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What else can be done for hairballs?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat goes through these 1-2 week stages when she throws up her food. I know it's hairballs because there will be hair in the vomit. Also, I will occasionally notice these pellets of fur (look like bullets of hair) that she's thrown up. Usually the problem will go away on its own and she won't throw up for a few months or more. This stage has been on and off for about a month, though. I'll think she's over it, then she'll throw up again. I always give her a dab of cat lax each day, and comb her with a fine tooth comb every other day to remove loose hair. She also seems to have a sensitive tummy, and some foods make her more barfy than others. I have her on Maxximum Nutrition dry, and she's been doing well on that. I don't know what else to do. I've taken her to the vet for it, but they don't have any answers. They always say cats will barf occasionally, but if it becomes a chronic thing, then we'll take some x-rays. They believe it's just hairballs, and will give me cat lax. What else can I do that I'm not already doing? I've thought about changing her food time to evening because she seems to keep food down better in the afternoon (I give her a 1/2 of food in the morning, then a small handful (her snack) in the afternoon). Does anyone else have a cat like this? I thought it could be worms since I've seen some fleas around. I plan to have her in for her annual once my work schedule gets settled (this is my first week), and I'll ask about worming. She's had tapeworms, but I noticed eggs around the house when she had those...
post #2 of 13
I'm glad you asked what to do about hair balls, I was just going to ask that becaus Isaac was not wanting to eat much last week & then threw up 2 huge (1/2" dia, by 3" long) hairballs over the weekend and is now eating fine. The problem is he refuses to eat the hairball remedy & when I try putting it on his paw he just shakes his paw & gets it everywhere. So I was looking for additional suggestions too.
post #3 of 13
pumpkin the plain kind.... any oil(olive or cod liver here)... extra wet laughing butter
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Rang - I have to put the lax on my cat's side, since she also will shake it off her paw. I gently rub a dab of it on her side, then she licks it off. It really doesn't seem to have much affect on Maisey's hairballs, though. Sharky, thanks for the tips. I rubbed 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on Maisey's coat (was messy, but I didn't think she'd eat her food if I mixed it in with it). She licked it right off, so we'll see how this works!
post #5 of 13
I would feed a hairball formula food. Eukanuba, Iams, Royal Canin, Natural Choice, and I think Blue Spa all have a hairball formula or are for hairballs.
post #6 of 13
I'll have to see if I can get some samples. We are currently having issues with picky eating habits as well, so I don't know what they will eat.
post #7 of 13
Lay out a line of laxatone on a plate and let the cat eat it. Offer cooked and mashed green beans with a bit of butter, canned pumpkin not cooked, organic catnip (just lay a pinch on the floor) give kitty cat grass or even if you have some friends with horses, get some good green grass hay (just a handful) and offer a few stalks to the kitty. Be sure your vet knows about the vomiting, just because there is hair in the emesis doesn't always mean that it is just hairballs.
post #8 of 13
Thanks Hissy. The only thing Isaac threw up was hair, about 1/2" dia x 3" long wads of hair, twice in 3 days. There was no food present in the vomit. It has been a couple of months since he's throw up, so could it really be anthing else?
post #9 of 13
Brush and comb daily. Use something like a Zoom Groom brush or a Furminator brush.

post #10 of 13
I LOVE the furminator and it's unbelievable how much fur it really does get off.

Tis the season for hairballs. I have a contact that is a feline veterinarian and she said she gives her cats a fingerfull of regular ole vaseline. If you notice, those products for hairballs, the main ingredient is petrolatum anyway...Ironically when I tried it, my cats much preferred the vaseline over the flavored laxatone type products. Don't give it with food or at mealtime though, petroleum jelly can prohibit the absorbtion of nutrients. So wait until well between meals.

Sometimes hairball formula foods contain too much fiber which can cause other problems long term, so you may want to try something else.

Canned pumpkin is a good suggestion as well, and like stated, the plain kind, not the pumpkin pie filling.
post #11 of 13
I am having the same problem. My kitty has been doing fine all summer even with the shedding; I have been grooming her daily with a brush and the furminator. However, as the cooler weather is coming and she is getting a fuller coat (she is at least part Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat with a long, bushy tail and very full ruff and breeches), she has started with the hairballs and vomiting.

I cleaned up a large hairball last week, and didn't worry since she hasn't had one in quite awhile. But I came home on Saturday to one under the chair in the living room, woke up to one (or maybe just a pile of undigested food) in the dining room this morning, and she just puked again this evening after dinner. She is eliminating in her box, so I don't think she is blocked. I usually feed her a mix of hairball formulas Nutro and Indoor formula Nutro, but lately just the Indoor formula.

I am going to try the canned pumpkin and pick up some Hairball formula tomorrow. If she does this again tomorrow I am going to have to call the vet. Other than her digestive issue, she is fine. She plays, purrs, and goes about her daily routine - no lethargy or other symptoms of illness. The only thing I have noticed is that she has been more vocal and needy lately.
post #12 of 13
PINEAPPLE JUICE!!! This has some of the best digestive enzymes and will eat right through hair. Its usually used one rabbits who have hairballs before surgery is tried (hairballs in a rabbit can be life threatening since they can't vomit)
I had a rabbit once who had such a bad hairball that he almost died. Two days on pineapple juice, and he was completely better.
post #13 of 13
I have a tube of Laxatone (tuna flavored) in the house, but one of my cats prefers Vaseline!!! She sits on the bathroom sink whenever she wants some, and I put a dab on my finger and she licks it off. That's not bad for her, right?
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