Fighting Cat Cancer in Smarter Ways
If your life has been touched by feline cancer, my heart goes out to you—more than you know.
One of my biggest motivations for getting more serious about natural cat care and eventually creating this blog was that I had a feline soul mate diagnosed with high-grade intestinal lymphoma–and I was knocked flat with despair and shock.
How did it happen? Where did I go wrong, and…“what do we do now?” Should we try chemotherapy, which only promised to extend her life several months, or should we try an alternative?
I was not prepared. And it didn’t go that well. I spent endless hours researching options and trying to save her, but it was all too little, too late.
That’s why a dream for this blog is to give you a place to go if you’ve lost a cat to cancer and want to know how to prevent that from happening again. Or if you have a cat cancer diagnosis and want to get some helpful information.
If you want to make sure your cat never gets cancer
I’m always looking into how prevent cat cancer. Here’s a great starting place:
- See the first 3 things I discovered that appear to likely to prevent cancer in cats.
- Go grain-free, like the foods here, if you want to prevent intestinal cat cancer (it’s a common one). Cats eating grains appear much more likely to quietly develop IBD, which many experts believe is a precursor to the deadly intestinal lymphoma. (You may be interested in another vet’s post about this on ConsciousCat.net too.)
See also Jean Hofve, DVM’s extensive article on preventing cancer in cats.
If your cat has been diagnosed with cancer
I’m just getting started with writing about this subject, but here’s what I have for you so far…
One of the most important things I learned
I want to tell you this right away because I believe it was a factor in our cat not beating cancer.
Most cancer-killing methods, even many alternative ones, will essentially breed stronger cancer cells. That’s because the tiny little cells that survived start growing and breeding, given half a chance. These are the cells that were strong and smart enough to be resistant to the stuff you were using to kill them.
Think of how over-use of antibiotics has spawned stronger, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It’s the same kind of problem.
This means you must keep up the fight and not ease off until an expert you really trust confirms that every single cancer cell has been totally wiped out. (That’s different from just saying a tumor is gone, by the way.)
So if you are using chemotherapy and your cat isn’t doing well with it, you may need to ease off the chemo but you’ve got to keep going strong then with an alternative that she does tolerate well. One way or another, you need to make sure the cancer is getting constant, even treatment—no letting up too early.
Getting holistic help for feline cancer
I honestly wish we had gone 100% alternative and holistic (instead of 30%) in treating Bastet’s cancer. Your cat and your cat’s condition may be different, but in my cat’s case I think it would have been less stressful and painful for her and therefore more hopeful.
But, I would not attempt alternative treatments with out expert help. Cancer is a tricky thing.
Look for a holistic vet who has some experience and success in treating cancer–you can at least just have a quick phone consult with them. Some resources:
- Check out Dr. Loops page that outlines the latest treatment alternatives–it’s one of the best I’ve seen so far
- Consult with a holistic vet by phone–here’s a few I wrote about
- Find a local holistic vet using this directory and look for reviews of them at a site like Yelp.com