Friday, July 1, 2011

When Kitties Swim: Hydrotherapy for Cats

Cats and water aren't usually the most winningest of combinations, so it's heartening to see when the two can put aside their differences for the greater good. In this case, one-year-old Mog is regaining strength in his front legs again after a car accident in February left him unable to walk.

His owner Veronica takes him to the hydrotherapy pool in Cornwall every week for a 15-minute "swimming" lesson, capped off with a relaxing "soak" in the hot tub! The water helps stimulate activity in his paralyzed muscles, and he seems to enjoy it, too.

It may take years for Mog to fully recover, but after 10-weeks, there's already been an improvement, and he's expected to be able to take his first steps soon.

Veronica says, "I know it’s unusual for cats to swim, but he’s such a character...I think he realises it is doing him good. I’m really happy that it has improved his quality of life.”

Nazzaning hits the pool in NYC to help recover from paralysis on her left side, due to an injury

Swimming therapy for pets is not a new phenomenon, although it is more rare for cats because they're so adverse to the water.

Just last year, a Turkish Van named Nazzaning made headlines when she was the first cat to undergo hydrotherapy treatments at Water 4 Dogs animal rehabilitation center in NYC. The pricey treatments ($160 a session), along with at-home massages and stretches ultimately helped her gain the confidence to walk again.

The music gets me every time!

Then of course, there's always this poor overweight kitty who hit an underwater treadmill in Japan in an effort to shed some pounds. There's still no word on if hydrotherapy is an effective method for feline weight-loss, but it's interesting to see how medicine for cats is evolving, and how treatments once reserved for humans are now enabling animals to lead a better quality of life.



chikorimasou said...

yeah i've seen the last vid already and never get tired of watching how cute they are...grrrr..teeth gritting

Alyssa S said...

Omg the last video is so cute. He's such a chunk! I can't help but laugh seeing his little feet walking beneath him. This is such an interesting process and I'm glad to learn more about it. I've read an article on Mog at the top and it almost made me cry listening to the cat's story!


Julia Williams said...

I think that "cats hating water" is a bit of a myth. Certainly, many cats DO hate water, but people are discovering that many other cats actually like water and some even love it. Then there is the wild cat, the Fishing Cat, that takes to water like a duck. MOL.

In an odd coincidence, I wrote about pet rehabilitation centers yesterday!!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

I am happy to see water therapy making the rounds all over the world for cats (and dogs)

I posted about water therapy and cats about a month or so ago. There is a place in Michigan that opened that has water therapy for cats.

Water is gentle on the joints for humans, so why not for cats and dogs?

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