Watching your kitty scratching away at herself is upsetting. Undoubtedly you'll want to get to the bottom of why she's doing it and get her some relief. Homeopathy offers an alternative to standard treatments, and with qualified homeopathic and veterinary advice it can help control your furry friend's itchiness.
How Homeopathy Works
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann based his homeopathy system on the principle of treating like with like. He discovered that giving patients minuscule doses of substances cured a condition that a large dose of the substance produced. So, using the homeopathic principle to treat itching skin, you use a substance that makes skin itchy. He also developed a range of potencies --or strengths -- for his remedies, with 6c being the lowest potency, and the one you'll usually find if you buy a homeopathic remedy in your local drugstore or health food store. The potency of the remedy refers the number of times the tincture is diluted in water, with 6c being the most diluted. A homeopath may prescribe a remedy in a much higher potency such as 30c to 200c. You should be able to find homeopathic remedies for your cat in capsule, liquid or pill forms.
Unfortunately, there isn't one homeopathic remedy for all incidences of itchiness. You need to find out the cause of your feline friend's itchiness before you can find a remedy that will ease her itching. As Ian Mason at the Feline Advisory Bureau points out, there is a huge range of possible causes for feline itching, and vets have difficulty at times distinguishing between itching as a symptom of the skin condition pruritis and itching as a symptom of another disease. A food or dust/pollen allergy produce scratching, as do mites and insect bites, and in the case of allergies, so it may take a bit of investigation to find the allergen causing your kitty's problem.
Homeopathy Remedies for Allergies
According to vet Dr. Shawn at the Paws and Claws Animal Hospital in Plano, Texas, homeopathic remedies are a useful addition to a range of natural treatments for the itchy cat with allergies. He suggests a number of single remedies, such as rhus toxicodendron (poison ivy), sulphur, graphites, histaminum, psorinum or natrum to help alleviate the itching. However, with such an array to choose from, it's a good idea to talk to your vet and a homeopath about the best one to use and the dose needed. It's also important to remember that you can use homeopathic remedies as an extra support to more conventional medicines and that you don't have to opt for one or the other.
Types of Itching
In his book "Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs," Don Hamilton suggests remedies for different types of itching, but cautions you against giving an itching remedy if your furry friend is already on a homeopathic remedy for something else. The key to choosing a remedy is close observation of both the way your cat scratches and her behavior. He recommends Arsenicum for dry, scaly itching skin accompanied by restlessness at night. Ledum helps with itching caused by fleabites and Mezereum helps relieve itching that appears to have no obvious cause. Urtica urens from the stinging nettle helps excessive itching that produces red blotches and is also helped by keeping your kitty cool.
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.