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Cat barfs... but only at night ??

kathryn
April 12th, 2008, 11:42 PM
My cat Jack is aprx 8 or 9 months old.. he is a long haired cat and recently has been shedding and getting matted, then chewing on his fur and barfing on up hairballs. I keep brushing him and I try to keep him clean, but now every NIGHT he barfs up a furball, then proceeds to barf a few times after that some food, then spit. It started about 2 weeks ago and then stopped and I figured since I started brushing him more he was better.. but no he still coughs them up. Whats got me annoyed is he doesn't just barf the furball up and thats it, he leaves atleast 3 other spots of a mixture of food and or spit.

If I take him to the vet I think I will just be told to brush him more and switch his food.... but his food is good! It's Blue Buffalo indoor cat food (dry) and Innova regular cat canned food for dinner.

Any recommendations on what else I can do? Give him something? Have his fur trimmed? Also, would it be okay to switch the food over to the BB hairball control formula even though he is the only one of 7 cats who is having a problem???

My vet is a fan of Science Diet like basically every other vet in the world. I refuse to feed them that garbage though so I don't think going to the vet would be worth the time and money if you guys can just help me out for free =]

MOOSEDRY
April 13th, 2008, 09:03 AM
hi there.

please read this thread that dr. lee responded to. he gives some very valuable information about cats that vomit frequently:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=51174

tracy :thumbs up

sugarcatmom
April 13th, 2008, 12:51 PM
My cat Jack is aprx 8 or 9 months old.. he is a long haired cat and recently has been shedding and getting matted, then chewing on his fur and barfing on up hairballs.

Hmmm, when you say he's chewing on his fur, do you mean that he's itchy? Or is it just regular grooming kind of chewing? Also, the shedding and matting could be signs that his health isn't as optimal as it could be. Here is a previous post by Dr. Lee on the issue of matting fur: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=461410&highlight=matting#post461410

Cats normally spend a large portion of their time preening. When cats have matting that persists and/or recurs, it might be prudent to have base line blood testing done. Early metabolic and endocrine disorders can sometimes show up just as a change in hair coat. How old is your cat? If bloodwork is normal or your cat is a healthy, under 4 years old, then I would look elsewhere for the matting. Matting is just not normal. Sometimes food types / food intolerances, intestinal parasites, and environmental/emotional stresses can lead to hair coat changes.


If I take him to the vet I think I will just be told to brush him more and switch his food.... but his food is good! It's Blue Buffalo indoor cat food (dry) and Innova regular cat canned food for dinner.

The canned Innova is fine, but I'm not a fan of the Blue Buffalo dry food. It has an excessive amount of carbohydrate content in the form of grains, as most dry foods do. Is there any way you can feed all wet food? Maybe find some grain-free brands like Wellness or By Nature Organics or Nature's Variety, to mix it up a little. Lots of cats have an intolerance to grains, since it's not a natural part of their diet. My suggestion would be to minimize the grain content of Jack's diet by eliminating the dry food and adding just a touch (no more than 1/4 of a tsp) of psyllium husk to his wet food for hairball control. A touch of salmon oil, if he goes for it, will also go a long way towards giving him a glossy, matt-free coat.

kathryn
April 13th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Thanks I will read articles and everything.

The blue buffalo has been working great for them and all. It's just it's spring time now and he's shedding out his winter coat, but he is such a fluffy cat that its getting all matted and then before I can get to him to brush out the knots, he's chewing them out himself and then hacking them up on the floor.

He doesn't have any fleas or ticks, I do treat the and he just had a treatment a couple days ago. he's not having any skin problems.

I can't afford to feed all wet food though, and that probably wouldn't work out either. I only feed the 7 of them a half of the big cans of innova at a time and that works out too, but it would cost a fortune to feed 7 cats wet food all the time. plus isn't that bad for their teeth ??

http://a323.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/124/l_6e47530856610c3628efefe30f523f02.jpg

http://a91.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/73/l_0118bd3a31ef41f259ef0e9ebca5fa3a.jpg

See how fluffy he is ? He's got a real thick undercoat that he is shedding out for the warmer weather.


Also does canola oil or vegetable oil do anything for cat or dog fur? Just thought I'd ask because my parents always used to put oil on pet food because it was supposed to make their fur better.

duttypaws
April 13th, 2008, 01:04 PM
he looks a litte Maine Coon with all that fur! Lola is really fluffy as is one of my cats back at my mothers... im pretty sure you can buy dry cat food for hairball control?

someone on here will tel you just try and brush him more... get as much as you can off... my cat back at my mums vomits hairballs daily but we literally have to pluck her fur to get the large handfulls out....
hope you find an answer :)

sugarcatmom
April 13th, 2008, 03:16 PM
I can't afford to feed all wet food though, and that probably wouldn't work out either. I only feed the 7 of them a half of the big cans of innova at a time and that works out too, but it would cost a fortune to feed 7 cats wet food all the time. plus isn't that bad for their teeth ??

