The way to be  

When you work with animals, be prepared to be guided by the animal’s needs because they will let you know what they want – and if you want a lesson in humility, do work with animals! They are never polite and will always have the last word to get exactly what they need.

Practitioners who work with horses tell me that a horse will turn its head to nudge the Reiki practitioner’s hands into the correct position, if the horse’s trainer has misdiagnosed or given the practitioner incorrect information.

One spoilt white cat

One unforgettable animal that I was privileged to meet through Reiki was a spoilt white cat that had damaged his throat and couldn’t swallow past the scar tissue. His vet suggested that if the cat didn’t prosper on a diet of pureed cat-food then the kindest act may be euthanasia. The cat wasn’t slightly interested in eating puree so we tried Reiki; I think the cat’s distraught owner would have tried anything by that stage.

When I first offered Reiki, the cat ignored me, finally sniffed my hands, then rolled over and totally accepted the Reiki offered, but only for five minutes before leaving the treatment to eat some pureed food. The cat let me know very definitely that he wanted the Reiki treatments spread out, so I worked in five-minute sessions over a number of nights, and every night the cat solemnly ate his pureed food after his Reiki treatment. The cat knew exactly what it needed to heal because to everyone’s surprise the scar tissue also softened enough for the vet to be able to offer further treatment and eventually, to everyone’s joy, the cat’s scarring lessened so much that the cat could eat normal food again.

A very determined black cat

Prushka the escapologist was a neighbour’s cat who always managed to get out whenever she wished. She also enjoyed Reiki, and when she fell pregnant with her first litter she became a Reiki thief. I’d be watching TV, relaxed and focussed on the program until I’d realise that I was actually channelling Reiki because Prushka had insinuated herself under my hand again. It was the cat’s decision to get Reiki at that time, and she would cheekily “turn on” the flow when she wanted. As soon as she realised that I was aware of her presence she would start to purr loudly, but until I noticed she just lay gracefully and quietly accepting Reiki.

Prushka visited me every night while she was pregnant until she produced six large healthy kittens with a minimum of fuss after which she stayed home with her family and stopped her nightly visits.

A Peaceful Dove that was too peaceful

The slowest animal to accept Reiki was a Peaceful Dove who had knocked itself senseless against a large picture window. It was limp but I brushed the ants off and sat for forty minutes offering Reiki until I felt the bird begin to stir.

Another Peaceful Dove had flown to a nearby tree and chattered as she watched: I did wonder if she was giving me instructions. The second bird stayed until the first bird revived enough to hold onto a branch by itself (about 10 to 15 minutes later) and then they flew off together about five minutes after that. The observer bird didn’t stop talking, even when they flew away. The Reiki bird was flying a bit erratically at first, so perhaps the observer bird was still issuing instructions by doing the bird equivalent of back seat driving (or flying).

A flying fox with attitude

A flying fox was very angry after being hung up on barbed wire at the army barracks and when he was rescued he just wanted to rip the hands off any human he could reach. He also wasn’t the least bit interested in eating, which was of far more concern to his carer than the creature’s attitude.

I offered distance Reiki to the flying fox because I wasn’t courageous enough to go too close to him and within minutes he decided that food was worth eating after all. While the Reiki kept flowing the flying fox kept eating, even though he was still ready to rip the hands off any human that came too close.

A Superb Fruit Dove that liked Reiki too much

A Superb Fruit Dove who had been caught by a cat didn’t appear to be injured but certainly didn’t want to fly. Initially I gave Reiki for around an hour, then we put the dove into a box to stay quiet overnight. The next morning, after offering more Reiki, both my husband and I tried to get the dove to fly. The dove was equally determined to stay in our hands so we gave it a cage and food and yet more Reiki. We tried again the next morning with the same result – the dove appeared to be healthy but just would not fly.

After three days of Reiki twice a day and food, the dove eventually flew, but only after it realised that it wasn’t going to get any more Reiki on demand because I had left the building. I was actually on my way to another town to teach a Reiki class when the dove flew.

Baby birds like Reiki too

Every fledgling that we have raised over the years likes Reiki: some of them like it too much and we have trouble persuading them to leave home.

Playing possum

We didn’t have that trouble with the two possums that lived in our chimney. Reiki calmed them down as we relocated them to the shed, now they are happy to accept breakfast in bed in the shed and don’t seem to miss their old home at all.

The praying dog

At one Reiki Share in my home, our group stood in a circle to do gassho which is a way to call power by placing your two hands together in a prayer position. This particular night it was hard to focus, because Reiki practitioners in the group would spontaneously break out in giggles as they saw my little dog, Bella, had placed herself as part of our circle and was solemnly watching us as she too, did gassho. Every dog and cat that has shared our home loves Reiki energy and over the years many of them have also joined in with gassho, but Bella was the noisiest animal participant as she would grunt happily and very loudly when the energy was strongest and she was enjoying herself.

Reiki’s Little Miracles

Reiki truly is full of little miracles as my first Reiki teacher Faye Mathews told me back in 1991, and I am blessed that I’ve experienced so many of these little miracles in the years since. Although it’s great to offer Reiki to humans because you can feel and see Reiki working I do so enjoy working with animals. Animals just test the feeling, and if they like it take what’s offered and use the energy immediately to get on with living a happy life – and that’s my definition of a good Reiki treatment.


About the author: Sue Bagust is a Reiki therapist and trainer who has offered Reiki treatments and training @

  • Unique Rainbow Shoppe, Townsville
  • Sacred Flame, Townsville
  • Little Haven Palliative Care, Gympie
  • Magicality, Gympie.

Reiki and animals

Bella the kind little white dog always joined in the Reiki Circle, even doing Gassho with her paws together when everyone else in the circle did.


Bill the blessed enjoys his Reiki very much. Every cat that has shared our home enjoys Reiki.


Baby birds like Reiki too