Last Modified on Jan 22, 2015
Is your cat a tad vain in that he or she is always primping and grooming, making sure they look their best no matter what the occasion or time of day? If so, the fact that your cat wants to look great is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean as a cat owner we certainly love having the most beautiful cat on the block and don't hesitate for a moment to take all the credit when everyone at the vet's office or pet store comments on our lovely kitty. The problem arises when as a result of all that personal grooming, our kitty begins to have problems with hairballs.
As the animal grooms itself, small amounts of hair are ingested which normally would be passed through the digestive system and out through the feces. However, sometimes with longer haired cats or those who tend to shed excessively, the amount of hair becomes too much to pass naturally and accumulates in the cat's stomach. A mass of hair that rubs against the stomach lining will lead to irritation and cause the cat to vomit.
The type of solution that you want is one, which will help to naturally lubricate and coat the stomach, aiding in the animals ability to pass the excess hair rather than allowing it to build up. There are a few easy tricks that you can try to prevent the problem from occurring.
Place a dot of non-petroleum jelly on the nose of your cat so that the animal can lick it off
Approximately one time per week, add a teaspoon of fish oil to your cat's food
Add some canned pumpkin or bran to each of your cat's meals (about a spoonful)
Any of these options should really help to solve the problem and will allow your cat to continue looking beautiful without the annoyance of hairballs.
By Dawn Forster
[YEA] If you want to help a cat to cough up hair balls eaiser, let it lick butter. This has proved to work for me.
Replied by Wendy Mackey
Approval Ratings YEA (2) 100% Posted by Elaine (Crested Butte, Colorado, USA) on 10/14/2008
I have a 12-yr.-old long-haired male cat who consistently exercises his appetite and eats many things, both normal and unusual, including Hungarian mushroom soup, any kind of cheese, and pretzels (but only seven sections!) - and throws hair balls the size of short, fat Cuban cigars. I've tried the commercial remedies and raw diet and even pumpkin. Surprise! He doesn't LIKE pumpkin, so that's been a non-viable option, and the commercial remedies and raw diet aren't making much of a dent.
Your website lists pumpkin as a remedy but doesn't specify whether it should be plain or enhanced. Do you think pumpkin PIE MIX could be an option? Or would it be too spicy??
(I've discussed this situation with the cat at length, but, despite my cautions, he continues to ingest hair. Also, he's a very MANLY cat with a great deal of pride. My long-haired girly-girl will come to me with hair in her mouth that she can't shake off, so I can remove it, but the "Major" cat apparently feels that it's his duty to make the hair disappear inside him.)
Nothing the vets have recommended has solved/cured the problem, and I believe that pumpkin could be the answer, but how can I make it palatable?Replied by Julie