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Therapeutic Touch for Cats


TTouch involves making little circles all over the catís body (or just where needed). Imagine the face of a small clock, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter, where you touch your cat. Begin at six oíclock and gently push the skin clockwise all the way around, past six and finish at nine. At nine oíclock, pause, lift your fingers, and begin again in another spot. Itís important to maintain a constant pressure and close the circles. Use your middle three fingers and make 1 and 1⁄4 circles at each spot, then move on and repeat. Rest your thumb and fourth finger (pinkie) against the catís body to steady your hand. This circular touch is called the clouded leopard touch.

Do not repeat the same spot twice and donít connect three circles in a row (which we all tend to do initially).

Remember to lift your fingers as you close each circle and begin again. You may also use your left hand. (Generally, you would use your dominant hand, but for a larger animal, such as a big dog or horse, you may use both hands.)

Allow your hands to find their own way as they communicate with the cells of your animal companion. Try to tune into her breathing and her response to your touch. You may find your own breathing falls into sync with your catís. Concentrate on making the circles and on sensing the animalís response. And, as always, approach your cat with respect.


The circular motion (and other techniques) of TTouch seems to imprint on the animalís cells more than simple petting or stroking, which although loving and beneficial, doesnít seem to activate the cellular awareness in the same way. In addition to improving lymphatic and blood flow, TTouch is an excellent way to reduce stress in cats, which may even provide life-extension and anti-aging benefits.

TTouch can also be used with people and even newborn babies!

My Special Non-TTouch Relaxation Tip

My cats love this relaxing massage anytime of day! Try this, if your cat does not mind lying on her back on your lap, place her between your thighs, with your knees together, with the catís head resting
on your knees and the hind feet toward your tummy. Hold your cat with your thumbs under her armpits, and all of your fingers (both hands) on the catís neck. Commence a deep kneading action with your fingers and nails (if short enough) into her neck. Work from behind the ears, down into the shoulders. When done correctly, your cat will relax into utter bliss. Donít worry if she tolerates this only briefly and then scoots away at first; sheíll most likely come to love it. This and all gentle forms of touch are an excellent way to create a blissful connection with your cats!

For more on holistic alternatives see: The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, by Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D and Jean Hofve, DVM at

EFT: Tapping for Cats
Nonverbal Communication with Our Dogs and Cats
Reiki: Healing for People and Pets

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Behavior & Communication, Caregiving, Cats, Celestial Musings, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Health, Nature, Pet Health, Pets, ,

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste†Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her†Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog.†Celeste†is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join†Celeste†at†her website or on†Facebook.


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9:12AM PDT on Aug 1, 2015

Therapeutic touch is definitely easier to implement with dogs than cats. Often kitty doesn't want to stand still long enough to allow you to work.

5:26PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

therapeutic touch.....otherwise known as "petting",,,

10:51AM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

Healing touch is great when animals allow it. When your pet has had enough energy, they will let you know!

4:27PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

This is good to know.

4:26PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

I love cats..I'v never tried this technique with my cats yet.Thanks for the info.

5:28PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

THis is good to know!

4:57PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

great, looks interesting

6:19AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

10:10PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

this is interesting. I have a fixed male tabby nearly 5 years old. He really likes to bite, even in non agressive ways - seems to be an oral fixation. I wonder if this gentle technique could calm him down...

5:47PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

As a rule, my animals and I communicate non-verbally just fine!!

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