Why Reiki Is a Good Fit for Cats

Cats are especially receptive to Reiki, an energetic healing modality that works well with other therapies to help enhance wellness and relaxation.

As any cat parent can tell you, our feline friends are subtle creatures that seem especially sensitive to energies of various kinds. This means energetic healing modalities such as Reiki are often especially effective for them. Reiki can bring relaxation, comfort, healing, and an increased sense of well-being to your cat. Let’s explore the benefits of Reiki and why it works so well for cats.


Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) originated in Japan. The term “Reiki” is a Japanese composite word usually translated as “universal life energy”. It is based on the idea that all living beings have a life force energy flowing through them. Many people are familiar with the Chinese term “chi” — “ki” is the same word in Japanese.

When life energy is high, a cat (or any other animal or human) is healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When life energy is low, the cat will often be more easily affected by stress and is less resistant to illness. Reiki can help increase a cat’s life energy, and is a safe complement to conventional Western medicine, Chinese medicine, herbal therapies, homeopathy, and all other forms of healing.

During a Reiki session, the practitioner transfers healing energy through his or her hands to the cat, using a light touch directly on the body, or by holding the hands above the body. Reiki can also be performed remotely.


Animals, especially cats, are naturally receptive to Reiki energy and tend to readily gravitate towards it. Some people even say cats invented Reiki! While that may be a bit far-fetched, cats do seem to readily receive this type of energy because, unlike people, they don’t have the same mental processes going through their minds when faced with energy healing: “Does it really work? How can this possibly make a difference?” Cats just accept the healing energy and utilize it for their greatest good.


  • Enhances overall well-being
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Provides pain relief
  • Supports the immune system while the cat is receiving other therapies, including cancer treatments; by strengthening the immune system, Reiki primes the body to better deal with this additional stress
  • Alleviates or prevents side effects of conventional medications and treatments
  • Accelerates healing following surgery or illness
  • Increases trust and bonding between cat and human
  • Helps with behavior issues by promoting relaxation and stress reduction and making the cat more receptive to behavior modification
  • Provides comfort and relieves pain, anxiety and fear for terminally ill animals. Reiki is a wonderful way to facilitate the transition for both cat and human. Often, cats will not allow themselves to transition because they intuitively feel their people are not ready to let them go. Joint Reiki treatments for cat and human can help both through this difficult time and allow for a gentle and peaceful transition.


Although there is currently no licensing body for Reiki practitioners, this modality is becoming increasingly mainstream. Some major (human) cancer centers offer Reiki on a regular basis now. Although not all Reiki practitioners work with animals, many do. Some holistic veterinarians may offer Reiki, or will be able to refer you to someone who does. Look for a practitioner who has documented experience working with cats.

You can also learn to do Reiki yourself, but it’s important to take a course from an experienced Reiki Master; he or she will perform certain attunements so you will be able to channel the life force energy through your hands.


Cats generally prefer a hands-off approach to Reiki, especially if they don’t know the practitioner. This makes them ideal candidates for remote Reiki, also known as distance healing. This energetic process can best be explained through the principles of quantum physics, and has been proven to be extremely effective, sometimes even more effective than hands-on healing.

Reiki sessions for cats typically last 15 to 30 minutes. Ultimately, the cat decides how much energy he wants to accept. The frequency of sessions depends entirely on the individual cat’s health status and needs. Some issues can be resolved in two or three sessions, while others may take ongoing sessions on a recurring basis.


The power of Reiki never ceases to surprise and delight me. Over my years of working with Reiki and cats, I’ve had some wonderful and sometimes miraculous experiences.

1. Blackie was a foster cat with urinary tract issues. He was also having a hard time settling into living indoors after being an outside stray for most of his life. When I arrived at Blackie’s home, there were at least a dozen other cats in the house, several of them young kittens who were racing around the room. I tuned everything else out and focused on Blackie, sending energy to him alone. He readily accepted it.

My back was turned to the rest of the room, so I was unaware of what was going on behind me. When I finished the session, I turned to see about six cats stretched out in various states of relaxation, blissfully zonked out from the residual Reiki energy. One cat slowly came up to me and rubbed his head against my hand. The woman fostering the cats told me he was a feral that had just been taken in, and that she hadn’t yet been able to touch him.

2. Belle was an 11-year-old tortoiseshell cat I saw every two weeks for Reiki sessions. She’d had frequent asthma attacks prior to starting Reiki, but after a few sessions, her asthma was under control with only a very small dose of medication.

Belle always knew when it was time for her Reiki session. She would get into position in her special chair, and soak up the energy for half an hour, either purring or sleeping.

However you offer Reiki to your cat, it’s worth adding this energetic healing modality to his healthcare regimen. It works well in conjunction with other therapies and treatments, and can also be used to help keep a healthy kitty relaxed, balanced and well.

The post Why Reiki Is a Good Fit for Cats appeared first on Animal Wellness Magazine.