The Healing Touch for Cats – Book Review

November 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Animal Healing, New Posts


You can learn to give your cat a massage.


Sakhara relaxing.

Having studied horse massage years ago and having trained myself in a bit of Tellington TTouch™ for horses when Echo was in physical, the idea of massage for cats should have occurred to me sooner. I found this book while looking for the TTouch™ book for cats. While massage is no substitute for TTouch™, it still offers some valuable benefits.

In his book, The Healing Touch for Cats: The Proven Massage Program *, Dr. Michael W. Fox, a veterinarian, provides very precise instructions for giving a cat a massage, including specific massage techniques and some excellent drawings that make it easy for you to learn feline massage. He also explains how to introduce massage to your cats. Clearly, Dr. Fox is a cat lover.

While basic massage techniques are the same as for larger animals, learning to apply them to a much smaller feline body does take some adjustments. So Dr. Fox provides a basic and simple anatomy lesson, with photos and diagrams showing how to proceed. He also explains how to earn your cat’s confidence. Getting yourself and your cat to relax is the very first step.

What I like most about this book is that it promotes the idea of feline massage as a way for you and your cat to develop a whole new way of interacting. In addition, Dr. Fox explains how important it is to check out your cat’s body once a week so that you will notice if there are any changes that might require a visit to the vet.

When I got my first horse as an adult in my 30’s, I wanted to learn how to care for her. Since I was too old to join a 4-H group, I became a leader with some other women who knew tons more about horse care than I did. To teach stable management (horse care) to the children in our club, I had to learn horse care myself.  This gave me a firm foundation in recognizing if something was amiss with a horse.

We don’t do the same with our small animals, and I guess it’s because so many people have a cat or dog in the family. But the truth is that the same basic concept applies – when we take responsibility for the life of a small furry person, we really need to know their bodies so well that we would immediately recognize if something has changed. This requires that we know what is “standard” for a given animals and then take the time to look for changes. This is easy to do while giving a massage and makes the whole thing a pleasure for both of you.

Another advantage is that when you learn how to do massage and help your cat learn to enjoy it, you will also be teaching her to accept touch everywhere on her body.  For example, you will teach her to accept opening her mouth so you can smell her breath and take a peek at her gums, a key way to determine if there are dental problems.

If you decide to get Dr. Fox’s The Healing Touch for Cats, I will warn you that he definitely has an allopathic approach to veterinary medicine.  For example, he promotes using chemicals to get rid of fleas; he says that feeding dry food will keep cats’ teeth clean; he suggests brushing your cats teeth instead of using the holistic products that you can spray into a cat’s mouth to help eliminate tartar on their teeth and keep their gums healthier.

Totally content.

From my perspective a more holistic, naturally approach to cat care is to be preferred.  This includes getting rid of all dried food as totally unnatural and actually harmful to cats, as well as avoiding chemicals whenever possible.

So if you want to learn about massaging your cats, I’d recommend this book. Sakhara has already had her first massage and she says, “It was wonderful. My body felt energized and relaxed at the same time.”


*  The title of this book, The Healing Touch for Cats, has nothing at all to do with the energy healing system known as “Healing Touch”.  While Dr. Fox does talk about acupressure and makes a small reference to the fact that one can send energy to a cat’s body, the system he is teaching is massage.