6 flower essences for stressed cats

Flower essences are a safe and effective way to calm and balance nervous or fearful kitties.

Anyone who’s familiar with cats knows they’re sensitive creatures. They can be easily stressed and upset by even minor changes in their daily routines. From house guests to home renovations, many things can throw your cat for a loop and result in behavior issues such as hiding, restlessness, or even eliminating outside the litter box. Keep in mind that any change in your cat’s behavior warrants a trip to the veterinarian, just in case there’s an underlying physical problem, but once you’ve established that his issues are stress-based, you can take steps to help him. And one of the best ways to do that is with flower essences.

Sourcing flower essences

A variety of companies make flower essences, with some using different flowers from others. As with anything else, however, it’s important to ensure you’re buying quality products from a reputable source. Probably the most familiar and longstanding maker of flower essences is Bach. Developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930s, and still available today, the Bach line includes 38 individual flower essences along with the well-known Rescue Remedy, which features a combination of five different flower essences.

While flower essences for humans typically use brandy as a preservative, products formulated for animals may use glycerin instead, as in Bach’s Rescue Remedy Pet. However, because only a couple of drops of a flower essence are needed at a time, an alcohol-preserved product is unlikely to cause an issue. You can rub the essence on your cat’s ears or paws, or add two drops to a bowl of fresh drinking water. Again, do your homework and be sure you’re buying a high quality product.

You can rub the essence on your cat’s ears or paws,
or add two drops to a bowl of fresh drinking water.

Top flower essences for cats

A variety of flower essences can be used for cats, according to Denise Eaton, BFRP, BFRAP, Education and Bach Brand Manager for Nelson’s. Each essence addresses a different situation or emotional condition, so take a look at the following list to decide which one might be best for your kitty. Note that you can combine essences if you feel you need more than one.

1. Mimulus (to help become more courageous) – “This remedy is good for cats that are easily spooked, and/or are afraid of objects or strangers,” says Denise.

2. Walnut (to help adjust to change) – Consider this essences if you’re moving to a new home with your cat, or if there has been a change in your current household (e.g. a new baby, a new live-in guest, or a child leaving home). Walnut can also help with transitions due to surgery or aging.

3. Chicory (minimizes the need to control) – Chicory is good for cats who spray their territory, or are constantly seeking attention, especially when others are around.

4. Cherry Plum (to maintain control) – “This is an excellent essence for aggressive cats who swat, hiss or act impulsively,” notes Denise.

5. Star of Bethlehem (to neutralize traumas) – A remedy for cats who have been abused, sheltered, or are grieving the loss of a companion, whether animal or human.

Aren’t flower essences the same as essential oils?

It’s a common misconception, but the answer is no. Unlike essential oils, which are concentrated healing oils extracted from various plants, flower essences are made from water infused with certain flowers, either by sun-steeping (floating the flower heads in pure water for several hours, in direct sunlight) or by boiling. During these processes, the healing essence or energy of the flowers is imparted into the water. The flower parts are removed or strained out before the essence is bottled.

Effective and simple to use, flower essences are a wonderful way to help calm and balance a stressed cat, whatever his triggers may be.

Reprinted with permission of Animal Wellness Magazine

About the Author

Ann Brightman is Managing Editor for Animal Wellness Magazine and Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. A lifelong animal lover, she has also been a writer and editor for over 25 years. Ann is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada and is also a Tai Chi instructor.

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