A veterinary surgeon believes many cats may be enduring deep discomfort and end up being needlessly euthanised because owners don’t realise the full extent of treatments available to their pets.

Richard Allport, who practices in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire and Bayswater, London, says there is a perception there are many more conventional and natural remedy treatments available to dogs than cats.

“For some reason – probably because cats are often seen as being so much more independent and aloof – some cat owners seem to think their pets are less likely to respond to treatments than dogs,” he said.

“Cats are also probably better at disguising complaints than dogs for the simple fact they tend to sleep a lot as a matter of course, but also sleep a lot if they’re not well.”

Mr Allport qualified as a vet from the Royal Veterinary College in 1973 and in 1996 opened the Natural Medicine Centre – a referral centre for pets offering treatments with acupuncture, homeopathy, flower essences and herbal medicines.

Both conventional and natural treatments are effective for cats, he said.

“Cat owners don’t always realise cats can have the same level of treatment as dogs when they get chronic or serious diseases, whether with conventional pharmaceutical drugs and surgery or with natural therapies,” he said.

“For instance, cats can have a natural treatment such as acupuncture and are surprisingly good at accepting the insertion of needles.

“One feline patient of mine came with a severe and painful mouth condition known as feline orofacial pain syndrome, and was at risk of being euthanised because the pain was so acute.

“The cat accepted needles being placed around its mouth and neck without protest and showed an immediate response, becoming free of almost all pain as long as it came for monthly sessions of acupuncture.”

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