Hydrotherapy for Cats

Hydrotherapy for cats might be the newest way to get your injured kitty back on his feet again, as a tenacious cat from England is struggling to prove.

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Dog hydrotherapy has successfully rehabilitated canines, and now the treatment is being broadened to include cats and other animals. By: jasonpersse

Canine hydrotherapy, a natural remedy for tissue, bone and joint damage, has become a fairly common way of treating dogs with mobility problems, including arthritis and injuries.

Hydrotherapy facilities are equipped with at least 1 type of pool, usually staffed by an associate who guides your dog through the process. The treatment has been so successful that it’s being introduced to other animal species, even those that categorically detest water.

Mog the Cat Tries Hydrotherapy

When Mog the moggie (that’s British for “cat”)  was struck by a car last February, the accident caused nerve damage that left him paralyzed in both front legs. Veterinary experts doubted he’d walk again.

But then Mog’s human, Veronica Ashworth of Lostwithiel, England, had a brilliant idea. She’d heard of hydrotherapy for dogs — was there a way to do hydrotherapy for cats? Curious, Ashworth signed Mog up for sessions at Hawksland Canine Hydrotherapy in nearby St. Issey.

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Although the facility is patronized by many clients, they’ve all been dogs — until Mog came along. And now the little tabby is the most popular swimmer in the pool.

“He’s such an extrovert that when there were some students in watching him swim, he was really showing off,” Ashworth told London’s Daily Mail newspaper. “I know it’s quite unusual for cats to swim, but he’s such a character.”

Mog Makes Progress

Ros Boisseau, the facility’s owner, had the privilege of introducing Mog to the swimming pool.

“The first time I put him in the water, he looked at me in horror, but I told Veronica to call him,” said Boisseau. “Then he meowed at her and struck out across the pool to her. He really is amazing — cats don’t tend to like swimming.”

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After 10 weeks of hydrotherapy, Mog’s diligent dog-paddling seems to be paying off. Ashworth reports that he can now put weight on his front legs.

Watch a cute cat actually enjoy swimming in this video:

Mog’s Prognosis

There’s no guarantee he’ll fully recover or even improve further, but even the little feeling Mog has regained in his legs is a bit of a miracle for a cat who was thought never to walk again. Ashworth remains hopeful that her Mog will be able to walk again, even if it’s only for short distances.

Mog still doesn’t love his swimming sessions, but he begrudgingly goes along with it.

“He makes a lot of noise about it, but he does it,” Ashworth said. “He does sort of a funny dog paddle; it’s hilarious to watch. I think he realizes it is doing him good.”

Tamar Love Grande

View posts by Tamar Love Grande
Tamar Love Grande, former associate editor, is a Crazy Dog Person who has fostered and found homes for more than 200 dachshunds in the past few years. Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her cat and far too many wiener dogs.

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