Feline Massage - your cat deserves it!
So, if you have read any of my hubs, you know that I am a Certified Massage Therapist. You may also know that I am a Certified Canine Massage Therapist. You also know that I fervently believe, and know from experience and my own clients, that Canine Massage can help with both physical and mental issues that dogs may have, such as nervousness, aggression, arthritis, hip dysplasia, or just old age. But what about cats? Does Feline Massage exist? And can it really help our beloved moggies to obtain better health?
The answer is an unequivocal yes. Just like humans, our pets go through a change when the aging process begins. Hearing loss, bad vision, tooth decay....all this is just part and parcel of the process. These are not the only changes taking place though. Creaky, sore joints, lumps and bumps, and stiff muscles also appear. Cats do tend to age well, but they can do even better with some help from the families who love them.
Cats can live for 20 years or more on a good run, however, often they are considered seniors by the age of ten. This all depends of course on age, diet, genetics, whether they are indoor or outdoor cats, and other factors. Some signs that your cat may be feeling his age are:-
- Lack of flexibility which may lead to difficulty grooming
- Appearing more bony (the spine may be easier to see and feel)
- Avoidance of physical activity (translate that to sleeping more!)
- Unable to curl into a tight ball to sleep
- Tooth decay
- Nails overgrowing (Animal Wellness Magazine, December 2008/January 2009 edition)
So what can massage and bodywork do for your cat? Well, massage can help to increase circulation and get the blood flowing throughout the body to those stiff, sore muscles. It's also very relaxing for the cat. Many times, as animals get older, they feel a change in their body and become nervous and anxious. I know my own cat, Ollie, is very nervous. When I see him begin to pace and meow, I instantly give him a massage. It calms him down and he is back to himself in no time. He enjoys it so much that his brother, Magic, has now become curious and lets me massage him, in shorter spurts, of course. My husband swears that Ollie is now making it up just to get his massages - but I don't mind giving them anyhow!
In regards to acupressure, this is also a wonderful tool for your cat's wellness. Acupressure is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been proven as an important tool in health over thousands of years. Using the tips of the fingers, light pressure is applied on certain points of the body, improving the flow of the life-promoting Chi energy (Animal Wellness Magazine). The idea is that when Chi is flowing smoothly, we, and our animals, are happy and healthy. If it is not flowign smoothly, illness or uncomfortable feelings arise. In the case of a senior cat, the goal would be to support vital organ systems by maintaining a healthy metabolic rate and helping along the flow of Chi (Animal Wellness Magazine).
The wonderful thing about both massage and acupressure is that they are both non-invasive and, more likely than not, your cat will really enjoy what you are doing for them. It will feel good to their body and their spirit; not only that, but it is enhancing the bond between yourself and your beloved pet. Who doesn't want to spend a few minutes or so each day, pampering our pets and treating them to the wellness they deserve. We can't make them live forever, but we can help the aging process to be postponed indefinitely. Of course, your cat doesn't have to be a senior to benefit from bodywork and acupressure. Applying these methods at any stage of your cat's life can help them to be in the best possible health they can be in, whether they are tiny kittens or "senior kitizens". Let's give them the love that they give to us, unconditionally.
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