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Furball management?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I've had longhaired cats in the past (primarily actually) but never had a problem at all with furballs. Lily cleans herself a LOT more than any other cat I've had, and sheds a lot too. Since I got her, she coughs up about 1 furball a week! It really isn't good for my carpets, and she looks like she's in so much pain! I know it can't be too horrible for her, but I feel so guilty just sitting there watching!

I'm planning on buying her some of that "Anti furball" dry food... Optimum is the brand but I don't know if it's just Australian - that might not mean anything to most of you =]
Can anyone tell me if it actually works? And if not, any other hints? I think I remember seeing some cream that you rub on them, then they lick it off themselves, and it helps the digestion or something?

I brush her a lot... not every day because she doesn't like it very much but as often as I can!
post #2 of 10
One of my SH cats has a problem with furballs...lately, because he 1. grooms my two kittens and 2. he supposedly has an allergy so has been grooming off his hair...

That said, my vet told me to add some mineral oil to his food (I put about 1 tsp. per 1/4 can wet food). I do not feed him wet food everyday, but when I feed it 2-3 days in a row with the dosage of mineral oil in it, it really helps his hairball issues. When he goes about 1 week without it, I notice the wheezing and hacking starting back. IME, I haven't had any problems of him inhaling it or any negative effects.

Also, you can try brushing her every day with a grooming brush like a zoom groom, furminator, or the bamboo version ( what I have, half circular white/red handle with a blade similar to that on a furminator). I try to brush my cats at least once every couple of days and it really seems to help...I can only imagine how much hair a LH cat sheds. This time of year should be worse too, as most cats (including mine) are "blowing coat", and getting ready for summer with a less dense coat.

Some others on this forum have reccommended feeding higher fiber foods and/or mixing some pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) into wet food. My cat is so picky he wouldn't touch the pumpkin, that's why I've stuck with the mineral oil.

post #3 of 10
Personally, I never had much luck with the anti-hairball foods (I tried a few different brands). What does help is the hairball goo that has mineral oil in it, although none of my cats like it. I just put a dab on the cat's paw so she has to lick it off.

I also try to comb them often with the Bamboo De-Shedding Comb that artgecko mentioned. It is similar to the Furminator, but much cheaper. The more loose hair you can comb or brush off, the less she will swallow.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I won't waste my money on the food then =]
I think I remember years ago we used some of that cream you put on them to lick off with the oil in it or whatever... I couldnt remember if it worked or not though.
Might be my best bet though, as Lily hates wet food.
post #5 of 10
Sorry to hear that Lily doesn't like wet food. George was having hairball problems almost every week and nothing seemed to help until I added wet food nightly! I tried hairball formulated dry food, treats (which he still gets cuz he's crazy about them!), the "goo" that you put on paws - which got all over everything and none ended up in his mouth!

George isn't crazy about letting me comb/brush him - and I've tried pretty much everything. He certainly doesn't think of it as bonding time - to him it's more like "torture George time"! Since he has long hair, he gets combed as much as he'll allow.

Have you tried different wet foods? We went through a few before finding one that he would eat. The chunky type foods are a winner - not the pate type foods. Thank goodness because they look so much better
post #6 of 10
We give Nova something called "VedaLax." It is a petrolatum product that they lick right up.

Nova likes to lick it off of our fingers as a treat. (They make it in Tuna flavor). If that doesn't work, you can put it on their paws and they lick it right off since they like to be clean.

There are other brands of stuff like this (for example, Laxatone) and they are sold in pet stores.
post #7 of 10
Plain old butter or margarine works just as well. Or you can look in the pet store for Petromalt - its a hairball paste.
post #8 of 10
my kitties never had hairballs while eating iams but since the formulas changed they wont eat it. they wont eat butter either. i tried the petromalt with chloe and found her in the tub washing her paw off under the leaky faucet
post #9 of 10
would have loved to see a video of that one Stubborn cat

There's also a product called Linatone which is a liquid/oil type of vitamin supplement - that might work for the hairballs and help the coat stay shiny too
post #10 of 10
shes usually really complacent. i couldnt believe when i caught her doing that. she scraped it off on my mini blinds and ran down the hall shaking it off her paw once, too. have you ever tried to get that stuff off the wall???

i just gave up and clean up the hairballs. i learned if you put a newspaper or something down on them when theyre wet and step on them (with shoes) you can just pick them up when its dry and you never have to touch or look at them haha
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