An old book on Homeopathy with a remedy in a bottle - photo by ausphoto (a.k.a. heritagefutures)
What is Homeopathy for cats? Vets who practice it are probably few and far between. Homeopathy was devised and developed by Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 - 2 July 1843) who was a German physician. The principles are these:
1. Drugs that cause symptoms that are similar to those suffered by the patient can cure the patient.
2. The drugs are extremely dilute.
3. The dilution process is a particular one devised by Dr. Hahnemann to preserve the effectiveness while removing the negative effects.
The first principle is stated as "May like be cured by like" by Dr. Hahnemann who also wisely said that one can tell from the behavior of an animal something of the symptoms of the illness suffered by the animal. Sounds like simple stuff but this was at a time when blood letting was popular as a treatment and when treatments by doctors frequently made things worse, far worse for the patient.
Dr. Hahnemann also made it clear that "Homeopathic methods for animals are, in a word, exactly as safe as they are for human beings." Homeopathy went through a rise in popularity after its creation because the alternatives were so awful. Then there was a decline and now a revival. It is considered an alternative medicine. I have never met a vet who practices it but some may incorporate it into conventional treatments.
All symptoms are observed first. These are referenced to the materia madica a reference work. Potency and dosage are important and beyond the scope of this post. A vet practicing homeopathy for cats is Dr. Wolff. He says that a cat is ill when she may lie apathetically, refuse normal food, look for your company but not like being touched, use the litter frequently and have teary eyes, sneeze and have diarrhea.
What kind of drugs are used? Here are two examples:
Inflammation of the Mouth Caused by a spread of inflammation from the gums and/or from objects such as bone splinters. The homeopathis drug to treat this condition is Balladonna 4 and Echiinacea 1. -- Do Not Treat Yourself Without a Vets Input Please -- The treatment is followed up with Mercurius solubilis
Colds The first remedy is a drug called Aconitum 6. This, it is claimed, will stop the cold. If the cold has progressed Dr. Wolff recommends Belladonna 4-6. If there is swelling of the lymph nodes and/or tonsiles, Lachesis 12 is indicated. Other remedies for colds are Allium cepa 3 and Pulsatilla 4.
These give an idea of what is given but what is in these prescriptions? Well Allium cepa is also known as the 'garden onion' and Pulsatilla comes from a plant.
In treating people the kind of person being treated as well as the symptoms is a factor in choosing the drug. Cats also have noticeable characters so the same diagnosis would apply to cats, in my opinion. Homeopathy for cats may have some merit but this alternative medicine is generally derided by conventional doctors and scientists as having no basis in fact -- i.e. it is unproven.