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A Complementary Relationship [04/06/2003]

A cat that got the cream used to be considered a pampered puss but with pet owners now spending more than £3.5 billion a year on their animals, it is perhaps no surprise that Cats Protectionís latest research has found that alternative health care for cats is a growing phenomenon for cat owners keen to give their feline friend the best!

Cat owners are showing the special place that their felines have in their affections by keeping their pets happy and healthy with the same treatments that they themselves benefit from. Owners are now more open to consulting a healer or a vet that practices alternative therapies to treat their felinesí behavioural and physical health problems. The survey found that homeopathy, Bach Flower Rescue Remedy and even reiki healing are all popular choices of treatment for cats from Glasgow to Truro.

Cats Protection, the UKís oldest and largest feline welfare charity, has long since known how important our feline friends are to us. Cats are now the nationís favourite pet with 4.5 million households in the UK owning 7.7 million cats, compared to 6.7 million dogs. As low maintenance animals, cats are an increasingly popular choice of pet for those with busy lifestyles and/or for those who live alone.

Findings from Cats Protectionís research , have also revealed some other interesting ways in which we are increasingly showing our love for our cats, according to charity Chief Executive, Derek Conway. "Not only are we using more alternative therapies on our feline friends, we are now more likely to recognise our catsí musical tastes and even give our pets human names. It all goes to show what great company our cats are," he said.

Statistics released, show that cats have a soft spot for classical music (56%), closely followed by pop and rock music (42%) and easy listening.

And, youíre more likely to meet a furry Charlie, Harry or Lucy than a Tiddles, Fluffy or Smokey! Cats Protection found that nine out of the top 10 male cat names, and eight out of the top 10 female cat names, were human rather than a traditional cat name.

The survey of 300 Cats Protection members found that the most popular alternative therapies for cats are (in descending order):

  • Homeopathy
  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
  • Herbal remedies
  • Other Bach Flower Remedies
  • Aromatherapy
  • Reiki
  • Spiritual healing
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture/aloe vera/chiropractic/crystal therapy/osteopathy/use of tea tree oil.

A similar survey of felinesí favourite music and radio tastes revealed their tastes as follows:

Of the cats that listened to music: Of the cats that listened to radio:
  • 56% liked classical
  • 42% liked pop or rock
  • 14% liked easy listening
  • 6% liked country/folk
  • 4% liked jazz
  • 4% liked ownerís singing!
  • 31% liked Classic FM
  • 23% liked Radio 2
  • 21% liked local radio
  • 18% liked Radio 4
  • 8% liked Radio 3
  • 4% liked Radio 1
  • 2% liked Radio 5
A separate survey of 750 cats found the Top 10 male and female cat names are as follows:

Top 10 male Top 10 female
  • Jasper
  • Charlie
  • Smokey
  • Harry
  • Oliver
  • Sam
  • Max
  • Tom
  • Oscar
  • Ben