Cat Hairballs

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animestrinity
Cat Hairballs

So... Boo get's hairballs... he's got long fur, so it kind of comes with the territory... no big deal.

But my concern is that he's been having them everyday now... and I'm pretty sure I know why...

I switched him to his favorite dry food, which is just Meow Mix original... I had been giving them different brand indoor formulas, but they didn't seem to care for the last one... anyway... to my question.

Should I be worried that he's coughing up a hairball every day, or should I just be happy that he's coughing them up instead of having them possibly cause blockage and actual severe problems... In a way I feel a little better that he's coughing them up... I get a little worried when he tries to cough them up and can't for a few days.

He's fine in every other aspect... so should I just not worry? 

 

   

snazzy
Re: Cat Hairballs

every day might be a concern. are they big or just mushy bits of hair? they have a hairball remedy you can pick up at any store. (like walmart etc) it helps relieve problems with digesting and coughing up hair and worked really well on our cats. brushing daily might help too. and i think it is friskies that has a website thatyou can ask questions to a vet or join cat owner forums.

animestrinity
Re: Cat Hairballs

Boo has this tendency to be... difficult.  He LOOOVES his face and head rubbed and scratched... and will even brush his own face if you just hold the brush... but taking the brush any further will result in his attempt to murder you.  In fact I'm pretty much the only person he'll allow to TOUCH past his neck (not with a brush though) without an attempt to draw blood... so rather than brushing his body, I usually just work on 'petting' the fur out..

The hairballs are normal size for him... not huge... not tiny... and every day might be a little off, it ranges between 1-3 days... so far... seems to go a little more between them as time passes... then again, that could just be due to the fact that he's already coughed up the majority of the fur he's shedding.

LadyCerridwen48
Re: Cat Hairballs

Is he coughing them up easily or having trouble?  Also, keep in mind that his coat is probably thinning out some for the summer,  so he's probably shedding more than usual, therefore more hairballs.  If he's having trouble coughing them up, try letting him lick a little bit of butter, it always helped for Gwen.

animestrinity
Re: Cat Hairballs

He doesn't seem to be shedding anymore than usual... being an indoor cat he's pretty much adjusted to a year round shedding cycle with little variation.. yuki on the other hand is shedding more than usual, but she's only a little over a year old.

Anyway, I don't think he's having trouble... I haven't heard him go into any coughing fits like he has in the past when he gets hairballs (yanno, the ones that don't result in a hairball)... but I haven't actually been awake when he coughs them up...

I used to give him butter... haven't in a while though... I give them wet food once a week to help him with the hairballs, but I used to give it a little more frequently (it's amazing, they KNOW that they get it Saturday... even if you give it to them any other day of the week, on Saturday they won't leave me alone because that's their guaranteed day)...

Maybe it's less the food change that's caused it, and more that I changed my previous hairball helping habits... I think the food swap maybe makes it easier for them to come up instead of making him go into coughing fits for a few days before it comes up...

Remedies aside, do you think the actual coughing them up is harmful? I mean, like I said, there's a part of me that's a little relieved that he's coughing them up, but the other part is just curious as to whether that's a problem for him.

LadyCerridwen48
Re: Cat Hairballs

Ha, that's funny about Saturdays, Gwen used to get her one can a week on Sundays, and yes, she knew exactly what day Sunday was.  My new guys (wow, I've had them almost a year already) still get canned food everyday, so they don't know any days of the week yet, but boy do they know 4:00!

I'd ask a vet about the frequency, I don't know if that's normal or not.  Gwen only coughed them up once a month or so, and unless the little ones do it quietly in the litterbox, they haven't had them yet.  I asked a handful of other  cat owners about how often their cats do it, and they all said once or twice a month.  If you can't get in touch with a vet, I can ask mine for you next week when I take Sid in for his allergy shot.

animestrinity
Re: Cat Hairballs

If you wouldn't mind, I'd appreciate if you asked your vet (more so as to if puking up hairballs is harmful)... I'll ask mine, but a second opinion is always nice, plus I probably won't ask mine until we go get yuki fixed, which isn't set up yet, unless you tell me your vet says it's something to worry about... I don't like our vet, but I don't really have options where I live... I don't dislike them, they just always have this vibe like they're busy and kind of rushed... but they're nice.

I kind of like that they figured out days of the week.. more so because I'm happy Yuki figured out that she'll get wet food again... and has calmed down on her eating it... and doesn't try to steal Boo's as much (he likes to 'snack' and eat his over a period of time)... it just happens to trip me out that feeding them food on tuesday or thursday doesn't throw them off, and they still know that saturday they get food.

Oh... another tidbit if it helps... I do recall that the original meow mix dry food does seem to be apart of the reason... because he get's the hairballs more frequently on ONLY this food... I've started remembering the few times I've bought it he gets them more frequently... but not other types of meow mix... or other brands... I'm weird and switch brands/types every time I buy a new bag... maybe this type makes him shed more... or maybe it helps him cough them up rather than trying to pass them... hopefully I'll remember in the future WHY not to buy this type again... although I'll probably forget and get it again in another year... he just likes it so much that I keep thinking of it more as a treat lol

kakashi
Re: Cat Hairballs

How old is your cat?

animestrinity
Re: Cat Hairballs

5 years old this month...

In other news, Yuki (she's just a bit over a year old) coughed up a hairball today... and has been shedding like crazy (she hasn't quite adjusted to the indoor cycle)... and since I have not witnessed Boo coughing up the hairballs, I can't actually confirm they're his... he's just always had a tendency to have them, so it's just been assumed... I know at least one was his because of the location, but the others are fair game to either cat.

 

Zeev
Re: Cat Hairballs

Anime,

My (now) husband is a veterinary technician and he says that's there's no concern about him coughing up the hairballs ... you WANT him to cough them up.  Also, so long as they are only hair and nothing else there is no need for worry.  However if there's a good deal of food in with the hairball, then it might be something else that you should have your vet check out.  You should get them some kind of hairball suppliment, but not a hairball diet ... the diets/food don't do anything.  PetsMart, PetCo, or even Wal-Mart should have some kind of hairball suppliment; make sure it contains laxatone and follow the directions on the package ... Tim also says that (depending on the directions) if the hairballs are really bad, you may want to give the laxatone twice a week to affect and then decrease it to once a week for maintanence.  A less expensive allternative is to get gel capsules of fish oil and give in the same manner (twice a week & then once a week).  Tim says, "Don't be alarmed if, after starting the hairball suppliment, they start to crap like a goose."  The laxatone and fish oil both act kind of like a lubricant and make everything slide through the system a bit quicker while their bodies adjust.  If the kitties will let you, you may want to try bathing them once every 6-8 weeks (with a mild pet-specific shampoo) to help with the regular shedding of their undercoat.  Shampoos that contain oatmeal are great for helping with dry skin too.  I know you said Boo won't let you brush him, but any extra brush will also help to reduce the hairballs.  Tim also says that once they stop bringing up hair, if they are still puking then you need to have them seen by a vet, because there's something else more serious going on.

Hope this helps.  :)

Anonymous Visitor
Re: Cat Hairballs

good to know~ another reason i love the gug! so much peace of mind and friendly help/advice!

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