by Elisa Black-Taylor
Raw apple cider vinegar
Good morning readers. I'd like to tell you about my experience using raw apple cider vinegar on my cats. This differs from white vinegar or the regular apple cider vinegar offered for sale in the grocery store. You'll know you have the real thing by checking for two things. First the label will include the word "raw" and second, there will be a sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This is referred to as "the mother."
I had a great great aunt who took apple cider vinegar on a daily basis. She was always bursting with energy and never had a weight problem. I won't lie to you and tell you the taste is yummy because it's NOT. The only way I can take it is to take a swallow from the bottle and drink half a glass of tea or juice to get rid of the aftertaste. YUCK!
I purchased a few bottles of raw apple cider vinegar last year, so I had it on hand when I found an injured feral kitten. He had a few really bad sores and I had to take him to the vet. Antibiotics didn't help in the beginning so I made a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and pre-boiled water. I would take a dropper full twice a day and squirt it in his mouth. He didn't seem to mind the taste.
I'd read to add it to the cats drinking water, but my cats didn't like the taste. They refused to drink any water and the vinegar idea in the water bowl was tossed aside.
I also mixed some of the raw vinegar with water in a spray bottle. I used this to spray on my cats to deter fleas. I'd read fleas don't like the smell or the taste and honestly I don't blame them. I will say the smell doesn't take long getting used to. I noticed my cats didn't run away from me when I sprayed their coats with the vinegar mixture (again a 50/50 mix). This was strange because any time I'd go after them with the veterinary flea spray they'd turn tail and run.
They also got the added benefit of the vinegar when they licked some of it off their coat. Therefore, it was all right to over spray them because there are no harmful side effects. I always worried about my pets licking the poisonous chemicals found in commercial sprays.
This spray mixture made my cats coat soft and silky. I've heard it also treats most skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
As it turns out, raw apple cider vinegar is packed with health benefits. For more on these, the Bragg site (the #1 maker of raw vinegar) has a detailed list at Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for Pets (opens in new window or tab).
For centuries vinegar has been used to fight infection, aid digestion, reduce the inflammation of arthritis and to restore the body's pH to alkaline. It's an excellent remedy for heartburn in animals and humans. Because of it's pH regulating ability it makes an excellent treatment for any kind of urinary condition in animals. It helps prevent both kidney and bladder infections.
My daughter uses a small amount when cooking green beans. It adds flavor and after dinner my cats fight to see who gets to lick the vinegar out of the pan. Apparently they like the taste as long as it's not in their water bowl.
Raw vinegar can be used full strength to aid inflammation from a minor injury. Simply soak a cloth or bandage and apply plastic over it once it's wrapped around the inflamed area. I have also found full strength raw vinegar will almost immediately take the itch out of a mosquito bit or bee sting.
For animals with arthritis it breaks down calcium deposits and re-mineralizes the bones. It also aids in reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. I've heard it used to treat urinary problems more than any other condition.
It is one of the only natural foods that is full of vitamins, enzymes and trace minerals. It is both an anti-biotic and anti-septic. I've never read anything bad about it. In my opinion, it's one bottle everyone needs to keep on hand.
I order mine through discount vitamin companies as the cost is cheaper. Most health food stores also carry it.
Please feel free to share any experience you've had using raw apple cider vinegar. I never allow myself to run out and always keep a bottle in my pantry. It doesn't replace regular veterinary care or emergency medicine, but it does make a good supplement for cats and humans.