Life can get dull pretty quickly. What used to excite you can quickly become redundant. Cats are no different. The toys and games are great when they are new but after a while, your cat will understandably get bored by them. If this sounds like your cat, a massage may just be what she needs.
Your cat doesn’t need to first get bored for you to give her a massage. A good cat massage offers so many tremendous health benefits. Some may consider giving your cat a massage a luxurious or even frivolous way of life and before I defend the decision to do so, would that be so bad?
Massage is not a luxury. The benefits of massage and other forms of touch therapy have been well-studied and documented in human beings. If you have had a massage before, you remember how good it felt afterward both mentally and physically.
Why wouldn’t you extend that same feeling and treatment to your feline friend? Feline parents all over the world have reported how good massages make their cats feel. With such reviews, you will most likely not regret letting your cat try out this amazing experience.
Health Benefits of Giving Your Cat a Massage
Massage is great for improving blood flow in the area being massaged and all over the body. Improved circulation enables adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to body tissues. It also promotes the elimination of waste such as carbon dioxide from tissues.
Relieves Joint Pain
In the event of an injury, massage can be helpful in increasing the rate at which the body heals. Massage achieves this healing effect by promoting the flow of nutrients and other healing substances to the point of injury.
Stimulates the Nerves
Massage helps improve sensitivity by stimulating the nerves. This can be helpful when a cat’s limb goes numb from sitting on it or in diseases that cause numbness in the limbs.
Massage does not only affect physical body health, it also positively impacts mental health. Massaging your cat can give her mental well-being a boost if she is in a bad mood for example during an illness.
Massage supports and improves well-being even in a cat that is seemingly healthy. By promoting relaxation, a cat massage can give your cat’s sense of wellness a boost even if she is not necessarily sick or injured.
Builds a Stronger Bond with Your Cat
If you are the one giving your cat her massages, she is rest assured going to form a stronger bond with you. You may especially benefit from giving your cat a massage if she is newly adopted.
Reduces Muscle Pain and Spasms
You know those days when your cat got in a little too much physical exercise? After such days, you may notice your cat is not moving as usual and one of the possible reasons could be pain in the muscles. Just like you would massage yourself on such a day, your cat would also benefit from a body rub.
How To Properly Massage Your Cat’s Body
To a layperson, a massage is a matter of rubbing the body. It is however not that simple. For a massage to be effective and deliver all the benefits we have discussed above, it has to be done with great care. If you want to give your cat the massage of her life, below are some tips you can use:
- Get into a good mood first. Imagine you went to get a massage and your masseuse was angry and riled up. Bet that wouldn’t be pleasant. If you are not feeling up to it, hold off the massage to a time when you are.
- Use a ‘voice massage’ as well. Sound can be just as soothing as touch. You may hum while you massage your cat’s body. If your cat likes it, you may sing to her as well.
- Don’t rush. If you have a meeting in 10 minutes, maybe postpone the massage to afterward. A massage has to be slow and filled with intent to be effective.
- Make repetitive strokes. Ensure that you make each stroke at least three times or more especially if your cat loves a particular stroke.
- Follow your intuition. If you have lived with your cat for a while, you know her best and you will therefore know what she loves best. Follow your gut when deciding what to do next. Don’t be afraid to try a new stroke.
- Respond to your cat. If your cat is loving a specific movement, do it the most. During the massage, you should be able to feel how your cat is responding to your actions. If she is loving it, do it more and if she is not, let it go.
- Get a massage yourself. It might be a little difficult to give the best massage if you have never had one yourself. Cats are not that different from us. What feels good to you will most likely feel good to her as well.
Giving Your Cat the Best Massage-Step by Step
- Move to a quiet peaceful environment. Your home should be quiet and tranquil enough for a massage but if you are throwing a party, maybe not.
- Start with a willing cat. Preferably, let your cat come to you. Do not try massaging your cat if she is not in the mood.
- Start with slow mild caresses. The pressure should be very subtle at the start.
- Stroke her breast area still at a slow speed and mild pressure. After she is comfortable, you can start increasing the pace of the motion slowly. If it is well-received, go ahead. If it isn’t, reduce the speed.
- Move to the chin area and use two fingers to apply gentle strokes up and down. Each stroke should run from her throat to the tip of her chin.
- If your cat opens up her chin to you, she is loving it. Continue with this motion until you feel it is enough.
- Get creative with your moves. But avoid squeezing and kneading motions.
