The idea of going and getting your cat a massage may sound silly at first. After all, for many humans getting a massage conjures up images of going to a spa, wearing a robe, and having your toenails painted. Aren’t cats pampered enough? They get to sleep all day, play games, listen to birds… and now get personal massages too? However, the fact of the matter is that massage is recommended by many experts to treat a variety of health concerns in humans, and also in cats. Massage therapy is a healing and preventative tool that can be used by people and pets with great results.
Studies show that massage therapy provides various benefits including releasing stress, relieving pain, increasing flexibility, enhancing immunity, reducing depression, and improving circulation. Many people have begun getting massages as part of their health regimen to relieve stress and improve their overall state of health. As it turns out, many of the same benefits can be received through massage therapy for cats.
In order to get your cat a massage, you certainly don’t have to take him or her to a spa. Certainly booking your cat for a massage appointment at a regular massage parlor would get you some very strange looks. When it comes to a feline, you can either administer the massage yourself or go to a veterinarian who practices massage therapy for cats. Of course, if there is something physically wrong with your cat or if your cat is exhibiting unusual symptoms it is always a good idea to go to a veterinarian. In that case, you should first find out if massage therapy is the best option.
When you give your cat a massage, you will find it improves your pet’s circulation, muscle function, and relives any potential pain the cat may be experiencing. Additionally, massage relaxes your cat. Many cats experience stress due to their surroundings. This fact is especially relevant to cats living in the city, who may not get enough exercise and who are exposed to toxins including smoke, traffic, and perhaps even the stress of nearby barking dogs. These forms of stress can lead to behavior problems and eventually even health problems. Keeping your cat relaxed and calm through massage will keep away potential feelings of stress.
A variety of different types of massage are recommended for cats. These options include acupressure massage, trigger point massage and remedial massage. Some of these techniques can be practiced on your own, and others require an expert. It is also important to note that not all cats should receive massage. For example, pregnant cats and sick cats should not be massaged. Also if your cat just seems to hate the massage process, don’t proceed. After all, this practice is meant to be relaxing, and not stressful. Another guideline to abide by is to be careful not to massage the cat right after he or she has eaten.
If you are massaging your own cat, simply stroking him or her is an easy and effective form of massage. You can start off just by patting your cat while he or she is in your lap or lying comfortably on the floor. Talk to the cat in a soothing voice, and make sure both you and your cat are feeling relaxed. Start from the top of your cat and stroke downwards towards its tail, applying firm pressure. You can use your fingertips or your whole hand. Be sure to stroke down each limb and make sure the cat’s whole body is relaxed. If you notice your cat has any sensitive spots, remember what they are. See if through repeated massage you can improve these conditions. This massage therapy process is a great way to bond with your cat, and will likely make you feel more relaxed in the process.
Acupressure is a more advanced massage technique that provides great results in cats. This process will promote healing and relaxation in your cat as well. Before starting acupressure, definitely take into account any potential injuries your pet may have that may not be completely healed. These areas should probably be avoided during treatment. It is probably a good idea to wait until your cat is in the mood. After all, working on a struggling panicked cat definitely defeats the purpose of the massage!
In acupressure, the procedure takes into account a series of pressure points on the cat. The principle is that a series of pressure in these specific will keep your cat healthy and release any pain or tension. There are a variety of practitioners who do specialize in acupressure for cats and/or dogs. Also you can purchase a book, which will present guidelines to where the acupressure points are on your cat. Applying pressure to some of the acupressure points is also curative. For example, a specific point may apply to limb pain or shoulder soreness.
Some veterinarians recommend giving your cat a weekly massage. Massage therapy for cats is particularly important when dealing with older cats that may have aches and pains, or cats with arthritis. The massage will help with the cat’s stiff joints and reduce muscle knots. Another reason doctors recommend massage therapy is that it will allow you to become acquainted with the typical look and feel of your cat. Once you get to know your cat’s skin, you will become aware if any abnormalities ever present themselves.
Often cats don’t reveal to humans when they are hurt or need help. They tend to hide their pain and/or suffering very convincingly. However, through massaging your cat it is possible to discover any problem on your own. During your cat’s massage you can check out his or her abdominal area, skin, and glands.
You may want to discuss your massage technique and treatment with your veterinarian to confirm that you aren’t doing anything that will accidentally hurt the cat. If you notice anything unusual about your cat during a massage, another important guideline is to stop massaging until you have consulted with the doctor. Taking preventative measures is a smart move when it comes to cats. The massage therapy process can catch potential problems early on, and as a result dramatically improve your cat’s well-being and life expectancy.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.