Pins and Needles: Does Acupuncture for Cats Work?

Acupuncture for cats? Sounds new age-y, but it isn’t! It’s been around for thousands of years, and it might just be the answer for you and your cat.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that was developed for humans. It works with the belief that we all have energy cycles moving through our bodies through a nexus of energy points. If an energy point becomes blocked, we become ill. The principle of energy cycles and energy points isn’t unique to humans though; in ancient Chinese medicine, it is believed that all living creatures have this.

As a result, acupuncture should work on cats as well as humans. Actually, cats have really similar energy points on their bodies as human, so any skilled veterinary acupuncturist should be more than capable of helping your cat align her energy.

Related: How to Keep Your Senior Cat Active

Why Choose Acupuncture for Cats?

When dogs are sick or in pain, people recommend pain relieving remedies such as hemp chews. You can’t give a cat a hemp chew, but acupuncture might just be the solution. The procedure can help your cat relax and find her alignment again. Cats can becomes more alert, social, and generally more comfortable with themselves again. It’s probably best for ailments related to muscle pain, or reproductive, neurological and gastrointestinal issues. Some vets also recommend acupuncture as something to manage pain and hasten recovery after surgery.

Moreover, if your cat seems to be suffering from a series of minor ailments, then trying to get to the source of it through acupuncture is worth trying. Acupuncture might also be the ideal thing for your older cat. As cats age they can become stiff and grouchy — unblocking the energy flow in their bodies could be ideal to help your old cat feel young again!

Related: How To Relax A Stressed Cat

How Does it Work?

Acupuncture is actually incredibly painless (despite what it looks like!). A skilled acupuncturist can insert the needles so well that it doesn’t send any pain signals to the brain. Humans and cats alike usually relax during the procedure, and sometimes even nap. Of course, just like there are some humans who don’t like acupuncture, there are cats who won’t put up with the procedure. It’s always best to set up a consultation, or give your local natural healing vet clinic a call and find out what they think!

The Nitty Gritty

Cat acupuncture treatment can take anywhere from less than a minute to thirty minutes, and can cost from $25 to $120. Most places allow you (even encourage you) to stay with your pet throughout the procedure. Some acupuncturists use needles that are rotated by hand, which the most common and well known type of acupuncture. But recently, some therapists use lasers with injections of sterile fluids, or even short bursts of electrical current to stimulate the area.

Whatever type of acupuncture your cat will get, your specialist will discuss it with you beforehand to make sure you agree that this is really the best thing for you and your cat.

If this is something you’re really interested in, it might be worth bringing it up with your vet during your next visit with your cat!

Elisabeth Fillmore
Elisabeth Fillmore

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