Pet owners in China are turning to acupuncture to help soothe the aches and pains of their beloved cats and dogs.

"China is famous for acupuncture. I took the cat here immediately to have a try," said Wang Xijuan, 74, holding the paw of her feline friend during a session at a Shanghai clinic.

After four treatments, Wang said her cat can "walk now, jump and even fight with other cats".

Traditional practitioners believe acupuncture, which involves inserting long, fine needles at specific places, known as meridians, of the body, can stimulate blood circulation to promote healing and relieve some aches and pains.

On its website, the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society said acupuncture has been used in veterinary practice in China "for thousands of years to treat many ailments".

Jin Rishan, a specialist at the Shanghai TCM Neurology and Acupuncture Animal Health Center, said they have treated more than 2,000 cats and dogs since the clinic opened four years ago.

A single session costs 260 yuan ($39) and last for about 45 minutes.

Jin said about 80% of their patients have shown some improvement after treatment.

"Making a paralysed and dependent dog stand up is our ultimate goal," Jin said.

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