Acupuncture in Cats: Is There a Difference From Dogs?
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2009
Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS
Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine, Reddick, FL, USA

Feline Acupuncture Technique


 Lighter touch: Start from the head, back

 Gentle restraint

 Human companion present

 Padded surface, Rug w/towel


 Blue, green color

 Yang Conditions Excess Heat or False heat, Yin deficiency, stagnation

 Fire or Wood Constitution

 Orange, Yellow color

 Qi Deficiency, IBD or Earth

 Deficiency of metal/respiratory

 White: Metal/Respiratory conditions

 Pink, violet: Yang deficiency, Cold conditions, or stagnation

Physical Exam

 Shen (Spirit)

 High: Good prognosis

 Low/depressed: Poor prognosis

 Body type & muscles: Excess vs. deficiency

 Hair coat

 Hair loss: Blood/Yin/Qi deficiency

 Dandruff: Blood Deficiency, Yin deficiency

 Oily: Damp, phlegm,


 Red: Excess Heat or Yin deficiency

 Pale: Qi deficiency or Blood deficiency

 Purple: Stagnation

 Yellow coating: Excess Heat

 White coating: Phlegm, cold

 Ear: Oozing, bleeding: GB Damp Heat

 Back Shu: BL-13 to 30; BL-42 to 52 Front Mu: LIV-13; LIV-14 and GB-24; CV-12

 Femoral pulse

 Fast, forceful pulse: Excess Heat

 Wiry pulse: Pain (Qi-blood stagnation)

 Weaker pulse @ Right-side: Qi or Yang deficiency

 Weak pulse @ Left-side: Yin or Blood deficiency

Tips for Acupuncture Technique

One Acupuncture Needle for all cats: 0.25mm (#32) with a length of 13 mm (1/2')

 Do not start at paw point (LI-4, TH-5, LIV-3 etc)

 Water/Wood Constitution: Start Bai-hui (L-S conjunction at GV)

 Fire Constitution: Aquapuncture at An-shen with 0.5 to 1 cc of saline

 Earth/Metal Constitution: Start GV-20

Upper Respiratory Infections

 Wind Heat or Lung Heat: Acute

 Dispel, tonify Wei Qi &/or Lung

 LI 4, LI 11, GV 14, LI 20, TH 5, BL 13, LU-5

 Tip of ear, tip of tail

 Lung Qi or Yin Deficiency: Chronic

 Support Yin, Lung Qi

 LU-7, LU-9, LU-1, BL-13, CV-17, CV-22, LI-10, ST-36, BL-20/21

 Herbal Med

 Bu Fei San for Qi deficiency

 Bai He Gu Jin For Yin deficiency

Feline Asthma

 Wind Cold

 BL-10/12/GB-20/LI-4/11: Dispel Wind, clear surface

 BL 13: disperse lung

 ST-40/CV-17: Transform phlegm

 Ding-chuan /CV-22: stop asthma

 Herbal: Zhi Suo San

 Lung Heat

 Er-jian/LU5/LU 10: Clear Lung Heat

 BL 13/LU-7: disperse lung

 ST-40/CV-17 (Tan-zhong): Transform phlegm

 CV-22/Ding-chuan: stop asthma

 Herbal: Qing Fei San

 Lung Qi deficiency

 LU9/7: Tonify lung qi to stop asthma

 Qi-hai-shu/CV-17/BL 13: Tonify Lung Qi

 Sp-36 + SP-6: Strengthens Sp and St

 CV-22/Ding-chuan: stop asthma

 Herbal: Bu Fei San

 Lung Yin deficiency

 BL-13, BL-42, LU-1, LU-9 (strengthen the lungs)

 CV-22, Ding-chuan (stop asthma)

 SP-6, SP-9, BL-23 (tonify Yin)

 LI-10, ST-36, ST-37 (tonify Spleen Qi)

 Herbal: Bai He Gu Jin

 Lung Qi + Kidney Qi deficiency

 KID-3/7/10/CV-4/6/BL-23/26: Tonify kidney Qi

 CV-17/BL 13/LU-9/7: Tonify lung Qi

 ST-36 + SP-6: Strengthens Sp and St

 CV-22/Ding-chuan: stop asthma

 Herbal: Ren Shen Ge Jie San

Immune Mediated Disorders

Including Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

Acute Flare-ups

 Fever, chills--Wind Heat

 GV 14, LI 4, LI 11, TH 4(source), TH-5

 Herbal: Yin Qiao San

 Vomiting, low appetite

 SP 6, ST 36, CV 12/14, PC 6, GB-34, BL-20/21

 Herbal: Huo Xiang Zheng Qi

 Swollen lymph nodes Heat Toxin

 Check location: Local points, LU-5, GV-14, SP-10, BL 40, LI 11

 Herbal medicine: Pu Ji Xiao Du


 Points: LI-4/11, GV-14, ST-36, BL-20/21, LIV-3, SP-6

 Herbal: Wei Qi booster

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)


Bloody/watery diarrhea or malodorous mucoid feces

GV-1, BL-20, BL-21,


Colitis, enteritis, Potomac fever, salmonellosis and non-specific gastroenteritis
Hot ears/nose, Increased thirst
Tongue: Deep red
Pulse: Deep and rapid

LI-4, SP-6, LI-11, GV-14, Wei-jian, BL-25, ST-25, LI-10, ST-36, GB-34
Da Xiang Lian Wan

Liver Qi stagnation

Hyperactive, Irritability
Vomiting small amounts frequently
Acid regurgitation or eructation
Eyes: red
Tongue: purple
Pulse: wiry

PC-6, BL-14, HT-7, GB-34, ST-36, GB-41, LIV-3, BL-18, BL-19
Liver Happy

Spleen Qi deficiency

Chronic diarrhea with undigested grain
Anorexia, Loss of body weight
Exercise intolerance
Tongue: Pale or yellow
Pulse: Deep and weak

GV-1, BL-20/21, LI-10,ST-36, SP-6/9, Qi-hai-shu, Pi-shu
Shen Ling Bai Zhu

Kidney Yang deficiency

Prolonged diarrhea
Cold and painful back
Rear weakness and stiffness
Tongue: Pale
Pulse: Deep and weak

GV-1, BL-20/21, ST-36, GV-4/3, Bai-hui, BL-23, Shen-Shu, KID-7/3, Qi-hai-shu
Four Immortals

Mega Colon

 Local Stagnation with Qi deficiency, Yin and Blood deficiency

 Qi deficiency: can't push

 History of difficulty having stool

 Yin & Blood deficiency: Can't moisten

 Points: BL-20/21/25, CV-12, ST-25, ST-37/39/36, GV-1, BL-17, SP-10, KID-3, SP-6/9

 Herbal: Fan Xie Ye

 With Qi Deficiency: Add Four Gentlemen

 With Yin/Blood Deficiency: Dang Gui Cong Rong


 Stomach Fire/Heat with local stagnation

 Points: GV-14, LI-4/11, ST-44, CV-12, ST-45

 Local points: ST-4/5/6, TH-17

 Oral Herbal: Jade Lady Topical

 Herbal: Bing Peng San

Inappropriate Spraying

 Shen Disturbance with Yin deficiency or Liver Qi stagnation

 Points: Aquapuncture at Da-feng-men, An-shen

 Dry Needle: GV-20, HT-7, BL-14/15/18/19, LIV-3

 Herbal: Shen Calmer


Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS
Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine
Reddick, FL , USA

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