An Introduction to Herbal Medication for Cats

With the recent surge in popularity of Holistic Veterinary Medicine and other alternative treatment modalities, many pet owners are trying herbal treatments for their cats and these treatments have been praised by medical professionals. Here is some information about herbal medication for cats:

Accurate Diagnosis and Medical Supervision

When you elect to try herbal supplements and/ or medications for your pet you should begin with safety first and foremost. If you are treating your cat for a medical problem, make certain that you have a definitive diagnosis of what that problem is and what caused it. Then discuss any herbal medicines you plan to give to your cat with your vet to make certain that there is no conflict with drugs or other treatment your cat is already receiving. Only treat your cat with herbal medications while under your vet's supervision.

Professional Recommendations

The best way to find a skilled professional herbalist to treat your cat is to get a recommendation from your conventional vet. Many conventional (allopathic) vets enjoy good relations with holistic practitioners and consult with them regularly in joint or complimentary treatment.


Most, though not all herbal medicines or supplements for your cat will come in the form of Tinctures. These are concentrated liquids or ‘teas' which will accommodate your cat's tiny digestive system. Some herbs are given in the form of very finely ground powders, but coarse "raw" herbs are rarely digestible by cats and almost never used.

Mixtures and Specific Remedies

These are thousands of specially manufactured herbal formulas, many are patented and most are sold for specific health complaints. These compounds are sometimes heavily processed and the herbs in them are not always organically grown. Most herbalists believe that the best results can only be obtained using ‘organic' substances; remember that ‘organic' and ‘natural' do not necessarily mean the same thing as safe and effective. Don't forget that you can't assume that "herbal" means the same thing as "Harmless." Overdose, side effects and allergic reactions to herbal medicines are regularly reported.

Complimentary Treatment Modes

These are the most popular strategies; where herbal treatment is used together with conventional or other alternative treatments. A typical such program might involve treating a cat with cancer using conventional chemotherapy while giving herb medicines to suppress the distressing side effects associated with cancer drugs. Another common plan might involve giving anti-inflammatory drugs to an arthritic cat while also treating the disorder on a long-term basis with herbal supplements to strengthen the auto-immune system.

Some Popular Herbs for Cats

  • Crataegus Hawthorne is used as a cardiovascular medicine for cats and many other animal species.
  • Ginkgo Biloba is cited in dozens of peer-reviewed human and animal studies as an herbal remedy that improves blood circulation in small capillaries. This makes it especially popular for use in treating
  • various forms of vascular deficiency, including the effects of old age.
  • Milk Thistle tincture is widely used as an herb tonic to improve the health of the liver.
  • After various tests, a holistic vet or herbalist can help you choose a list of herbal supplements designed to address your cat's individual medical and nutritional needs.