I have two Ragdolls that I have to keep shaved. They are half-brother and sister. When they were about four years old Simba started licking and just wouldn't stop. He was getting cortisone shots, which I know is bad, but I didn't know what to do. At six or seven years old he stopped eating and wouldn't move. Another trip to the vet, who said to 'give him another 24 hours,' which turned into giving him 96 hours. By that time I was scared to death and took him to a town which was larger and had more equipment. On a hunch, the vet said as I was getting ready to leave with no results said, "Let's x-ray him to see if that shows anything." Well, it did. His stomach was so full of fur that it was packed and starting down his intestine. The only way to get it out was surgery and I was petrified. His incision was from his chest all the way down, as she wanted to check his liver. Simba pulled through with flying colors. The local vets said to give him Laxatone and Lactulose daily, but that did nothing. About a year later, it happened again and I knew right away what it was. I had been watching him like a hawk, but I guess I went to sleep. The second time the vet didn't want to make an incision into his stomach because he was getting older and she said something else about scar tissue in the stomach. I took him back to the larger town and they were able to get it out with an endoscope. Never again will I put him through that. As badly as I hated to, I had both of them shaved. I just cried and cried when I saw all that beautiful fur gone, but hey, I love my cats so much more than their fur; they are my life. I haven't had any more trouble, rather they haven't, but they still lick. I think it's a grooming "addiction."They are twelve years old and going strong. So if you suspect a hairball, please have him x-rayed. You're cat is so beautiful. Mine are mitted seal points. Other than that, I don't know what to tell you. Hairball food does not work. I know exactly how you feel, but my Simba wouldn't have made it more than another day or two. He has never eaten like he did before the surgery and I worry about him constantly. Just don't wait until it's too late. His love for you and yours for him won't change a bit! Good luck!