Holistic Treatment Options for Feline Cancer

Feline cancer occurs when cells continue to reproduce after they have replicated, and being multiplying out of control. Cancer occurs most often in older animals. Vets believe that a combination of poor diet and environmental pollutants may be at the root of most cases of feline cancer. Feline cancer treatment is a long and arduous process that isn't always successful; traditional treatments involve so many risks and side effects that many owners are turning to holistic feline cancer treatment instead.

Feline Cancer and Its Symptoms

Feline cancer occurs when cells reproduce at an uncontrolled rate. Normally, your cat's immune system disposes of cells that continue to replicate in this fashion. In some cats, cells replicate so quickly that a tumor forms; sometimes cancerous cells can break free and spread to other parts of the body, making the cancer more severe.

Symptoms of cancer in cats include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic lameness
  • Abnormal lumps that persist or grow
  • Difficulty breathing, eating, urinating or defecating
  • Bleeding or discharge from any orifice
  • An offensive odor emanating from any orifice

Conventional Feline Cancer Treatments

Conventional feline cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, are intended to interfere with the DNA synthesis or reproduction of malignant cells. However, these treatments can interfere with the functioning and reproduction of healthy cells as well. Such treatments have a number of unpleasant side effects and carry their own set of risks.

Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment include hair loss and skin irritation. Vomiting is unusual, but may occur in animals who receive large doses of radiation to the abdomen. Acute side effects usually resolve themselves within three to four weeks.

Chronic side effects, however, may develop gradually over months or years. These can include fibrosis and a decreased ability to heal a wound or bone fracture.

Surgery may be very effective against tumors. However, this won't be an option if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Treating Feline Cancer Holistically

Holistic treatments are often used in conjunction with conventional treatments. They help reduce the side effects of conventional treatments, and increase your cat's quality of life and long term prognosis. Nutrition, herbal supplements and acupuncture are all part of a holistic approach to feline cancer treatment.

Good nutrition is the building block for a strong immune system. Many commercial pet foods are full of carbohydrates; cancer cells use carbohydrates as their main energy source. A high protein, moderate fat, low carbohydrate diet is best for feline cancer support.

Supplements and herbal supplements can help support your cat's body systems as he struggles with cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause loss of appetite and lethargy; they can even suppress white blood cell count. Immune supplements can help cats recover more quickly from feline cancer treatment, and give them more energy.

Herbs and supplements that have been proven to stimulate immune response include:

  • Echinacea
  • Milk Thistle
  • Reishi mushrooms
  • Selenium

Acupuncture has been found to relieve pain and reduce inflammation; it also works on your cat's neurological function. A trained practitioner can use acupuncture to help correct the underlying cause of feline cancer, as well as relieve the side effects of treatment.