Cats and Vinegar Power
Six must-have home cures
By Cal Orey, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Chances are you already have this natural, inexpensive folk remedy in your cupboard – apple cider vinegar and white distilled vinegar. It’s time to start using them more, according to the popular book The Healing Powers of Vinegar: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Remarkable Remedy Revised and Updated (Kensington, September 2006). Here’s why.
1. Good Health: Holistic vet Bob Goldstein, VMD, of Westport, Connecticut, and coauthor of The Goldsteins’ Wellness & Longevity (TFH, 2005) says organic apple cider vinegar is good for kitty’s coat and cleansing its body of toxins. “The natural acidity helps regulate digestion, and the pectin helps keeps the intestines in good shape.”
Vinegar Rx: Add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar to kitty’s water bowl. (Consult your vet for how often.)
Why Kitty Will Purr: Vinegar is natural. Natural remedies can help promote good health and boost longevity.
2. Fleas and Ticks: Flea collars and sprays are full of poisons. Instead of using chemical insecticides (especially on a kitten), turn to vinegar, a less toxic method of flea control.
Vinegar Rx: Put one-fourth teaspoon of distilled white vinegar into each bowl of drinking water for your 10-pound cat; one-half teaspoon for a 20-pound cat.
Why Kitty Will Purr: Flea sprays are harsh and natural flea collars can include some ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction, whereas, vinegar is mild and a good alternative.
3. Kitty Accidents: While most cats can and will use the litter box – accidents happen. Blame it on a urinary tract woe, behavioral issue, a smelly box, or just because. Additionally, cats give their guardians fur balls and other droppings on our favorite bedspreads, clothes, furniture, carpets, and more.
Vinegar Rx: Spray distilled white vinegar ASAP on the fresh pet accident. Rub with a sponge from the center outward. Repeat as needed.
Why Kitty Will Purr: Not only will you be happy to clean up the mess without pricey products containing chemicals, your cat may sense that “Bad Cat!” words won’t be heard because vinegar does the trick.
4. Cat Litter Box: Dish soap contains chemicals. Other cleansers are too harsh. What to use? Vinegar, of course! It’s the perfect remedy to clean the box and zap the odor.
Vinegar Rx: Pour one or two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into the box and scrub with hot water. Rinse.
Why Kitty Will Purr: A cat’s olfactory senses are strong; not only will they continue using the litter box like a good cat, they won’t be turned off by disturbing smells from strong cleaners.
5. Fat Blaster: Like people, cats, particularly middle-aged and senior ones, are prone to weight gain, especially if they don’t get enough exercise and are fed snacks, vets note. And, too much weight can cause or trigger health problems such as heart diseases and diabetes in pets. The good news is: you can help your feline stay trim and fit with supplements such as vinegar.
Vinegar Rx: Try one teaspoon organic (preferred by holistic vets, like Dr. Goldstein, for the best results to fight fat) apple cider vinegar in drinking water twice a day to help dissolve fats.
Why Kitty Will Purr: Rather than putting your cat on a treadmill or cutting down its food too fast, vinegar is a safe and gradual way to help pare pounds.
6. Immunity Booster: Did you know that research shows vinegar acts as a disease-fighting antioxidant in the bloodstream for humans? No doubt, it can also protect your cat’s immune system from damaging toxins, pollutants in the environment, or even fight cancer.
Vinegar Rx: Use one tablespoon apple cider vinegar in kitty’s water bowl.
Why Kitty Will Purr: As your cat ages, if it defies diseases and lives a longer, healthy life it is a given that contentment for both you and your cat will be the payoff.
THE VIRTUES OF VINEGAR AND OTHER HOUSEHOLD PETS
Looking for a new, improved way to clean up for your menagerie? Vinegar to the rescue!
Dogs: All canines can use a bath from time to time. After using a mild and natural shampoo, add about two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a pitcher of warm water, poured over your dog, and watch the remaining soap come out. It can add a shine to your pooch’s coat, too.
Rabbits: “White vinegar is an inexpensive, safe way to clean your rabbit’s litter pan. Spritz the litter pan with white vinegar to clean and deodorize. Let the pan soak if there is a urine buildup and then rinse clean,” recommends Kim Copél, a small animal lover at Lake Tahoe.
Fish: Ready to clean the fish aquarium but don’t know what to use? Don’t despair! Turn to all natural vinegar to do the job easy and fast. Take distilled white vinegar and mix it with water as you clean the tank. Rinse well and repeat.
Note: Make sure to check with your vet before using vinegar.