Are supplements for cats necessary?

13th June 2016
Beryl Shuttleworth
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A lot of people are hesitant about whether or not to give their supplements for cats – after all, we are told by the cat food manufacturers that their brand is completely balanced and absolutely no supplementation is necessary.

The truth is the only diet that is perfect for your cat is what he or she would eat in the wild – raw fresh meat, bones and connective tissue, supplemented with fresh plant and vegetable material.  A diet like this would have to be hunted in an ideal world, very different to the world we live in today, which is rife with pollution, fertilizers, insecticides, intensive farming, etc.

Animals in the wild are also able to self-medicate by nibbling on herbs which they instinctively know will heal them. Horses put into a field with herbs growing in it, will selectively graze those herbs that they need.  (And leave behind those that they don’t need.)  Dogs and cats are also natural herbalists. In the wild, they used to actively seek out healing plants for themselves. Even today, you will often find them nibbling on something in your herb garden.

Nowadays, of course, they are not likely to have unlimited exposure to all the herbs that they might need. So, it is up to us as owners, to closely monitor their behaviour and to add the relevant herbs to their diet as needed.

Herbalism for animals (and humans) is a practice which is growing in popularity. This is because it is generally a safe, effective way of keeping our animal friends healthy. Herbs are deep healers, going to the root of the problem, instead of just suppressing the symptoms, which a lot of conventional drugs do.

Today our pets suffer more than ever before from diet related problems – allergies, joint, skin and behavioral problems. Of course there are many different reasons for these problems. But, it makes one wonder – if the food we feed was perfectly balanced, would these problems be on the increase?

My advice is this – know your cat. Know his or her temperament and moods, digestive habits, metabolism, stools. Observe closely. This way, you will immediately pick up a problem and you will be able to take corrective action. Some cats will live perfectly healthily for their entire lives without ever needing a supplement. But others do need more or less constant supplementation of their diet.

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