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Hair balls

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
What can I do to assist my kitty with passing or bringing up a hairballs? She's been hacking and coughing some lately--aweful sounds, breaks my heart.

I know I don't brush her regularly like I should. That is one of my goals.

Is there anything else?
post #2 of 16
I am using egg yolk lecithin, based on recommendations from others in this forum. Hair balls are made up of fat and hair, and it is the fat that binds the fur into those blobs or mats that make is so difficult for a kitty to pass. The egg yolk lecithin breaks down the fat freeing the fur to pass out the way it is supposed to.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001VU8Y6/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00

Another option is pumpkin, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin a day, split between two meals. I have one cat on that. Pure pumpkin, not pie filling.

Feed your cat a good quality canned diet, if you aren't already, you will see a difference.

Oh yes, and if kitty will tolerate it, daily grooming will certainly help! It will also be nice bonding time for the two of you. smile.gif
post #3 of 16
PS if you do get the egg yolk lecithin remember to put it in the refrigerator after opening. I didn't remember for 2 1/2 days after opening. I sent an e mail to the company asking if it is still okay to use, but they have not replied. I tried to send another but the contact form in their website doesn't appear to be working now.
post #4 of 16

Are you sure she's coughing up hairballs? It could be feline asthma. It's apparently very common. I found a good article about it on another pet website.

 

http://avidlifepet.com/feline-asthma/

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

She doesn't cough/hack all the time, just once in a while. 

post #6 of 16
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Person View Post

I would recommend Laxatone(http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2755239).

 

Just be aware that this product contains corn syrup. Some cats are sensitive to corn products. however if you would like to try it I have a tube available.:

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/244407/tomlyn-brand-petromalt
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I got some Laxatone.  She LOVES it.  Begs me for it.  ha ha  I only give her a little every 3 or 4 days or when I hear/see her start yacking. 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Can the laxatone give them the runs? I found stuff near her litter box and its sticky like the laxatone.
post #10 of 16

My understanding of Laxatone is that it does indeed have a laxative effect.  So I imagine it could give the runs.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, it was a lot but it had dried and it was sticky.
post #12 of 16
Sounds more like she yakked it up. laughing02.gif

Laxatone and all petroleum or mineral oil based hair ball remedies should always be given on an empty stomach, at least two hours before a meal. Petroleum products (petrolatum) and mineral oil interfere with nutrient absorption.

The other problem with these types is that they can become habit forming if given too often. Meaning, the body will develop a dependence on the product, and she won't be able to poop or pass the fur at all without it. Once or twice a week might be okay, but if you are having to use it more than that, speak with your vet.

The thing is, I used these products for years, and they did cause a lot of trouble with my cats' health, I do believe, this is why I have stopped all petroleum based products. I tried other things, such as:

Coconut oil- I found out shortly after I started using the coconut oil that medium chain fatty acids (which is what coconut oil mostly is) are dangerous to cats and should not be given to cats in any form, including coconut oil.

Butter - butter is useless for hair ball for a few reasons. It is dairy, and many cats cannot tolerate dairy. The other two reasons are because it is pure fat. Fat is what is in the hair ball that causes the problem. The fur binds with the fat and gets too big to move. More fat will not make the hairball pass through easier, it may make the problem worse. In addition, fat is digestible, so if it doesn't glom onto the fur, it will just get digested and pass through on it's own.

Chicken fat - same issues as butter, except for the dairy part.

Psyllium - psylium is a bulk forming fiber. Bulk forming fibers are very bad for cats with any sort of long term use. They work by drawing water to the colon. Not only does this create a stool that is much larger than a cat's body is designed to handle, (which will eventually lead to megacolon) it can cause the cat to be dehydrated. Also, if it is not given with enough liquid, it can lodge in the esophagus, swell, and cause the cat to choke/asphyxiate to death.

Slippery elm - I have not used this on it's own. I was told it has a very bad odor, and I did not think it would work for me (ultra sensitive to smells) or the cats.

Having said that about psyllium and slippery elm: I have used, in very small amounts a product called Vet's-Best hairball relief. It has other things in it too, so there is not an over abundance of either psyllium or slippery elm, but even so I don't use it at the doses suggested on the bottle. Instead I am using it as an "incentive dust" for raw feeding transition. I do know someone who uses this for their long haired cat and is very happy with the results.

And finally, the product that seems to be working, much to my joy, is egg yolk lecithin. This product breaks down the fat that the hairball is made up of, allowing the fur to be passed through the digestive tract and intestine and colon, as it is meant to be.

Mazy is my cat who has suffered with terrible hair ball trouble all her life. She was taking mass quantities of petroleum hair ball remedies. In the shedding months (March through October) she had to take it almost every day, then after October I would gradually reduce it to every 2-3 days. Tolly angel.gif, too had to take mass quantities of this stuff. I'm not sure how much good it ever did them, and I lost Tolly to cancer when he was only 12. It took over his whole body within 19 days, from first symptom until he was gone. I don't know that it was all the years of petroleum, but I don't know that it wasn't, either. So I will not, ever, give my own cats this stuff again.

And now, Mazy, who has suffered from hair balls so badly all her life, is doing GREAT on the egg yolk lecithin. 1/2 capsule twice a week is what she is getting. In the shedding months she may need it 3 times a week, but I won't know until next year. smile.gif
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Slippery elm - I have not used this on it's own. I was told it has a very bad odor

A little off topic, but I had to interject that I used slippery elm (powder cooked with water to make a syrup) for Lucy recently (for inflammation in the throat and mouth, not for digestive problems) and it smelled wonderful....like maple syrup.  I have read that bad slippery elm can have a bitter flavor though. 

 

I enjoyed reading all the pros and cons of the different hairball remedies.  That is good to know about the egg yolk lecithin.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcatmom View Post

A little off topic, but I had to interject that I used slippery elm (powder cooked with water to make a syrup) for Lucy recently (for inflammation in the throat and mouth, not for digestive problems) and it smelled wonderful....like maple syrup.  I have read that bad slippery elm can have a bitter flavor though. 

I enjoyed reading all the pros and cons of the different hairball remedies.  That is good to know about the egg yolk lecithin.

That is interesting about the slippery elm. So it can be used for inflammation too? I never knew that, and it is good to know.

I read about the egg yolk lecithin here in this forum. After reading all I could find on it, I decided it was worth a try. I am so thrilled with the results, so far. Mazy has a very sensitive system due to 6 1/2 years on corn laden Hills c/d. It has taken 10 months to get her to the point she is now, with regurgitation now reduced to less than once a week. I was concerned the egg yolk lecithin might cause her some digestive upset, but it hasn't bothered her at all, and all the cats love it. I mix it in their wet food, but they would eat it straight, Jennie in fact has eaten it straight because she stole some one day. laughing02.gif

When discussing egg yolk lecithin I always want to tell people if you try it, make sure to remember to put it in the refrigerator after opening the bottle. It says so on the bottle, but I forgot, anyway. doh3.gif
post #15 of 16

Yeah, the slippery elm is great.  Lucy's mouth and throat obviously felt better after two doses.  And I use her slippery elm syrup mixed with hot water to make a tea to drink before bed to prevent heartburn (if I've had a big meal.)  I've only tried it 3 times, but it has worked wonders each time. 

 

This is a good article I read about it....

 

http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/slippery-elm/

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you for you input. I'm trying to brush her everyday and I'm getting away from laxatone. I'll just go with te flow and hopefully brushing her everyday will help.
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