Can Acupuncture Stimulate Appetite in Cats?

Acupuncture perks me up for a feed.
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If your kitty loses her appetite, it's worrying, particularly if she refuses food for more than a day or two. Once your vet has discovered the cause and decided on a course of a treatment, you might want to help your pet's recovery with some acupuncture.

Veterinary Acupuncture

Acupuncture is quite widely accepted in veterinary circles as a useful tool for supporting conventional treatments. It's used for pain relief, for skeletal and functional disorders and sometimes as a diagnostic tool. Vets tend to use acupuncture to treat specific conditions in species, rather than as a universal treatment for every condition in every pet. For example, cats with neurological and gastrointestinal conditions respond well to acupuncture, but it may not be so effective with every feline disease. According to Holistic Vet Online, your vet may either suggest acupuncture as the main form of treatment, as a supportive therapy for other treatments, or as a backup if other treatments fail. You should never attempt to give your kitty acupuncture yourself based on charts in books. Always use a qualified veterinary acupuncturist.

Appetite Stimulant

An eating problem is one sign of poor health, but when your kitty refuses food you need to find out the specific condition that is spoiling her appetite. Acupuncture helps your cat to start taking an interest in food again by stimulating the movement of energy in your kitty's energy channels, according to Chinese traditional medicine theory. It also removes blockages and balances energy, boosting general health while also treating specific conditions. VetInfo names lack of appetite as one of many conditions that respond well to acupuncture. Using acupuncture to restore appetite also helps your kitty fight conditions such as kidney and liver disease.

Disease Support

If it turns out that your beloved furry friend has a more serious condition, such as kidney disease, acupuncture can help support her through the various treatments. Your vet will undoubtedly recommend that you change your furball's diet and perhaps add in some nutritional supplements such as fatty acids, vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Reducing your pet's stress levels helps delay the progress of kidney disease, and Healthy Pet Journal suggests that acupuncture stimulates the kidneys and general vitality. One spin off of this is that your furry friend is likely to feel perkier as her nausea decreases and her appetite increases.

What to Expect

Although the word "needle" can be scary, the very fine needles used by an acupuncturist shouldn't cause your kitty any pain. In fact, she's more likely to feel discomfort from an ordinary vaccination. If she does show signs of sensitivity to a needle, this usually disappears very quickly and most animals relax during a treatment, to the point of having a catnap. The length of each treatment varies, and your veterinary acupuncturist will discuss the weekly frequency of treatments and how many weeks he expects it to last. He may well ask you if you want to keep your furball company while he treats her; this reassures you and kitty that there's nothing to worry about.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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