Conscious Cat

March 5, 2012 16 Comments

Detox your cat

Posted by Ingrid

cat scratching behind ear

Many health problems, in both cats and humans, chronic or otherwise, are caused by day-to-day exposure to toxic substances such as chemicals and other molecules that are foreign to the body. These toxins accumulate in the body over a period of time, often over many years. Research on the human side suggests that more than 75% of cancers are caused by diet and environmental factors. In addition, toxic exposure is a contributing factor to cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Environmental pollutants stockpile in the body contributing to the chronic diseases.

Now consider how much smaller our cats are. It most likely takes a much smaller load of toxins for our pets to cause problems. Additionally, as cats groom themselves, it’s easy for them to ingest any environmental toxins they may have accidentally come in contact with on their fur and paws.

What are some common toxins your cats may be exposed to?

  • Environmental toxins, both indoors and outdoors, such as polluted indoor air, chemical cleaning products, VOC’s from paint and carpeting, pesticides, and fertilizers
  • Vaccines and other drugs, including flea, tick and heartworm preventive medication
  • Highly processed foods that include ingredients that have been shown to cause allergies, such as corn, grains and other carbohydrates

How do toxins affect your cats?

The liver and kidney are the two organs that are primarily in charge of clearing toxins from the body. If they have to work harder than they were designed to by nature, they will eventually wear out.

Toxins, especially those in the environment and in the cat’s diet, can also cause allergic reactions ranging from itchy skin, runny eyes, and even asthma to vomiting, diarrhea and other intestinal issues. All of these reactions can be a sign that the cat’s body is no longer able to deal effectively with toxins.

How can you lower your cat’s toxic load?

Should you detox your cat?

While controversial, detoxing, or “cleanse” programs, have become popular in holistic human medicine in the past few decades. The goal of a cleanse is to detoxify the liver, kidney, gastro-intestinal and lymphatic system. If you practice cleansing, you’ve probably wondered whether this could benefit your cat as well. The answer is maybe. I believe the safer approach is to reduce the toxic load to your cat by following the suggestions above and prevent problems in the first place. If you believe that a cleanse or detox could benefit your cat, do not attempt to do this on your own. Consult with a holistic veterinarian on the appropriate products to use for a safe and healthy cleanse. Never allow your cat to fast.

Are you concerned about your cat’s toxic load? What are you doing to reduce toxins in your home?

Photo: istockphoto

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16 Responses to “Detox your cat”

  1. sue says:

    I am certainly interested in cleaninbg products inside. I always clean Benji’s litter box with Bleach and rinse it really well after – is this a NO NO? otherwise he is an indoor cat (being in Paris) and at the moment he has been put by the Vet on a diet – not very keen and has Hills R/D is this OK? he has a small portion of frozen colin fish which obviously I defrost with his Lysine 500g tablet into which I empty the powder for his immune system (from the coryza he was born with) which is checked every six months. Looking forward to your answer.
    Thanks in advance Ingrid
    Sue

    • Ingrid says:

      Bleach for cleaning the litter box is fine, as long as you make sure you rinse really well, as you’re doing. You don’t want Benji’s paws to come in contact with any residual bleach.

      I’m not a fan of weight loss diets, especially not those high in fiber, like the R/D diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, and a diet high in carbs is not appropriate for them as a species. If you read some of the articles in my Feline Nutrition section, you’ll find more information on this topic. I believe that a grain-free canned diet leads to more successful, and healthier, weight loss.

      • sue says:

        thanks Ingrid will check it out its so hard to know what to do. Benji has big muscles and doesn’t fat but he was 7kg last year and this year 8 and a half. The vet said its too much but he never overeats I give him nothing from the table just his normal croquettes. I will check out your site and get back many thanks
        Sue

    • The trick with bleach is to let the litter box air dry after cleaning & wiping dry. Chlorine evaporates completely so this will ensure that there is none left to irritate your kitty, and it also ensures that they won’t inhale any fumes.

  2. Wonderful information Ingrid…as always. If we want to keep our furry babies happy and healthy for as long as possible, we all need to be aware of how harmful some foods, cleaning products, and even behaviors can be. Thanks!

    Pam (with Sam)

  3. Bernadette says:

    Ingrid, years ago when my Kublai developed the autoimmune condition that eventually led to his death I consulted with a homeopathic vet and a naturopathic vet. Each of them gave me recommendations, some of which I still use to this day, but also recommended I gently detox my household from foods containing among other things ethoxyquin, a pesticide still used as a preservative, and the effects of corn added to food, which helped give Cookie her distinctive shape and ruined her teeth. Under their instruction I added herbals to their food for over a year while I experimented with raw and home-cooked diets and a variety of more appropriate diets. I lost Kublai but gained the knowledge he gave me about food, and I’ve always avoided chemicals in my home and garden, but I know all of it added years to their lives, most of them living to 18 and beyond with no health issues.

    But I also contacted an animal intuitive about Kublai and his condition and one of the things she told me he wanted me to know was that the water was really bad! I had to laugh, it was so bad I wouldn’t drink it, yet I put it in their bowls. I got a Brita and that helped immensely with both them and me.

    • Ingrid says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Kublai, Bernadette. That’s pretty funny, although not really, about the water. I actually did the reverse: I gave my cats filtered water long before I stopped drinking tap water myself!

      • sue says:

        I always use Brita water for Benji and myself!

      • Bernadette says:

        I still have a Brita upstairs and downstairs and the cats all associate fresh water from it as if it’s a treat!

        It’s funny you would mention this today too–today’s photo features Mr. Sunshine tasting my watercolor paints. Always be sure your creative materials are non-toxic as well.

        Okay, I forgot to click the box to notify me of followup comments. I came back to check and was going to ask about that.

  4. Pam says:

    Something I do for all my pets and myself is add some chlorella powder (organic, broken cell wall) to their food. Chlorella binds heavy metals and helps remove them from the body.

    My 16 lb. cat gets 1/8 tsp mixed with his meal morning and evening. Start with less and work up, though, if this interests you.

    And, of course, I avoid all the “no’s” mentioned in Ingrid’s great post today. Thank you, Ingrid.

  5. Nancy says:

    I did not know essential oils are toxic to cats, I have sinc removed them. Is there anything else I can do? His diet is good weruva wet and dry food. He is 11 and I noticed he had dirreah.

    • Ingrid says:

      Weruva is a great brand. I would eliminate the dry food altogether. If he has diarrhea for more than 24-48 hours, I’d take him to your vet. You can also add a good probiotic to his wet food – it’s a good general immune system booster, and it may help with the diarrhea.

  6. [...] recently wrote an article about reducing your cat’s toxic load. This week, Discovery News reported on a new study conducted at the University of Illinois at [...]

  7. [...] from itchy skin, runny eyes, and even asthma to vomiting, diarrhea and other intestinal issues. Lower your cat’s toxic load as much as [...]

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