Q:  Holistic medicine’s popularity is growing all over the world. Many cat and pet owners have turned to alternative medicine in search of a perfect solution. Why did you decide to become a holistic vet?  

A: I have wanted to be a vet since I was a little girl. I loved being surrounded by animals. I had a dog, some pet rabbits and loved to ride horses. Growing up, I developed an interest in healthy living, natural foods, herbs and supplements for myself. When I was in veterinary school, I started working with a holistic vet who did acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I found this fascinating. I saw amazing results and how much the pet’s took to and loved the natural therapies. I knew that was the route I wanted to take for my pet patients.

Q: Is holistic medicine better for cats? Why or why not? 

A: Cats are very sensitive to drugs and chemicals. Their body just can’t process them the way we can. So they respond exceptionally well to holistic medicine. Since they can’t tolerate a lot of drugs and common medicines, they respond amazingly well to natural treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, food-based nutritionals and herbs.

Q: Some pet owners might say holistic medicine is shaman’s talk, and it costs more. What do you think? 

A: An initial visit may cost more, but more will be accomplished preventatively, so your need to see a vet will be greatly reduced. Many of the treatments I use have been around for hundreds and thousands of year. So they are tried and true. Many are even based on scientific studies and most are evidence-based.

Deneen Fasano, the doctor of holistic medicine, who is smiling and holding a white cat with a grey face

Q: What precautions should cat owners take while approaching holistic medicine?

A: Like I mentioned before, cats are very sensitive to drugs and chemicals.  They don’t have the enzymes in their liver to detoxify things they way people or dogs can. So chemicals can build up in their bodies and become toxic to them. This can also be see with essential oils. Essential oils can be safe if diluted properly but if used incorrectly, can be very toxic to cats.  So you still need to be careful with using essential oils with cats. You can refer to my article, How to Safely Use Essential Oils in Pets.

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Q: How can a cat owner know they have chosen the best holistic doctor for their small friend? 

A: One that is caring and compassionate, one will listen to the client’s needs and concerns, and has experience in different modalities such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic and nutrition. See my article, 5 Reasons to Choose a Holistic Veterinarian.

Q: Cat owners often wonder how they can treat their cat’s hot spots at home. Can you tell us more about the herbal hot spot spray for cats people can buy in your store?

A: Cats can have itching, sores and hot spots from different causes including fleas, mosquitoes, pollen allergies, food allergies and infections. I have created Herbal Hot Spot Spray for cats to address all of these problems naturally. It is a unique blend of aloe, herbs and touch of essential oils. It is safe for cats and very effective for skin problems. It will relieve itching, soothe the skin and help treat bacterial and fungal infections. I also have a Healing Gel for Cats which is a similar product in a soothing gel form.

Q: Herbs have medical benefits for humans. Can herbs have beneficial effects on cats as well?

A: Herbs are very beneficial for cats and they tolerate most of them really well since they are more food based. Problems can arise with concentrated extracts, so I tend to use the philosophy that „less is more” with cats. It’s best to have some training or consult with a holistic vet on how to use them safely.

Q: What herbs and essential oils do you recommend for cat owners to keep at home? 

A: Milk thistle is a great herb to help cat’s liver to detoxify things, especially if they were potentially exposed to something toxic such as lawn chemicals or medicines such as antifungals or other drugs. I would try to find a no alcohol or low-alcohol extract, since that is the easiest way to give it.

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Essential oils are more complicated but in a diluted form, lavender is a nice essential oil for cats. It can be calming to them if you use it in a diffuser.  You can put a drop or 2 on your hands, rub it around and then pet them with it. It can also be diluted and used sparingly on skin problems. There is a small amount of it in my Herbal Hot Spot Spray and Healing Gel for Cats.

Q: In what situations is it better to treat pets using holistic products, and when is it better to consult a traditional vet?

A: I feel like it’s always better to consult with a holistic vet first because they are vets also. Trauma, emergencies, surgery and some diagnostics can sometimes better be handled by a traditional vet. Many skin and ear problems can usually be handled with holistic products unless the condition is continuing to get worse.  A lot of my client’s see a regular vet and then come see me for additional advice and recommendations. In some cases, such as cancer, I may work together with the regular vet or specialist to help assist the immune system and organs, and provide diet and supplement advice.

Q: Can holistic medicine be used in cat’s First Aid? 

A: Yes, I definitely recommend it. I feel like my PawromaTherapy Natural Pet Products such as Herbal Hot Spot Spray, Healing Gel for Cats, Herbal Ear Wash and Pet Dental Spray are great products to have on hand if your pet has any skin, ear or dental issues. My blog and Holistic Pet Tips also provide some helpful products you can use at home.

Q: In your store pet owners can also find natural supplements for their cats. Should anyone consider adding natural supplements to their cat’s diet?  

A: Yes. I tend to base their needs on what is individually going on with each pet and look at their diet and lifestyle. I like to add a good food-based multivitamin. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are a good addition to a cat’s diet.

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Q: You are a vet, but you also publish articles on your blog. If a cat owner wants to know more about holistic medicine, they can subscribe to your mailing list. Are there any other resources you could recommend if cat owners want to know more about holistic medicine? 

A: The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, ahvma.org, has information on how to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Catinfo.org by Dr. Lisa Pierson has some really great information on diet for cats.

Q: What kind of treatments or consultations can cat owners receive from you? 

A: I do a thorough history and examination on every cat. I go over dietary recommendations, herbs and supplements your pet may need. I use my physical exam combined with blood testing and other diagnostics as needed. I also use a Zyto Scan, which is a device that scans the cat’s body through the skin to check organ and system problems, food sensitivities, and also to help with supplement recommendations. I will also do an acupuncture and chiropractic treatment on your pet.

Q: On Etsy, Amazon, and on your website cat owners can buy natural products for their pets. What do pet owners like most about these products? 

A: They like how well they work, how nice they smell and how well their pets tolerated the products. They don’t burn or sting. They are safe for them to lick. They are not thick or greasy, so they absorb in easily and don’t stain furniture. They also like that they are made by a holistic veterinarian and the ingredients are all natural.

If you want to contact Dr. Deneen Fasano, buy holistic products for cats, or have some questions, visit:

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