Zoopharmacognosy for Cats

How zoopharmacognosy can help your cat

You always want to do the best for your cat.  So if it appears unwell, in pain, or scared - you want to do whatever you can to help.  But it's not always easy knowing what exactly the problem is.   Vets do an amazing job of course - but sometimes things just aren’t very clear.

Cats aren’t always as expressive as other animals, and can be more reclusive when unwell, making things even more challenging.  Imagine how helpful it would be if your cat could tell you what it really needed?  Whilst it can’t tell you directly, zoopharmacognosy enables it to show you, by self-medicating on plant extracts.

Self-selection allows your cat to take whichever medicinal compounds it needs, in the quantity it needs, and in the way it needs it.  

For example - a cat that appears to have behavioural issues will often select plant extracts that contain pain-killing properties, even though there is no visible evidence to suggest it is in pain.

The chance to self-medicate not only gives your cat a choice - it gives it a voice, the opportunity to let you know what it really needs. 

What I do

As a Zoopharmagocnosist, I facilitate self-medication for cats.  I do not diagnose or “treat” – I enable the animal to self-select by offering pure, natural plant extracts in a safe and species-appropriate way.

I work with natural remedies such as essential oils*, base and macerated oils, aromatic waters and dried and powdered herbs.  I offer extracts that I believe are most likely to be relevant for your cat, based on the in-depth client consultation.

This sounds straightforward but must be sensitively paced, and directed by the animals responses.

I explain what's happening throughout the session and happily answer any questions you have.  Your cat must have the freedom to “choose or refuse” at all times, and you will be fascinated watching their responses.

Later in the session I’ll ask you to have a go at offering some extracts as well, so that you feel confident working with your own animal for a few days afterwards.

* please - NEVER apply essential oils topically to a cat

How it works

Cats work with plant extracts differently to other species, and really enjoy their special sessions, including a lovely “herb garden”!

Your cat has an amazingly sophisticated sense of smell. The brain communicates with the nose when the cat needs medicinal plants - it's all about chemical messages.   

The cat isn’t deliberately choosing “nice” smells - it is responding to messages from the brain. 

It's really important to realise that selecting medicine is not the same process as selecting / eating food.  Cats use only their noses to work with essential oils, but might want to lick aromatic waters, plant powders or a little macerated oil.  If it does this, it is quite deliberate. Your cat will not "eat everything" I offer it - that's a promise.

More clever messaging from the nose to the brain means your cat stops medicating when it has taken what is needed.  

What issues can Zoopharmacognosy help with?

Firstly, self-selection is a wonderful preventative health approach, enabling your cat to support its immune system.  This is only ever going to be beneficial, so don’t feel you need to wait for an “issue” to arise before booking a visit.


Zoopharmacognosy can support a wide range of physical issues, including:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Bladder issues
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hormonal issues
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Itching
  • Hormonal issues
  • Kidney / urinary
  • Liver support
  • Pain & Inflammation
  • Respiratory
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin and coat problems
  • Tumours and growths
  • Wounds and burns


Behavioural issues include:

  • abandonment
  • abuse
  • aggression
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • dominance
  • fear
  • grief
  • insecurity
  • irritation
  • nervousness
  • new home
  • over-grooming
  • separation
  • shock
  • stress
  • trauma past/present

If your cat has any symptoms giving you serious cause for concern, you should always speak to your vet first - zoopharmacognosy is not a substitute for veterinary advice**.   However, it can be an amazing additional “tool in the box” for animal wellness and hard-to-resolve issues.

If your vet has any concerns or questions I am very happy to talk to them in detail in advance.

**Please note: I do not “treat” your animal, nor diagnose (both would contravene the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966). 

Why is it so helpful as a complementary or alternative health approach?

It involves natural plant compounds that the animal has evolved with

Nothing is ever forced:  the animal is always free to “choose or refuse”

Individual dosage of remedies that are relevant for your animal:  too much, too little or inappropriate medicines can slow down full recovery

Long-term use:  Plant extracts can be offered for as long a period as needed without negative side effects (eg pain-killers, anti-bacterials etc)

The opportunity to address past trauma or present fears and their physiological effects is a huge step towards a more balanced, healthy cat

Holistic approach:  a simple injury might see your cat selecting a combination of extracts that support cell repair, inflammation, infection, pain, trauma, shock, anxiety! 


This gentle therapy can be highly effective for hard-to-resolve behavioural and physical issues, and preventatively for naturally well-balanced, happy and healthy animals.

Zoopharmacognosy is fascinating to observe.  You will gain a new understanding of your cat, and be able to use what you learn to support its physical and emotional balance in the future.

By giving your cat a choice, you give it a voice.

Book a session.  See for yourself. Understand.