Cat showing the acupoints - photo by gadgetgirl (Flickr)
Some visitors might like to consider cat acupuncture as an alternative or complementary treatment for illness. It is a very well established form of medical treatment that has been shown to produce results. Acupuncture is one of the best known complimentary medical treatments but I rarely if ever see it discussed in relation to cats.
Cat acupuncture works like any other form of acupuncture. The traditional basis for its effectiveness is that it puts back into balance the flow of life energy that passes along meridians (channels) in the body. This life force is called Qi. Qi is maintained by yin and yang. These are opposite forces that work together and which need to be in balance if our cat is to be healthy.
The insertion of a fine needle at points where Qi is concentrated adjusts the flow of energy by stimulating or suppressing it. This adjustment ensures that an energy balance is maintained. There are 112 traditional "acupoints" in cats.
Veterinarians practicing cat acupuncture
Where are these vets? I am not even sure my local vet would know. There are various associations that can assist.
There is the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) who should be able to assist. But strangely, they do not provide a list on their website as far as I can see.
There is a link on their site to the website of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, where, a search can be made:
Directory -- link broken 14-9-2013.
In the UK there is the The Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists (ABVA). They have a search facility on their website as well: Find a vet.
For example, there is a center in Oxfordshire that will no doubt be able to point people in the right direction if they are unable to visit. This is their website: Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre - Acupuncture.
Can unqualified people do it?
Absolutely not. Only qualified vets should do cat acupuncture.
Some cats will not accept it. This is clearly a major consideration.
Cost, length of sessions, measurable effectiveness are all considerations.
Apparently acupuncture requires several sessions over a longish period of time. Weekly sessions for a month lead to less frequent sessions.
Clearly over this time early signs of improvement in a cat's health need to be seen. Is there a way to stop sessions and stop paying if there is no sign of improvement?
Cat acupuncture might appeal to cat owners who are seeking more natural remedies other than, for example, drugs. Drugs are ultimately a form of poison and there will always be side effects.
But it is a medical procedure that requires expert advice.
I am indebted to Dr. Bruce Fogle who wrote the book, Natural Cat Care published by DK (www.dk.com) for source material.