What to Avoid While Massaging Your Cat
- Too much pressure. Always use gentle pressure while massaging your cat. Not only will stroking your cat too hard not be effective but it may also cause her pain or even injuries.
- Do not press the stomach. Especially if your cat just ate.
- Do not give your cat a massage when tired, stressed, angry, or intoxicated
- Do not use oils or creams. Your fingers are more than enough.
- Massaging your cat when she is in a bad mood. It’s just not a good idea.
Cat Massage for Arthritis
Arthritis is a joint disease characterized by inflammation at the joints. The disease can be daunting to a cat causing very painful episodes. Sadly, there is no treatment for arthritis.
The only way to help a cat with arthritis is to ease her signs and symptoms, particularly pain. Your vet may recommend medication to reduce the pain but it may sometimes not be enough. You also wouldn’t want your cat to over-rely on medication for the rest of her life.
Luckily, there are alternative ways you can help your cat and massage is one of them. A slight rub to the joints may be just what your cat needs to ease her suffering.
How to Massage your Arthritic Cat
- Ensure that both you and your cat are in the mood for the massage. If your kitty gets irritated after her painful episodes, that may not be the best time to give her a rub.
- Lay your kitty down on a comfortable surface or your lap
- Start to rub her legs concentrating on the joints and the surrounding areas.
- Start gently with slow circular motions
- Your cat should stay relaxed the whole time. If you feel her flinch or withdraw, reduce the pressure or take a break and wait for her to relax.
- Repeat the process every day or as much as your cat wants it.
Ideally, your cat should get massaged by a professional but you can also learn from a trained professional or vet to make sure you don’t hurt your cat.
Always consult your vet before starting arthritic cats on any form of therapy, including massage.
Other Holistic Ways to Help Your Cat’s Mobility
In addition to massage, there are many other ways you can help your cat improve her mobility. Reduced mobility in cats can be caused by different factors like being overweight, physical trauma, illness, vaccination, and disability among others.
Some of the holistic ways you can help your kitty move better include:
Just like massage, it is only right that we extend the benefits humans have seen in CBD to pets. CBD has many health benefits some of which are acting as an inflammatory, relieving pain, and relieving anxiety.
Pain relief and anti-inflammatory action would be very helpful in a feline with reduced mobility. Remember to get only the best CBD products for cats to ensure your cat’s safety.
Eating well plays a role in nearly all facets of health. First, feeding your cat on high quality food will protect them from health issues that may cause them reduced mobility. In cats who are already down, eating healthy food can provide nutrients that promote healing.
Nutrients like vitamin D and calcium improve bone strength while others like vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation.
Cats that get regular exercise are less likely to develop mobility issues. If your cat’s ability to move is already affected, taking them for a gentle stroll will definitely do her some good.
Do not strain your sick cat in the name of exercise. Too much exercise may do more harm than good. It will simply add more stress to the already stressed limbs.
We try our best to give our cats the best food we can. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to meet all the dietary needs from diet alone. This is where supplements come in. You should supplement your cat’s diet to protect her from potential nutrient deficiencies.
Your cat may also benefit from natural supplements like herbs such as turmeric and ginger that offer a wide array of benefits.
Supplements are not a replacement for a healthy diet. Just like their name says, they are meant to supplement the diet not replace it. Always consult your vet before starting your feline on any supplements.
Our Final Thoughts
In conclusion, cats deserve massages as much as we do. Whether healthy or ill, your cat will love the feeling of you or a masseuse gently stroking her body over and over again. Some of the benefits your cat will get from massages include improved blood circulation, reduced anxiety, pain relief, accelerated healing after injury, and reduced stress.
You can choose to give your cat her massages yourself. However, seeing a professional is also advisable. Remember, it is all about the cat. Do more of what she likes and less of what she doesn’t.
Stick with the massages for a while and you have yourself one happy healthy destressed relaxed cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it good to massage your cat?
Yes, not only is it good to massage your cat but it is also advisable. Massage can provide your cat with so many benefits for example stress relief, anxiety relief, reduced pain, and so on.
Do cats like head massages?
Yes, most cats love head massages. However, all cats are different. If your cat doesn’t seem to like head massages, try changing the strokes or massaging a different area like the chest.
Where’s the best place to massage a cat?
The best place to massage a cat is where she loves to be massaged. If you are unsure, start with the head, back, shoulders, and work your way to the chest and chin.