Are herbs for cats safe? Are herbs suitable for cats? Can cats be harmed by herbs? Can a herbal remedy, an herbal tincture or a herbal medicine help your cat?
Rather than just give you a quick answer, I want to take you through an understanding of who cats are. Then you can make up your own mind. We all need to understand things to believe them. Once you understand something, it is easier to see where other people, and their ideas, are coming from. So you’re not vulnerable to swinging ideas.
All cats are true carnivores. Not just that, they are obligate carnivores, meaning they cannot survive without meat. There are no vegetarian or vegan cats. At least, not in Nature. And if any are in domesticity, their lives are likely to be short and troubled.
Lone Hunters Have Developed Differently
All cats, except for the lions, are lone hunters. That means they live and die by their own efforts. They have no pack to rely on when they are not up to hunting.
Being a lone hunter means you have to be very skilled. To this end, cats senses are finely tuned and highly efficient. They can sense movements underground, giving away the location of prey. They are endlessly patient, waiting for hours where they know prey will eventually emerge. Some, such as the cheetah, are able to sprint very fast after their fleeing prey.
Everything goes into high alert when hunting – sight, sound, feeling and doubtless much more we know nothing about. Cats can’t afford to expend energy uselessly, so they acknowledge when it’s pointless pursuing an unlikely prey.
To be such a skilled and efficient hunter, you need to be light in body, able to move noiselessly and be very flexible in your body – crouching to remain hidden, changing to pouncing or sprinting in a nano-second.
To be light in body, cats have evolved with lighter bones and lighter organs. The liver is one of the heaviest organs in any body, because it has such a lot of work to do. One of the jobs the liver has is to process the poisons found in plants, such as the alkaloids, the terpenes and the phenols.
Processing Plant Based Poisons
All plants contain some of these poisons to a greater or lesser degree. It’s a survival strategy for the plant against over consumption by grazing or foraging beings. After consuming some of the plant, the consumer will not want to eat any more and will move on to something else. So the plant survives.
Because cats don’t need this ability, as they are not plant eaters, this ability has been lost in an effort to lighten the body.
So, can you now answer the question yourself; are herbs for cats safe?
In fact, no plant based food is safe for cats. They are all highly problematic. So it’s not surprising that domestic cats fed any brand of commercial cat food have such poor health. Check the ingredients, even on the more healthy raw food brands and you’ll see a huge range and quantity of plant based food.
Fruit, and vegetables that are a fruit, are less of a problem because they don’t contain these poisons. They are produced by the plant to send their seeds far and wide within a neat packet of fertiliser to help them get a good start. So you will find even healthy cats enjoying some fruit such as melons and some fruit-vegetables such as zucchini and pumpkin.
However, this should be kept to a minimum as it is not a source of nutritious food for cats.
Some Plants Are Medicinal For Cats
All cats are known to chew on grass or any other herb of their choice occasionally. They do this, not for nutrition, but for medicinal purposes. Almost immediately after chewing on the grass, the cat will vomit it back up, often with nothing more than saliva. But they inevitably feel better after that.
Continued ingestion of herbs or other plant based food can cause liver and kidney damage, which we see all to often in cats of all ages.
Very few vets and herbalists are aware of this problem.
It is far healthier to feed cats a healthy, plant-free, balanced raw diet and to use homeopathy for their health care. Homeopathic treatment is totally safe for cats, but even then, needs a skilled prescriber.
People often contact me asking for a herbal remedy for their inevitably sick cat. Forget about the remedy. Start feeding your cat a proper diet they have evolved on and you’ll get much better results.
What is good for humans is, categorically, not necessarily good for anyone else. Herbs for cats is just one such example. Good for humans, but not for cats.
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