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Stupid hairball question?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I feel really stupid asking this question. But as of yesterday, Lazlo is making a weird kind of coughing sound. It sounds like a kind of hacking noise - not quite a cough, not quite a sneeze - and he doesn't seem to be snotty.

None of our cats has ever had a hairball. Is this what that sounds like?

Because he's eating, drinking and basically acting like normal, we're thinking it's not a cold, it's a hairball.

We're just not quite sure what to do about it. We've called the vet - even though our specific vet isn't on duty today. It's just that Lazlo is on a restricted diet, and we can't feed him grass.

I don't know if he'll eat pumpkin - but if he does, do you think we should try that?

We're under the impression that the hairball treats don't really help?

Any thoughts/suggestions?


post #2 of 13
the vet probably sells hairball gel. It is like a lubricant that you feed them. A fingerfull at a time. You can probably get a good quality one at a Pet store,. I would not buy it at the grocery store. It helps it to slide through their system.
post #3 of 13
Slippery elm ....
post #4 of 13
Sounds like a hairball to me! I would be afraid the pumpkin would bind him up,so I would use a dab of white vaseline if I had no hairball remedies available.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Slippery elm is a gel? A capsule?

Thanks for the replies! Gary's got me checking on Laz like every 15 minutes, even though he's making that hacking sound every couple of hours. I'd be worried if there were any signs he's sick - but he really seems fine.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Now all I have to do is figure out where the bathroom stuff is packed... I know we've got vaseline somewhere. (We just moved).


post #7 of 13
I use it in a powder form ... generally about 1/8th teapoon or less gets a hairball going the right direction...mixed in canned food or something liked
post #8 of 13
have a feeling hair balls might be an issue for us soon with long haired cat, is there anything to do to prevent hairballs? ie not to help em come out but just prevent them, or nothing to be done other than lots of brushing?
heard there was special diets around but maybe i was wrong
post #9 of 13
Quality food to keep the coat healthy and proper grooming is about all you can do.

As for how a hairball cough sounds, it's a lower sounding cough and a bit longer. It sounds like they're trying to force something out - because they are.

Cold coughs sound a bit higher up and shorter, and not like the cat is trying to leave a gift on the rug.
Did that make sense?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Totally makes sense.

He's had colds before, so we know the cough of a cold. And this is different. It's almost like he's choking - or trying to vomit something up or something. It is a totally different "hacking" kind of noise is the only way I can think to describe it. When I first heard it, I thought he was choking - but it stopped, and he resumed normal activity (playing).

There's no way I'm gonna find the vaseline. We had to run out today, and we drove by a PetSmart, so we stopped to pick up a hairball remedy. They had a "natural" one with soybean oil as the main ingredient.

I'm going to try putting it on his paw a little bit before dinner.

Thanks for all!

post #11 of 13
Is it like a shrieking, gagging sound? I realize you said you've heard cold coughs before...this one I'm talking about is different. Beandip made an odd shrieking/gagging type sound when he had some sort of virus...can't remember what it was, but the vet said it was probably from drainage tickling his throat. I thought he had a stomach problem, because it looked like he was *trying* to throw up. Just a thought.

I have a hairball prone cat that skips the coughing, she just brings it on up. I guess that's good.
post #12 of 13
Some cats need a hairball food ... many of the higher end foods have things like oat fiber or veggie fiber to send the hair out the other end... HIGH fatty acids make a huge difference as does wet food ...
post #13 of 13
I've given Blossom liquid paraphin which is what my mum used to give my cats. Is this still an option. Blossom has vomited twice in the last few weeks but doesn't seem to have hair in it. My older cat, Coco, is always bringing up hairballs that look like hairy sausages. Coco goes outside so has ready access to grass, where as Blossom lives inside totally.
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