Massage is used regularly for pets after surgery or during the rehabilitation process after an accident or serious injury. However, the benefits of massage go beyond medical — which is why getting one for Fluffy could be a great idea.
According to Dr. Jon Woodman, a general small animal veterinarian in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, a massage can be very comforting for the pet and can enhance the human-pet bond. "Plus, massages can help keep pets comfortable when they've been active and can help those that are beginning to suffer from arthritis," Woodman says. He adds that you should think of a massage as a form of preventive maintenance. It's almost pampering with a purpose.
Although sticking needles in your cat might not sound like a form of pampering to you, acupuncture can be incredibly relaxing and great for your pet’s well-being, according to veterinarian and certified veterinary medical acupuncturist Dr. Jen Mathis.
"I personally recommend acupuncture as preventative medicine and a form of therapy with psychological benefits," Mathis says. She adds that the effects of acupuncture are broader, never harmful, longer lasting and have more direct input on body systems than many other forms of treatment. And don’t worry, acupuncture is not painful if done properly. In fact, many pets relax so much that they actually fall asleep during a session.
What better way to stroke Kitty’s ego than having his photo taken by a professional? Cat photo shoots usually begin with a thorough grooming from their owner or a stylist, according to Jessica Sturgis, a professional pet photographer and owner of Pearls and Paws Photography.
Then, once all equipment is set up, the bribery begins. "Kitty is lavished with treats, catnip and toys galore, as precious moments and silly expressions are captured," she adds. "Occasionally, throughout the session, there are a few wardrobe changes, so that every aspect of Kitty’s personality can be captured," Sturgis says.
Grooming comes naturally to dog owners, but cat owners need not worry — there’s lots of feline pampering available, too. In fact, cat-only spas are a hot trend. Everything from nail trimming to shed-reducing treatments to special haircuts is available for the feline in your life.
The latest trend? Lion cuts, which Cleopatra Spa for Cats says is basically a buzz cut on the body and longer hair on the head and end of tail, so Kitty can feel like a true king of the felines.
Forget artificial flavorings and gummy treats that have been sitting on a shelf for years. For the ultimate in cat pampering, get some homemade treats for your furry one. A number of companies around the country, such as Me and Them Pet Bakery, will ship homemade, whole-ingredients-only pet treats directly to your door.
Look for products made using only real meat (like chicken or fish), plus additional ingredients such as eggs, brewer’s yeast and olive oil. Some homemade treats even have catnip added for an extra touch of luxury.
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