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Your Hairball Remedies (for Your Cat, That Is :) )?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ewww...my cat just herfed up two hairballs (about the size of garlic cloves - truly, I thought that's what they looked like at first) accompanied by a lot of his dinner . I guess kitty had been working on the hairballs for a while since they were so compact. In the 5 months he's been with me (seems like he's been here forever ), this is the first sign of any trouble.

Since the ready-made stuff is made w/petrolatum, is it ok to give the cat a little bit of petroleum jelly (if he'll lick it up), or is that too highly concentrated?

A friend with a hairball prone cat uses one of the products that comes in a tube, as per the vet's recommendation. But, I actually saw an ASPCA site that recommended butter (wonder if margarine would have enough of the oily, fatty stuff??)...but another site said no to that. I remember reading here about possibly trying fish oil.

I'm leery about lubricating kitty's bowels too much :paranoid2 as he had a bit of an issue with loose stools when I first got him. Things have been great in that department for some time now.

I'm hoping this is a rare occurrence so I'll try a periodic treatment for now instead of changing his food.

What are your non-conventional, but totally safe ways to deal with hairballs?

post #2 of 8
I have my long haired cat shaved. Hairball problem solved!:tounge2:

post #3 of 8
Lion cut?
post #4 of 8
The best way to deal with hairballs is to prevent them. Is your cat long haired or short haired? If he is long haired, brushing at least a couple times a week will help tremendously. If he is short haired, maybe once a week, possibly more when it is shedding season (which it is now with spring and all - probably why he had a hairball).

I have two cats. Trent has long hair and a hairball about once a month to month and a half no matter the brushing. He is just prone to them, so we watch where we walk. Ophelia has short hair and two hairballs in her life, about once a year (of course she is only 2 years old, so this may change).

As far as treatments, I have tried the tube goop which Ophelia loves but doesn't need it and Trent hates because he has to have it. I try rubbing it into the fur on his paw and still end up with about half of it shaken off on the walls, blinds, me... Ophelia thinks it's a great treat and would willingly take it. It does seem to work, but I don't really like giving him a laxative if he isn't having haiballs at the time. We have tried the hairball treats, which they both love (one can't get treats without the other getting some too) and they seem to work. The treats are a bit pricey ($3 per bag) but there is no problem with icky goop on the walls. There is hairball food out there, but I haven't tried it.

I haven't tried the home remedies, but was thinking about it. I guess I'll watch this thread and see what advice you get!

Hope this helps!
post #5 of 8
I love the lion cut. That's how Lucy is currently shaved. I should post some pictures! She is complete w/the pom-pom tail!

Lucy refuses to eat the 'tube goop' stuff, but I have a great trick. I put the goo on her paw then sprinkle catnip on top. She loves the catnip and will eat the goop w/o tracking it through the house.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
My cat is a shorthair but I comb/brush him several times a week, often it's even everyday. I periodically wipe him down w/a damp cloth too.

I read an article that said that indoor cats constantly shed because of the warmer temps inside - eek.

The lion cut sounds cute. But, kitty is white so I think: a) It might expose his sensitive pink skin too much to the sun, even the amount coming in through the windows/glass door, and b) He'd look a little scary :laughing:.

I'm trying to avoid altering his diet. He was getting too heavy so and it took a while to get the food calculation right. He doesn't get treats either, just pets and playtime .

So, I'm still looking forward to your ideas.

post #7 of 8
At the clinic we used to get the IVD hairball control treats as samples for buying their food. The customers who used them loved them and said they worked great. Unfortunatly we don't get them anymore but what a great product.
post #8 of 8
I'm having a problem with mine too, I posted in a separate post. I give Purina's Special Care for Hairballs and the laxitive hairball medicine. I don't know if it works. She is always coughing and retching and nothing comes up. Sometimes I find hairballs, but she's having a hard time. I think I might try getting her shaved.
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