Homeopathic remedies and feline asthma…I don’t know, but I’ll give just about anything a shot, because let’s face it, parenting a sick kitty is tough. Between looking out for environmental triggers, providing a stress-free home and choosing the best treatment for your cat’s asthma there’s a lot of room for confusion. Conventional medicine does a great job of controlling the symptoms, but this can be disheartening for humans who usually choose natural therapies for themselves. Holistic or homoeopathic remedies and feline asthma might seem like a good mix if you’re that way inclined, but before you go down that path there are a few things to consider.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an alternative medicine system that was developed in 1796 by a German physicist named Samuel Hahnemann. It works on the principle of ‘like cures like’, which means that the same substance that would cause sickness in a healthy body can cure that illness in a sick body when minute doses are used. Hahnemann discovered that administering highly dilute substances from the plant, mineral and animal worlds stimulated the body’s healing process in a natural, non-evasive way.
A master homeopath chooses a single remedy to treat the individual as a whole, including their emotional and mental difficulties as well as their physical symptoms. While conventional medicine works to suppress or remove symptoms with medications or surgery, homeopathic treatments work to stimulate the body’s natural defences and restore health rather than just fighting disease. Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive and natural and are believed to be both safe and effective by those who shy away from synthetic drugs.
Where’s The Science?
The theory behind homeopathy is appealing, but in reality, it is considered a pseudoscience – a belief that is presented as being scientific when it actually isn’t. The concept of homeopathy is to give the patient a substance that would cause the illness from which they suffer – but do you really want to give your wheezy kitty something that would make it more difficult to breathe? Homeopaths get around this by diluting minute amounts of the substances with distilled water or alcohol.
Hahnemann developed his homeopathic theory before the concept in chemistry of the mole and the Avogadro constant, which defines the number of particles in a substance. What this means in English is that Hahnemann didn’t realise that homeopathic remedies have the active ingredient diluted right out of them. Modern homeopaths attribute the healing powers of their solutions to ‘water memory’, or the belief that water remembers the shape of the medicine it once contained and while this is plausible, it is also beyond the realm of known physics.
Do Homeopathic Remedies For Feline Asthma Really Work?
I’m fairly skeptical about most things, and homeopathy is no exception. There’s a lot of mixed research and my own personal experience often negates this research. While I’m skeptical, I also have a healthy understanding that there are a lot of things we don’t understand – the energetic balance of the feline body, for example, and how an imbalance can cause disease. I’d like to believe that this unseen energetic imbalance can be corrected with an also unseen energy, without my internal logic-monger getting in the way. I don’t think it’s a completely ineffective treatment and given that the solutions are so heavily diluted there’s probably no harm in using homeopathic remedies to support healing of minor issues that would soon pass anyway.There’s also some consideration that must be given to the placebo effect, which has been proven to be remarkably powerful. However, in the case of treating illness in our feline friends, this placebo effect can and does alter how humans perceive their pet to be responding, rather than actually providing relief. It is obviously dangerous and irresponsible to shun scientifically proven medicine for something that might work, or might be perceived to be working, particularly when it’s not your own life in your hands.
In other words, experiment all you like with your own health, but please be a responsible cat parent by using whatever works best for your little friend, even if it goes against your personal preferences. I know, I sound like a hater but I’m really not – I do have a few homeopathic things in my arsenal against feline asthma. Click here to read my Native Remedies AmazaPet Review.
Having Said All That…
There are some cases where uses of such woo-woo treatments might be more appropriate than conventional medicines. These synthetic medicines can cause undesirable short-term side effects and long-term use has been linked to complications with the liver, kidneys, heart and even the personality of asthma cats.
Feline asthma is serious business and can be fatal if not properly treated. It’s important to make sure you’re using the correct treatment for your cat’s particular needs. A qualified holistic/homeopathic vet will be able to assess kitty’s condition and tailor a treatment to address his individual symptoms. The International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy website is a great resource for learning more and finding a qualified homeopathic vet in your local area.
Use caution when choosing an over-the-counter remedy; it should be designed specifically for cats and you must discuss its use with your vet first. I personally use a homeopathic remedy to support Sparrow’s traditional medicine treatment, you can read my review here. My feeling is that these kinds of generic remedies are best used for supporting the immune system and reducing anxiety, rather than as a complete treatment for feline asthma symptoms.
What do you think of homeopathy, have you used it with your pets? Let us know down there in the comments…