August 30th is National Holistic Pet Day
August 30th is National Holistic Pet Day! It is a day that celebrates everything safe, holistic, and natural when it comes to your pet’s physical and spiritual health and wellness.
Holistic health focuses on the “whole” of an individual or creature—the mind, body, and soul. It is a practice of natural wellness that encompasses the spirit just as much as the physical body. Holistic health is made up of safe and natural remedies, putting great emphasis on staying clear of the harmful and toxic chemicals that are in many modern, man-made foods and medicines.
For centuries, holistic and homeopathic remedies have been a pivotal way to deal with the health and wellness of not only humans, but pets and animals as well.
So what does taking care of your kitty’s mind, body, and spirit look like? There are many ways you can care for your cat (and yourself) in a complete and balanced sense.
Nutrition and Physical Health
Ensuring your cat’s physical health is obviously of the utmost importance to all pet owners. Nutrition is an incredibly important part of holistic health, as the food that is put into the body is the foundation for which the body functions.
Feeding your cat all natural and organic food is a great way to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, like a lot of popular human foods, many popular name-brand cat foods are laden with chemicals and preservatives that aren’t very good for your kitty’s digestive system. In fact, any over-processed food is not good for your pet—this also includes human food, so be mindful of what you are sharing off of your plate.
Regularly feeding your kitty clean and healthy food alternatives will keep them free of many food-related diseases, such as obesity, arthritis, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), heart disease, and chronic diarrhea. Always be sure to talk to your vet if you ever have any questions about what specific kind of food is the best for your kitty.
Additionally, consider giving your cat filtered water. Hydration is important for any living thing, thus so is water quality. Most tap water is filled with chemicals like fluoride, chlorine, and various other minerals—and while these things aren’t inherently dangerous to your pet, they aren’t the best either. Give your kitty the water you’d like to drink!
To keep your cat’s body running its best, it is also important to keep your cat active. Laziness, lethargy, and lack of stimulation is an unhealthy lifestyle for your cat which will ultimately lead them to gain weight. A little extra fluff is okay, but if allowed to spiral out of control, excess weight on a feline can cause a slew of dangerous medical problems.
Play time is exercise time. Making sure your cat gets enough play and exercise will keep them fit, healthy, and properly stimulated. Although cats are known to sleep many hours of the day (on average 12-16 hours) they still need an outlet for their energy. Keeping toys around the house for your cat to play with is essential to keeping them stimulated. Cats have a natural predisposition to hunt, so any toys that encourage their predatory nature are great things to keep around. It’s also important for the owner to encourage play by using things like feather toys and laser pointers. Not only is this a great outlet for your cat, but it’s a wonderful way to bond with your fur baby.
While it’s super important to keep the inside of your cat clean and healthy, it’s also just as important to keep their outside clean and healthy as well. When using things like cat shampoo or topical medications like flea and tick prevention, it’s imperative that you know what you are putting on your pet’s body. Many of these products contain dangerous chemicals that, if ingested when a cat cleans themselves, can be wildly harmful. There are now many brands of all natural and organic grooming and preventative products, so it’s easy to make sure that anything you are putting on the outside of your cat is free from potentially toxic substances.
Mental and Spiritual Health
Creating a peaceful environment for your cat will ensure balance and homeostasis within the home for both animals and their owners. A comfortable environment for your cat to live in is essential for their ability to thrive and really be their full selves.
Cats need stimulation not only for their body but for their mind. Making sure your home is cat-friendly in terms of places for them to perch, watch outside, and play is important for the health of their brains. Consider that your home is your cat’s entire world—it’s a relatively small space, so including a lot of fun and engaging aspects to it is key to keeping your cat properly occupied and entertained.
Depending on your cat’s personality, bonding is also an important part of their happiness. Some cats prefer to be left alone, but a lot of cats need love and affection to sustain them. Setting aside plenty of time for cuddles, pets, and scratches are viral for their spirit.
While we are talking about holistic health, it’s important to note that some things we use for humans are not safe for pets. While some things like pet massage and sound therapy are considered safe, things like aromatherapy or vegan diets are not as safe. Many types of essential oils can be extremely harmful to cats and should be avoided. Additionally, cats are natural carnivores and their diet should always include meat, even if yours doesn’t.
When you’re looking into holistic care for your pets, there are a lot of things to consider. Research is the most important thing you can do when looking into new foods, treatments, or regimens for your kitty. Educating yourself properly is the first step into taking the best, safest, and healthiest care of your cat that you can!