You may use Bach flower remedies to get you through some of life's trickier moments, but you can also give them to your furball companion when she's stressed, depressed or showing signs of mood swings. They're safe for animals; you just have to choose the right essence.
What are Bach Flower Remedies?
Back in the 1930s, Dr. Edward Bach, an English homeopath, developed his core range of 38 flower and plant essences for treating behavioral and emotional problems. Bach believed that plants had an energy vibration that related to an emotion, and that the ones he chose for his system, after years of research, could treat every conceivable emotional state. The remedies are used either singly or in selected combinations. The Bach Rescue Remedy, which is a combination of five essences, is often a stock ingredient of the home first-aid box as an emergency treatment for shock.
Bach for Cats
Flower remedies do not treat a kitty's physical illnesses, but they can support her emotionally while she's ill. One of the beauties of using the Bach system is that it is safe, relatively inexpensive and you can probably buy it in your local health food store. Martin Scott and Gael Mariani, in their book "Bach Flower Remedies for Cats," claim that animals frequently respond to the healing effects of essences quicker than people. He also says that another upside of the system is that most people can learn to use it with their animal without going on a learning course. However, if you're unsure about selecting suitable flower essences for your furball, there are homeopathic vets who can help you. Check with the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association for one near you.
Choosing a Flower Essence
With so many essences to choose from, selection is something that comes with practice and familiarity with the essence properties. You'll need to observe your furball and decide what emotion she's going through and check this against a guide of Bach remedies. For example, shy, timid kittens respond well to Mimulus, while Rock Rose stops her trembling when she panics. Honeysuckle and Walnut are recommended for separation anxiety, and give her Rescue Remedy during any stressful situations, whether it's a visit to the vet or a fireworks night.
Giving Kitty a Flower Essence
The main thing is to give the flower essences time to work, according to homeopath Kim Rockshaw. She also says that although you might take a remedy in water, this won't work for kitty because generally cats drink in small amounts, so you've no way of knowing if she's swallowed the remedy. Instead, put a few drops in her food twice daily, and using a dropper, put a couple of drops into her mouth twice daily as well. You can also rub a little essence into her ears. Continue treating her until her behavior improves. Rockshaw points out that this might take an entire bottle of remedy.
- Bach Flower Remedies for Cats; Martin Scott and Gael Mariani
- The Bach Centre: Theory, Belief, Research
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.