Cancer is a diagnosis no one wants for their pet, and because cats are such particular creatures, it’s often a harder diagnosis to hear for them as they limit what they let us do to them. For example, it is harder to change cats’ diets; it is harder to give multiple medications to cats as well. However, that does not mean we won’t do the best we can for cats with cancer.

Regardless of whether you treat your cat with conventional therapy or not, there are some good treatments that support any decision. The biggest thing you can do for your cat with cancer is to feed them food free of grains, dyes, and by-products. Grains, especially those with gluten, stimulate and feed cancer cells. Dyes and by-products increase inflammation — particularly dangerous as cancer itself is inflammation gone wrong.

Let’s start with diet. Ideally your cat is already eating whole foods free of grains, dyes, and by-products… but this becomes even more important after a diagnosis. Some cat owners are lucky in that their cats will eat anything. These cats make an easy adjustment to real food – meats with just a touch of bone, or calcium, and a little ground vegetable or seeds. But the cats who are hooked on crunchy foods are harder to convince to eat something new.

So, start slowly and make tiny changes. Mix in high quality kibble. Later sprinkle kibble on top of meat based canned food- loaf/pate style. Later, add real meat (maybe even consider a “raw diet”) and — slowly — take away the kibble.

If your cat is easy to medicate, there are some fabulous herbal remedies that can help your cat fight cancer, or at least rebuild strength during cancer treatment. Essiac tea, for example, is well known for cancer patients. Stasis Breaker and Max’s Formula are also two remedies I use frequently.

If your cat has pain, consider arnica or cannabis (very dilute and from a reputable source, and only if it is legal in your state, of course!) as these don’t affect the kidneys and may stimulate appetite.

Prevention is ideal and cats’ bodies give us clues of inflammation — shedding, infections, and other signs that health isn’t perfect — years before they develop cancer. But if your kitty does get the dreaded cancer diagnosis, know that alternative therapy under Dr. Pope’s guidance can help any decision you make for your feline friend.