Natural arthritis treatments
Herbal remedies are excellent for the treatment of arthritis in cats. You can buy them ready-made or make your own.
Muscle and Joint Support from PetAlive is a ready-made natural remedy supporting muscle, cartilage and joint health. It contains herbs, tissue salts and nutritional substances known for their positive effect on muscles, joints, cartilage and tendons.
Cats with arthritis can also be treated with herbal teas (tisanes). Give your cat 2 dropperfuls of horsetail tisane half an hour before feeding in the morning and evening. In addition, give four dropperfuls of speedwell and stinging nettle tisane four times daily. The tea should be made by pouring 150 ml of water on one teaspoon of the herb. Let it brew for one minute, then strain the herb.
Another natural remedy for arthritis uses honey and apple cider vinegar. Mix two teaspoons of honey and apple cider vinegar in 300 ml of water and add one teaspoon of Swedish bitters. Give this once a day and, in addition, two dropperfuls of the mixture without the Swedish bitter every four hours.
A herbal remedy cats will love is an infusion of meadowsweet, cleavers, comfrey, cowslip or rue, stinging nettle, couch grass and catnip. Prepare the tea by pouring 300 ml of water on two teaspoons of the herb mixture. Give three dropperfuls mixed with one teaspoon of honey in the morning and evening.
A poultice of the same herbs can be applied to swollen joints. Alternatively, apply a horsetail or cabbage poultice. Heat the herbs briefly in the microwave, then spread them on a light, thin cloth and bind to the affected area. Leave on overnight. During the day you can apply a compress of Swedish bitters for four hours.
You can also rub some comfrey or sage tincture into swollen joints several times a day, especially in the evening. To make the tincture, take a handful of the herb and macerate for 10 days in apple cider vinegar. Strain the herb and massage into your cat’s coat but don’t over wet. Dry your cat off with hair dryer.
Diet and weight control
Never feed your cat junk food or unsuitable human food. Providing your cat with a diet that is low in carbohydrates and higher in protein will help to alleviate arthritic pain. The amount of protein in your cat’s food should be no more than 60%, with the remaining 40% being made up of vegetables and grain.
If you want to cook for your cat, a meal of raw beef, chicken or liver together with lightly cooked or steamed mashed vegetables such carrot, zucchini, green beans or celery and cooked grains e.g. oats, barley, millet or brown rice, prepared to the ratio given above is excellent.
A minute dose of cayenne pepper in each meal works wonders for arthritis. If your cat dislikes it, feed it in half a teaspoon of honey and water. Also, one chopped fresh leave of feverfew leaf added to each meal helps relieve arthritic pain.
If you buy ready-made food for your cat check the ingredients to make sure it does not contain too much grain. You can also buy cat food that is especially designed for cats with arthritis and will help to reduce inflammation. If the food does not already contain it, supplement your cat’s diet with vitamins. Vitamin A, C, D and E are all beneficial in various ways.
Make sure your cat gets some daily exercise to keep the joints flexible and prevent muscle wastage. Chasing games are great for exercise. Manage your cat’s weight carefully. Don’t let it become overweight. This will put additional strain on joints and increase arthritic pain.
One way to help your arthritic cat is to provide comfortable and warm bedding. Cold conditions can exacerbate your cat’s arthritis and stiffen joints. A soft sleeping surface is also better for an arthritic cat than a hard one. A fleece blanket will provide both warmth and a soft sleeping surface. A thermo bed or a hot water bottle in a cuddly wrap are also beneficial.