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Dusting the Cat – The Shoestring Herbalist

Dusting The Cat – The Shoestring Herbalist

I am a crazy cat lady. I have four cats at home, and I feed a feral neighborhood stray. All of my cats are “rescue” cats. They all have complex stories and complex personalities to boot. One of my cats is astonishingly fragile.

Gamera (named for the Japanese movie monster) was the kitten of a Korat who got away from a breeder. She had her babies in our house before she passed away and we kept two of the brothers. Godzilla is hale, hearty, smart and arrogant. Gamera is the trottering simpleton who is allergic to everything.

We adore Gamera. He is people freindly and sweet natured. All laps are fair game. His allergies make our visitors cringe though.

When Gamera gets a flea bite, he starts to chew on himself and pull out his fur. My children have pleaded with me to knit him some pants. It’s a sad sight.

Getting rid of the fleas is easy. Stopping his cycle of chewing is hard.1024px-Cat_licking_it's_paw_-_by_tracy

Finally, I have discovered a solution that helps Gamera recover his health without the traumatic and expensive cortisone shots. It’s simply a matter of bolstering his immune system.

I sprinkle a pinch of echinacea powder on his favorite licking spot and pat him gently to let the dust settle into his fur.  Most natual vets suggest putting herbal supplements into a cat’s food but this system is unreliable. Remember that I have 4 cats (plus the stray). I cannot guarantee the right cat will get the right amount of medicine. Placing echinacea directly on the cat regulates how much he gets.

Cats clean themselves with thier tongues. This means Gamera is getting both topical and internal treatment for his inflammation. He doesn’t seem to even notice the taste. As a cat, I am sure he has taken other things out of his fur I don’t even want to think about.

One pinch of echinacea root powder per day is a manageable dosage that’s effective and easy to maintain. This treatement makes me happy as both as a shoestring herbalist and as a crazy cat lady.

Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.


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