Massage Therapy and Your Cat

You know how good you feel after a massage? Well guess what. Your cat feels the same way. Massaging your cat on a regular basis can help with the bonding experience, and deepen your relationship. The best way to learn about massaging your cat is to get your own massages on a regular basis. Of course, some of the techniques will differ, but there is still much you can learn from your massage therapist.

Why Massage Your Cat

  • A cat massage can help you find hidden cuts, wounds, or lumps.
  • Cat massage can help relieve arthritic pain and joint stiffness, just as it does for humans.
  • You can detect ticks and other parasites.
  • Massage provides relief for the diabetes, kidney disease and inflammatory bowel disease often experienced by older cats.
  • Increases circulation of blood and lymph systems and helps eliminate toxins.
  • Gentle massage can reduce aggression in cats.
  • Massage can distract your cat  nail trimming, but you will need two people working together.
  • Massage calms nervous cats as it stimulates  “feel good” neuro-transmitters  such as dopamine and serotonin.
  • Massage improves the quality of the cat’s fur.

How to Massage Your Cat

Begin with the basic massage stroke called effleurage, which is French for flow or glide.  This technique works best if you move toward the heart, so begin near the feet, the work upward toward  the knees and hips. Other massage movements include:

  • Magic Circles: Rotate your fingertips in clockwise or counterclockwise circles
  • I am Kneading This:  Open and shut your palm while pressing lightly with all five fingers along your cat’s spine.
  • Petrissage Your Pet:  This deeper massage combines kneading, loose skin rolling and gently squeezing muscles.
  • Flexing Your Feline: After you have warmed-up the muscles with effleurage and petrissage, try gently flexing your cat’s toes, wrists, elbows, ankles and knees.
  • Tap, Tap, Tapotemont: This involves gentle, percussive tapping movements.

Maximize the benefits of your kitty massage session by closely observing her body language.  If she looks relaxed, by all means, continue. If she nips or turns away, she’s not in the mood. Respect her preferences. Although there are a few exceptions to the rule, most cats want you to stay away from their bellies, even if they lie on their backs like a dog begging for a belly rub.  Do not massage a cat who is running a fever or vomiting, and never use massage to substitute for vetinary care,

Now go get yourself a massage, then come home and pay it forward with your cat.

Call Happy Physio on (08) 9272 7359 today to seek the help of our expert physiotherapists!