You wouldn't wish the pain of arthritis on any of your friends or family, so you certainly don't want to see your furry friend going through its agony either. You can boost the effects of standard arthritis treatment with homeopathy, or use homeopathic remedies alone to ease her discomfort.
Arthritis and Homeopathy
Homeopathy is based on the principle of treating like with like. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who created the practice, discovered he could treat his patients with very small doses of the substance that would, if given in large doses, produce the patient's symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are available in different potencies, the lowest being potency 6.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It's painful, but it's manageable. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the mainstay of orthodox treatment, but if you're concerned about the prospect of your fur ball taking these drugs long-term, talk to your vet about the pros and cons of instead using homeopathy to improve your pet's condition.
There are just a few remedies recommended for domestic pets with arthritis, but it is not always easy to choose the right one. This is because two or more remedies may seem appropriate for similar symptoms. However, Dr. H.G. Wolff, author of "Homeopathy for Your Cat," believes you can learn to choose the right one for your kitty. Although you can safely give your kitty a low-dose homeopathic remedy -- no more than potency 6 -- without consulting a vet, according to author Don Hamilton, it's much better to get advice from a trained veterinary homeopath and read some of the many books on cats and homeopathy.
Arnica and Calcarea
Arnica montana is probably the most widely known homeopathic remedy. It is primarily associated with sprains, bruising and helping with emotional trauma after an injury. The same goes for your cat. If her arthritis makes her fearful of touch, or she's feeling a type of pain that either makes her lie very still or become restless, then arnica is recommended.
Calcarea carbonica and Calcarea phosphorica are related remedies. Both these are useful if your kitty's arthritis gets worse when it's cold and damp. It's also recommended for any noticeable weakness in the legs and trembling, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Belladonna and Bryonia
Although we know it as a poison, belladonna is a widely used homeopathic remedy. It's often recommended when a pet has an episode of acute pain with specific symptoms. This type of pain is eased more by movement than by staying still, so your cat may pace or keep her legs moving while lying down. She might also be a bit snappy. Bryonia is useful when any kind of movement makes the pain worse. Apart from the fact that kitty refuses to move, you might also notice that her joints are a bit hot. She may also be irritable and thirsty, and she may prefer that you leave her alone.
Pulsatilla and Rhus Toxicodendron
Pulsatilla and Rhus tox are also first-aid box standards. Pulsatilla is indicated for a cat whose arthritis gets worse in the heat. In fact, cold appears to help it. So, it's the opposite of the "calcarea cat." Your kitty may need pulsatilla if she seems to be in pain when she first gets up to move around but the pain seems to ease as she keeps moving. Another sign of needing pulsatilla is frequent leg stretching. Rhus tox is an alternative remedy for these same symptoms. However, it is better for cats whose symptoms are made worse by cold weather.
Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.