Black cat laying in grass with Pet Life Radio logo and SoyKitty logo for blog post titled 'Transitioning to a Holistic Cat Lifestyle’ w/ Ashley Hejlik on the Cattitude Podcast

Transitioning to a Holistic Cat Lifestyle w/ Ashley Hejlik on the Cattitude Podcast

In a recent episode of the Cattitude Podcast, SoyKitty co-founder, Ashley Hejlik, joined host Michelle Fern to discuss the journey of transitioning cats to a holistic lifestyle. The conversation covered various aspects of holistic cat care, from diet changes to creating a toxin-free home environment. If you're a cat parent looking to improve your cat's overall wellness through natural means, this episode is packed with practical, manageable advice. In this blog post, we’ll try to recap all of that insightful information and tips that were shared in the podcast episode. Let’s get started…

What is a Holistic Lifestyle for Cats?

The first thing we need to cover is, “well, what IS a holistic lifestyle for cats”? In the realm of pet care discussions saturated with terms like vegan, organic, and non-GMO, this question often arises. Ashley explained what a holistic lifestyle for cats means to her. She put it this way, “A holistic lifestyle is about making incremental changes that improve your cat's whole health over time". It’s not just about addressing symptoms but looking at the whole cat – their diet, environment, their energy, and overall well-being. This means considering everything from the food your cat eats to the energy of their environment and the products they interact with.

In Ashley's view, holistic care for cats extends beyond the use of natural products; it involves nurturing their mental and emotional well-being as integral parts of their overall health.

"It's about the energy of the cat, the environment they live in, and what they interact with or eat." — Ashley Hejlik

This holistic approach aims not only to optimize physical health but also to establish a harmonious equilibrium that supports a cat’s natural energy and emotional well-being. In the following sections, we’ll get into practical tips and action steps to take to start the journey towards a holistic lifestyle for your kitty.

Practical Tips to Start the Process

Transitioning to a holistic lifestyle doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Ashley shared several actionable steps that cat parents can start implementing today. Here are the key tips:

Integrate Whole Foods into Their Diet:

  • Cats are obligate carnivores so their diet should include plenty of high-quality meats and organs.

"Integrating real whole foods into my cat's diet has been the biggest change for their energy and digestion." -- Ashley Hejlik

  • Include things like raw goat milk (pre-biotic), homemade bone broth (probiotic), or nutritional yeast (great source of energy & B vitamins) to their diet.
  • Consider homemade meals for your cats using balanced recipes from holistic vets or cat nutritionists. Dr. Judy Morgan offers a few simple, nutritionally-balanced, homemade raw cat food recipes. They can be found here:

Use Natural Cleaning Products:

  • Replace traditional chemical cleaners with natural alternatives like vinegar, baking soda, lemon and essential oils. These natural products help reduce chemical exposure, which can benefit your cat's health.
  • Switch to natural hand soaps made with plant-based ingredients and essential oils. Avoid antibacterial soaps containing triclosan, as these chemicals can disrupt your cat's microbiome and potentially lead to health issues. Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, and lemon can be added instead, for their antimicrobial properties and pleasant scents.
  • Replace commercial laundry detergents with homemade alternatives using natural ingredients like washing soda, borax, and Castile soap. This helps eliminate synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals that can irritate your cat's skin.
  • Opt for eco-friendly dish soaps that are free from phosphates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. Look for biodegradable options that are gentle on your hands and safe for your cat, especially if they like to jump on countertops and eat off of your dishes.

Improve Air Quality:

  • Instead of burning candles, use essential oil diffusers or air purifiers to ensure cleaner air for your cats. Reducing air pollutants can help protect your cat’s sensitive lungs.
  • Avoid aerosol sprays and synthetic air fresheners that contain phthalates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Instead, use simmer pots to make your home smell amazing and it’s safe for kitties.
  • Allow fresh air to circulate by opening windows and doors when weather permits. This helps exchange indoor air with outdoor air, reducing indoor pollutant levels and improving overall air quality.

Create a Stress-Free Environment:

  • Spend quality time with your cats, take deep breaths, and relax together. Your energy can significantly impact your cat’s well-being.
  • Recognize how your own stress levels can impact your cat's well-being. Practice self-care and stress management techniques to maintain a harmonious and relaxed atmosphere for both you and your cat.

  • Be calm and gentle with your cat. Offer affectionate gestures like petting, massages, and grooming, respecting their cues for comfort and ensuring interactions are enjoyable and stress-free.

"Just taking 10-15 minutes to sit, breathe, and relax with your cat can make a big difference." -- Ashley Hejlik

Key Resources and Contacts

During the podcast, Ashley highlighted valuable resources that have helped her on her journey. She emphasized the importance of seeking guidance from holistic veterinarians and supportive communities. Here are some recommendations:

"Finding a community or a holistic vet with expertise in nutrition is crucial. They can provide the knowledge and support needed for a successful transition." -- Ashley Hejlik

Real-Life Experiences and Benefits

Ashley shared her personal experiences with her own cats, discussing the challenges and successes of transitioning them to a holistic lifestyle. She emphasized the importance of patience, grace, curiosity, and persistence. "My cat Joey had been to the traditional vet over 30 times before we found a holistic approach that worked. It's been a journey, but the benefits are undeniable," she shared. "It's a marathon, not a sprint. Small changes over time lead to healthier, happier cats."

Wrap It Up

Transitioning to a holistic lifestyle for your cat is a journey that involves making small, manageable changes. Here are the main points to remember:

  • A holistic lifestyle encompasses the cat's diet, energy, environment, and overall well-being.
  • Start with small, manageable changes and be patient with the process.
  • Be patient! ****Transitioning takes time, and it’s essential to be patient with yourself and your cat.
  • Don’t do it alone! Use resources and seek guidance from holistic veterinarians or supportive communities.

To listen to the full episode and dive deeper into holistic cat care, tune in to the Cattitude Podcast:

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