Herbs are plants which have particular qualities, making Herbal Treatments for Cats valuable for their tonic properties or the treatment of various illnesses. In some cases, they have provided the active ingredients for drugs which are now made artificially, to treat a variety of ailments both in cats and people, ranging from heart disease to skin ailments. Many herbs can be cultivated quite easily from seed, and this means that you can make some herbal preparations yourself.
- Even everyday products like lemon have a place in herbal remedies: preparations containing lemon can be used to soothe flea bites, and acidulated water may help some urinary tract problems.
- You can make a herbal flea repellent by mixing 5ml (½ teaspoon) gin, four drops of garlic oil and one drop each of cedarwood, citronella and thyme oil. Soak the collar in the mixture, and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Never use pennyroyal – a flea deterrent – with pregnant cats, because it could cause an abortion.
- Herbs are generally used on their own, and not mixed together. They are described as `simples’ in this state.
- Never apply undiluted herbal oils to your cat’s skin. They are likely to prove harmful in this concentrated form.
Is it safe to give my cat herbal remedies?
Seek veterinary advice first, because the correct dosage can be vital. For example, the male fern (Dryopteris felix-mas) is used to treat tapeworms, but if the dose used is too high, your cat is likely to be blinded and may even die as a consequence.
Is an infusion the same as a decoction?
Basically yes, but the chopped-up leaves, stems or flowers, do not have to soak in the saucepan. Simply bring to the boil, simmer and cool, and then strain off the liquid. Put a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan, so that volatile elements will not be lost.
How can I make a herbal poultice?
Crush the herbs in a pestle and mortar, and tie in a muslin bag, then use a bandage to hold the bag against the cat’s skin.erbs can be used to benefit cats in various ways. Some herbal remedies such as skullcap and valerian are now available in tablet form to treat conditions such as travel sickness.
BENEFITS OF PARSLEY
Herbs are also included in a number of brands of canned cat food, while you can add others such as parsley to your cat’s food very easily, simply by chopping up the leaves and mixing them together. The pieces of parsley will stick better to canned food as a result of the moisture here, rather than to a dry food. Parsley is valued as an appetite stimulant and also has mild diuretic properties, so it can be especially helpful for cats which have suffered from feline urolithasis.
INFUSIONS AND DECOCTIONS
Another possibility is to make a herbal infusion, which can be used for bathing a wound or even given to the cat as a drink, depending on the ingredients. It is not just the leaves of a plant which can be valuable for herbal treatments. Drier parts, such as tree bark or roots can also be used, although these need to be prepared in a different way, by means of a process called ‘decoction’, to extract the beneficial water soluble components.
This entails adding 30g ( 1 oz) of the roots, chopped up finely, to 500m1 (20fl. oz) of cold water, and leaving them to soak for at least 10 minutes. They should then be heated to boiling point in a covered saucepan, left to simmer for 15 minutes and allowed to cool, before being used in the same way as an infusion.