2851 W. IRVING PARK RD  CHICAGO, ILLINOIS  60618     PHONE  (773) 539-9080   FAX  (773) 478-0605

Alternative Care for Cats

Acupunture for catsEnhancing Quality of Life for Chicago's Cats

The entire team at Cat Hospital of Chicago is dedicated to providing cutting-edge care to every cat that visits our hospital. That's why we're proud to offer acupuncture and laser therapy to our patients. These procedures complement modern medicine and produce real results. We invite you to take a moment to learn how these therapies can enhance the quality of your cat's life.


One of the most longstanding types of holistic medicine for pets and humans alike, acupuncture involves the stimulation of points on the body with fine needles. The treatment is believed to help the body heal itself and alter various biochemical and physiological conditions. Research has proven its effectiveness in the treatment of certain medical conditions. When stimulated, nerve or blood vessel-rich acupuncture points release histamine and other chemicals.

At Cat Hospital of Chicago, our veterinary team utilizes the acupuncture expertise of Dr. Daphne Thompson in the treatment of bladder disorders, neurological problems (e.g. seizures, weakness, paralysis), as well as gastrointestinal, dermatological, arthritic, and emotional conditions (e.g. anxiety and aggression).

Before treatment starts, Dr. Thompson will examine your cat and consult with you. This consultation involves an in-depth history of environmental and emotional situations that may be affecting your cat's condition, as well as palpation of certain acupuncture points. Acupuncture does not necessarily replace the use of traditional treatments for the above disorders; rather, it complements them. There is often still a need for cats undergoing acupuncture to have a thorough western workup and be treated medically or surgically as appropriate.

Acupunture for cats

Treatments generally last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the condition treated. The total number of acupuncture treatments depends on the nature, severity, and duration of the disease or condition. Frequency can range from one treatment to a series of as many as 10, with each spaced a week or two apart. In general, the more chronic a problem, the more therapy it will require to achieve improvement or resolution.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a painless, FDA-approved medical procedure that uses low-level lasers to stimulate the natural healing capabilities of the body's cells. This form of laser therapy is effective at promoting healing on a cellular level, as well as decreasing inflammation after surgery, injury or areas of the body affected by chronic illnesses. It can also be used to increase joint mobility and relieve the aches and pains common to geriatric cats.

During each treatment, energy from the laser increases circulation while drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. It can also accelerate tissue repair and cell growth, improve circulation and nerve function, reduce scar tissue formation, and help the immune system fend off infection. Laser therapy causes no adverse effects on healthy cells.

As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved, allowing your cat to quickly return to his or her normal activities.

Laser TherapyCat Hospital of Chicago utilizes laser therapy for many conditions, including treatment of:

  • Abdominal inflammation or discomfort  
  • Allergic or inflammatory skin diseases
  • Ear infections and oral diseases
  • Following surgical extraction of diseased teeth
  • Joint or muscle pain from acute injury or chronic degenerative conditions
  • Lower urinary tract disease
  • Nasal congestion and Asthma
  • Surgical incisions
  • Wounds

What You and Your Cat Can Expect

Many cats enjoy lying beneath the warm therapy laser and will often sprawl out pleasurably. Cats typically do not need to be sedated or receive fur trims for laser therapy treatments and the experience is usually nothing but pleasant and comforting. For the more skittish, the length of treatment may be reduced.

Improvement is sometimes seen after the first treatment; however, most cats require several treatments to achieve maximum benefits. Generally, four to eight treatments produce the best results. The length and frequency of treatments varies with your cat's condition, but generally last no longer than five to 20 minutes each. Your veterinarian will recommend a laser treatment plan specific to your cat's condition.

Therapy lasers cannot be used to treat cancers, as they stimulate increased cell activity, causing cancerous cells to grow. Surgical lasers can be used to perform surgery to remove cancerous tumors.

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