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Hairball question

ancientgirl
July 26th, 2007, 02:01 PM
I wanted to ask those of you who have had your cats for a while, when you first encountered their hairballs? I ask this because as of yet I haven't seen either Vlad or Oksana spit one out, and wanted to know what it was like so that I wouldn't freak out in case I saw them regurgitating and think they're having some other problem.

They are both short haired, but I don't think that matters. I brush them as often as they allow me, and I found these treats they love that is supposed to help reduce hair ball instances.

Is this something they spit out often? Once in a while? Hardly ever? Do these hair ball prevention products work?

sugarcatmom
July 26th, 2007, 02:53 PM
Hairballs, and their consequent expulsion, can differ greatly between cats. My guy rarely brings one up (he's also short-haired). I had another cat that didn't puke a single hairball during his entire 10yr life. I know some cats, particularily the long-haired ones, where it can be a daily occurance. Basically, hairballs look like little hairy sausages (they tend to be oblong, but not always). They can vary between just a tiny pea-sized thing to these enormous matts the size of a bowel movement. :eek: If you have a cat prone to hairballs, then some of the prevention stuff can work, but if you don't have a problem so far, you may not actually need any. I've never used it myself (or rather, on my cats!).

bendyfoot
July 26th, 2007, 03:06 PM
:laughing: It can be alarming if you've never seen it before. You're wise to ask:laughing:

Only one of our cats gets hairballs from time to time. It seems as though she'll get one that really bugs her and she may work on it for a few days (trying to hack it up). I usually give her Tonic-Lax or Felaxin when this happens, and I think it helps.

For Boo (a longhaired cat), a hairball is a big display. First she wanders off somewhere carpeted (always on the carpet, who knows why), then she makes a really loud, weird noise that sounds like she's saying "NO, NO, NO!" (I kid you not: the first time I heard this I thought it was a kid outside screaming!) Then she bends over all hunched up with her tongue hanging out (sometimes drooling a bit), and basically starts retching. It's very physical/heaving...lasts about 10 seconds, and usually either a hairball or sometimes just spit/bile comes up. Often she'll do this two or three times in the space of a few minutes. ASometimes nothing comes up in the end other than liquid.

It's different from choking...when an animal chokes, they can't breathe or make any noise except for perhaps wheezing since the windpipe is blocked. Hairballs are much noisier.

ancientgirl
July 26th, 2007, 03:20 PM
Thanks guys! So far they haven't spit one out, rather let me say I haven't seen them doing it, and I haven't seen any odd looking things around the floor. I'll keep my fingers crossed they won't be affected by them.

I really just wanted to know what they would look like when they had to spit one out. I remember my friend saying she nearly freaked when her cat first did it because she didn't know what was happening. At least I know what it is if it ever happens and know not to freak out.:)

dtbmnec
July 26th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Yeah that sounds about right...

Leo's always trying to cough up a hairball....he just can't get it up though....tried using some of that laxative stuff and it seems to help in that he doesn't "do the hairball" quite so much.

The vet told me it was normal for him to try so much in that its really just tickling his throat but there's not really enough to get it out? So I keep shoving that laxative stuff down his throat and hope he gets rid of it somehow. LOL

Megan

ancientgirl
July 26th, 2007, 03:33 PM
Yeah that sounds about right...

Leo's always trying to cough up a hairball....he just can't get it up though....tried using some of that laxative stuff and it seems to help in that he doesn't "do the hairball" quite so much.

The vet told me it was normal for him to try so much in that its really just tickling his throat but there's not really enough to get it out? So I keep shoving that laxative stuff down his throat and hope he gets rid of it somehow. LOL

Megan

Oh no, poor Leo! He must however have the cleanest colon in kittydom.