom does NOT fix the cat. Whilst the impact or outcome of that physical symptom may appear to be ‘fixed’ what about the other ways it has affected the cat? Cats store emotion and energy, just like us humans.

Dealing with a physical health issue takes its toll – on all elements of the cat.

A cat may need a range of treatments to help them heal and to thrive. These could include changes in their environment, allopathic medicine, emotional support and energy work.

We need to look at the cat, and what is impacting or affecting it, using a holistic approach.

4 Paws to purrrfection

That is why when I am working with clients and my boys, I break it down. I look at the cat using a holistic approach and you can too. Start off simple, look at the categories below and see where you can focus, what changes can you make?

Mental health – Enrichment, games, play, cat trees, hiding spaces, licky mats, mental stimulation.

Physical health – Nutrition, species appropriate diet, supplements, fresh air, high quality treats, brushes, physical activity.

Emotional health – Relationships with humans and other animals in the home, bonding exercises, quiet time, routine, normal cat behaviours.

Spiritual health – Energy healing, autonomy, complementary (NOT alternative) treatment options and therapies.

What does your cat need?

Leo and Baby Max have very different needs that I meet as much as I am able. For example, Leo likes to hide away but Baby Max likes to be up high. Leo sleeps in a small igloo in the corner of the landing overnight, Baby Max sleeps on a shelf bed on the wall in my bedroom. This is just one example of how cats are all different. Think about yours.

It’s ok to focus on one area at a time. It’s ok to make one small change, take the opportunity to see how it impacts your cat. Holistic doesn’t mean hectic.

What change are you going to make today to start looking at your cat using a holistic approach?

Not sure where to start? Take a look at my 4 paws to purrrfection webinar for some ideas.

Tag me on social media or drop an email to me and let me know. I love to hear from the community.

 

With love,
Julie-Anne, Leo and Max xxx

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