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This Month's Feature:
Flower Essences for Behavioral and Emotional Issues in Cats & Kittens
Flower Essences for Behavioral and Emotional Issues in Cats & Kittens
By Christina Blume
Flower essences are a form of vibrational or energetic medicine as is acupuncture and homeopathy. Unlike homeopathy however, flower essences cannot be antidoted with coffee, mint or other strong flavors or scents. Flower essences address behavioral/emotional conditions that you would like to work on. You don't have to "believe in" flower essences for them to be effective. The animals have certainly proved that.
Flower essences are a small one-ounce bottle of liquid with a dropper top. They are filled with water, which has been energetically imprinted with the properties of a particular flower by the sun. Brandy is added as a preservative. Flower essences are not contraindicated with any other form of health care. They will not interfere with pharmaceuticals, herbs or homeopathy. They are safe for elderly cats, newborn kittens and during pregnancy. You cannot overdose with flower essences. The standard dosage is 4 drops in the mouth minimum 4 times per day. Flower essences are available at health food stores and through many sites on the Internet. The recommended dose is 4 drops in the mouth or 4 drops in the water dish. Kitties do not like it given directly however, the brandy bothers their stomachs. When giving flower essences to cats I always dilute it in water or broth. It is not quite as effective to give it in their food or on treats, but I do this when I have to. You cannot overdose on flower essences. They are most effective when given frequently - 4 times per day is ideal.
Trauma Remedy is the flower essence that I recommend everyone should have on hand. I have bottles of Trauma Remedy all over the house, barn and car. Trauma remedy, also sold as Rescue Remedy. Five Flower Essence and Natures Rescue is for any kind of emergency, trauma, accident, or stressor, large or small. It is also the remedy I recommend when you don't have "specific" essences on hand. Trauma remedy is immediately calming to any animal or person.
About 7 years ago I heard the wailing of a cat outside. I went out to investigate and found a tiny female cat in the driveway. She had a large abcess on her hind leg and she was a matted mess. I mixed 4 drops of Trauma Remedy into a bowl of diluted chicken broth. When she didn't appear interested in drinking I took some of the broth up in a dropper and gave it to her directly in her mouth. I placed her in a carrier and she rode quietly to the vet. I had guessed her to be at least middle aged and was stunned when the vet told me she was only three years old. The treatments and antibiotics were not successful and the vet recommended that we amputate her leg. I named her Abbey. She cleaned up beautifully and was very sweet, but frightened. She had broken teeth and it was obvious she had experienced a harsh world in her three years. When I got her home I made a blend of Aspen (for fear), Hornbeam (gives courage and strength to the animal which is sick or recovering), Self Heal (stimulates inner healing forces and the will to live for an animal who is sick or injured), and Bleeding Heart (increases the animals ability to respond to loving kindness from people especially when the past produced negative reactions to human contact). I gave it to her directly (diluted), 3 times per day and also added 4 drops to her water dish. Her recovery and adjustment period to 3 legs was remarkably fast. Abbey was adopted by a dear friend of mine and today she is unquestionably queen of her castle.
A friend had rescued several feral cats from a small colony downtown. We added trauma remedy to all the water dishes and misted the entire room where she kept them with an atomizer bottle filled with distilled water and 4 drops of Trauma Remedy, 4 drops of Fear Remedy and 4 drops of Walnut Remedy (helps with adjustment to new surroundings). This made for a much smoother adjustment period than she had experienced previously without the help of the flower essences.
Holly flower essence (specific for jealousy and its resulting unattractive behavior) is an essence that I use frequently for cats. When our new kitten arrived our two older cats were not at all amused. Someone was wetting on the beds. I thought it was interesting that it was only the beds with down comforters that had to go to the cleaners! Now, I was not amused. I dosed the community water dish with 4 drops of Holly and 4 drops of Quaking Grass (helps the animals adjust when a new member is introduced to home). The wetting problem ended in 2 days.
Wetting is not uncommon when jealousy is an issue. A woman called me when her cat began wetting all over the house. I asked her what had changed in her home. Well, she had just married. I suggested that her cat may be telling her that she wasn't pleased in sharing her affections with this new person. She began using the Holly and within 2 days the wetting stopped.
Flower essences should begin working within 3 days. Trauma and Fear essence work in the moment, immediately, for stress and emergency situations. When you are working on a chronic behavioral or emotional problem it is sometimes necessary to give the essence for a few weeks.
One of my students rescued an older male cat. She already had 2 cats in her home. Buster, her adoptee, was grumpy, foul tempered, food aggressive and downright mean to his feline housemates. After 8 months his caretaker had expected him to settle into the household. I suggested that she try a blend of Vine, (for animals which tend to dominate or bully the younger or weaker animals), Tiger Lily, (for hostile, nasty, aggressive animals), and Quaking Grass flower essences. She tried to give the blend to Buster directly but was usually only successful once a day. She did however, add the blend to the community water dish every morning and every evening. She noticed a small improvement after 3-4 days. Within four weeks, there was a vast improvement in Buster's temperament. He no longer lashed out at his housemates, the food aggression was still an issue, but not as severe, and she actually caught him grooming one of her other cats.
Another blend I like is Wisteria (for emotional difficulties due to sudden or profound change such as grief from loss or separation) and Borage (helpful for mild depression and building heart and courage). Our cats, like us may grieve for extended periods at the loss of a feline sibling or its person. Flower essences are a gentle yet effective way to facilitate that healing process.
It is important for us humans to remember to take the essences ourselves. Many, many times I find it beneficial for the caregiver to take the same essence or blend that they are giving their cats. Cats, all animals really are remarkably sensitive and they pick up on our stresses. There are literally hundreds of flower essences on the market. I find them a very gentle yet powerfully effective way to treat emotional and behavioral problems in myself and my four legged menagerie. If you have questions regarding flower essences feel free to email me at [email protected]
She teaches a variety of herb classes throughout
the metro Denver area, Denver Botanic Gardens
and Arapahoe Community College.