Chiropractic and Cats: They Aren't Like Us
By Krista Elliott
Anybody who has ever owned a cat, or spent any time with one, has probably been awestruck at times by their impressive flexibility. A cat's flexibility is probably one of its most noteworthy characteristics (the second most noteworthy characteristic being their ability to look at you as though you are the lowest creature to ever crawl upon the Earth, simply because you sneezed when they were cleaning themselves).
Being mammals, cats have quite a lot in common with us humans, from the growing of hair to the ability to make milk for our young. But of course, their overall physiological structure is quite different. Certainly, us humans can benefit from monthly 15-minute visits to the chiroprator and we might not feel quite so inclined to make that commitment for our friendly feline. One of the ways in which they are different is in their skeletal system. Examining the bones and joints of Fluffy, Shadow, or Professor Snuggly McMittens (ahem) reveals the amazing secrets of a cat's flexibility and agility.
The overall skeletal structure of the cat is not hugely different from that of a human, tail notwithstanding. Like us, they have a head, spine, and four limbs. However, that's pretty much where the similarities end. For starters, a cat skeleton has a lot more bones than the average human's.
Most notable, however, is the difference in the actual spine. The bones of a cat's spine are not connected as tightly as ours is. This loosey-goosey spine allows the cat's back to bend and twist like a fuzzy Slinky, which is why your cat can get into positions that make a yoga instructor look like a brittle old man. Cats, not being bipedal, also do not need an arch in their lower back to balance out their center of gravity.
Wondering why your cat is able to squeeze into such tight spaces? You can thank their skeletal system for that as well. Cats have a teeny-tiny collarbone and flexible, loosely connected shoulders. The result? A narrow upper body that easily adapts to small hidey-holes.
Chiropractic for Your Cat
You might think with such a flexible spine that a cat would never need chiropractic care. But, just like humans, cats can also suffer from subluxations and discomfort in their spine and joints. Whether it's from an injury, a congenital defect, a medical issue like arthritis, or just the aches and pains of old age, your cat may benefit from chiropractic care. And of course, both you and your cat can benefit from regular chiropractic treatment to keep your spines and joints healthy and pain-free so that you can continue to enjoy each other's companionship for years to come. To take care of your spine, contact The Joint Chiropractic today!