By Sally E. Bahner
When Sandy Arora created the Holisticats e-mail list 10 years ago, she had no idea that it would grow to include 1,200 members with more joining each day.
Arora created Holisticats to share the knowledge she gained when treating her black Persian, Booey, for chronic renal failure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Going beyond conventional veterinary care, Arora applied holistic modalities and nutrition in caring for Booey, and those have been the hallmark of Holisticats. As “list mom” she has guided countless cat lovers in their quest for a kinder, gentler way of treating their felines.
Now Arora has parlayed her knowledge into a book, “Whole Health for Happy Cats.” If your New Year’s resolutions include learning more about improving the health of your cat, this book is a must for your library. Better yet, get a copy for all your cat-loving friends as a belated Christmas gift.
The book is divided into two sections: Prevention and Wellness. Without preaching to her readers, Arora gives the message to cat lovers that the holistic way is the better way. She includes basic cat care information – litter box and litter selection and grooming and “necessities ” – but then offers the Happy Cat Natural Medicine Kit, chuck full of natural herbs and remedies, plus the ways in which to use them.
Arora’s chapters on nutrition will send you running from the grocery store’s pet food aisles and into your kitchen. While many pet guardians these days willingly feed their dogs a raw diet, it’s only when facing health issues that they consider raw for their cats. Arora makes it doable by including easy-to-follow basic recipes and recipes for specific medical conditions, such as chronic renal failure. While realizing a raw diet is not for every cat lover, she also offers information on selecting a good commercial food.
The section on Wellness discusses different holistic modalities – homeopathy, herbs, flower essences and more – and how they are applied to different health issues you might encounter, while encouraging guardians to be proactive toward their cats’ care.
Arora also wants owners to develop a good relationship with their veterinarian. She coaches them through the more technical parts of veterinary care, such as understanding a urinalysis and blood work.
Interspersed are basics, such as how to give your cat a pill and problems that call for immediate veterinary care. She also provides a thorough section on cat behavior and tips to understand and solve problems.
Finally, Arora includes a comprehensive list of resources for information cited, recommended foods, where to obtain herbs, homeopathics, flower remedies, hydrosols and more, as well as an appendix of infectious diseases.
Should you think that such heavy-duty information is presented in a dull, textbook format, look again. “Whole Health for Happy Cats” is a joy to read. Call-outs and sidebars make important information stand out as do chapter headings and subheads. The gorgeous four-color photos of cats throughout the book are the icing on the cake.
To order the book, go to www.holisticat.com; it’s just $20.99 (which includes shipping), a great investment for the health and well being of your cat.
Sally E. Bahner is a member of Cat Writers’ Association and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is a regular contributor to Pets Press.