I totally understand how expensive it can be to feed that many cats. The thing with cat food though, is that it can be a "pay more now or pay a LOT more later" in vet bills. A good diet is kind of like buying insurance. It's not a guarantee that nothing will go wrong, but it can dramatically reduce the chances of developing issues like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary tract problems, allergies, etc. And sorry to say, dry food is not a good diet. Would it be possible to at least increase the proportion of wet to dry? Could you try a better dry food, like maybe Wellness CORE, Innova EVO, or Orijen? These are all grain-free and much lower in carbs than the Blue Buffalo. You can read more about feline nutrition here: http://www.catinfo.org/

It's also a myth that dry food has any benefit whatsoever for teeth. It may in fact do more harm, again due to the high carb content. You don't eat pretzels for dental hygiene, so why should it be any different for cats? Their teeth are designed for shearing off chunks of meat, not grinding and chewing nuggets of cereal. If you want to help with your cat's dental care, you can get them eating raw chicken necks or learn to brush their teeth yourself. Here's are some videos on how to do that: http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/node/186
And check out these links on why dry food does not clean teeth: http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=doesdryfoodcleantheteeth
http://home.ivillage.com/pets/cats/0,,p8ds,00.html


Also does canola oil or vegetable oil do anything for cat or dog fur? Just thought I'd ask because my parents always used to put oil on pet food because it was supposed to make their fur better.

I prefer salmon oil (Omega 3) for fur improvement. But just feeding a good diet should do the trick.

Love4himies
April 13th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Yes, there does seem to be some maine coon in him. What a sweetie. You say you can't afford to feed canned all the time, but if it avoids health issues, the cost of vet bills may offset the cost of canned. Wellness, grainfree is sold in a large can, making it much cheaper than the smaller cans to buy. That is what I buy for my brood of kitties. They get additional brands mixed with their Wellness for change of flavour (different brands based upon cat, yes I have a restaurant going on here lol)

I have a purebred Himalayan who has the most beautiful, long fur I have ever seen on one, and I have been around a few grand champions (she inherited her daddy's fur, he was a grand champ of north america). When I switched her food to Wellness grainfree, canned as her main food along with Fromms grain free, and the occasional real meat mixed in, I noticed a HUGE difference in her fur, matting, and shedding. Furballs and vomiting was common place for her, but not anymore. It took about 3 months to notice the difference. She was previously eating grocery store, corn filled, kibble as her main food.

Love4himies
April 13th, 2008, 03:20 PM
sugarcatmom is right, I followed her advice and am so grateful to her. What a change in my cats' health.

rainbow
April 13th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Well Jack is a handsome fellow. :lovestruck:

I agree if you can't afford to feed all canned food then switch the kibble to grain-free. I feed canned and supplement with Orijen (http://www.championpetfoods.com/orijen/products/cat.aspx) and my cats are doing great.

I also agree that Salmon Oil is the best for fur and skin conditions.

Love4himies
April 13th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Yes, my kitties get Orijen too (obvious from my avatar hehe). So far I am pleased with it, but the cat I have with the fur and vomit problems is Puddles, she is not allowed to eat too much Orijen.

rainbow
April 13th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Maybe Kathryn can just feed only wet food to Jack if he's the only one of her cats with this problem. And, the others can get wet supplemented with a grain-free kibble instead of Blue Buffalo. :o

t.pettet
April 13th, 2008, 07:50 PM
You might also want to purchase a dog/cat moulting comb, its a comb with teeth of different lengths and works well getting the under-coat out, much better than a brush.

rainbow
April 13th, 2008, 07:58 PM
What about the Furminator for cats? ....

http://www.furminator.com/flash/cat.htm

kathryn
April 18th, 2008, 12:13 PM
THANK YOU everyone for all the great advice! I am going to try to feed him a bit more canned food and will add salmon oil to his diet. I actually found hairball control treats from pounce that don't have completely crappy ingredients, so when I feed treats I will give him one or two of those off to the side and maybe that can just make a tiny bit of difference. I will pick up innova evo next time I am out that way, or if now I go to Whole Foods every once and a while and can get a bit more grain free stuff for the cats.

They do get a good amount of meat in their diet but since it seems the main consensus on here is 'more meat' I'll work on that.

And while we are here talking about meat, is it okay to feed cat's lunch meat? I have my mom pick up some cheap turkey lunch meat every once and a while feed the cats that as snacks.

Going out to buy more food for them now, will look for salmon oil and other suggested things. He hasn't hacked up a hairball in I think 2 days but he still is getting mats but my mom has been helping me brush them out. Earlier he started choking like he was going to puke but then he was okay after a couple seconds.

kathryn
April 18th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Okay, I went out and got the Salmon Oil. I also got Blue Buffalo Wilderness which is their version of grain free stuff.

http://www.bluebuff.com/products/cats/wilderness-cat.shtml

Ingredients:


Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potato Starch, Whitefish Meal, Salmon Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Oatmeal, Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Kelp Meal, Taurine, L-Lysine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Salmon Oil (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Black Malted Barley, Oil of Rosemary, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin C, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Beta Carotene, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Zinc), Iron Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Iron), Copper Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Copper), Manganese Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Manganese), Potassium Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Potassium), Cobalt Proteinate (source of Chelated Cobalt), Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Salt, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium.



What does everyone think of the potato starch ? Yes or No?

sugarcatmom
April 18th, 2008, 05:39 PM
And while we are here talking about meat, is it okay to feed cat's lunch meat? I have my mom pick up some cheap turkey lunch meat every once and a while feed the cats that as snacks.

Lunch meats tend to be high in sodium so it's probably best to keep them to a minimum. A better snack would be lightly boiled/broiled chicken or turkey breast that you can freeze in treat-sized pieces and take out as needed.


Going out to buy more food for them now, will look for salmon oil and other suggested things.

If it's not too late, try to get salmon oil in capsules rather than in a bottle. The capsules last longer and won't go rancid like the liquid does. Since the capsules tend to be around 1000mg each, just pierce it with a pin and squeeze a couple of drops on Jack's food, then either take the rest of it yourself or store it in an extra pill bottle in the fridge for next time. Try to spread each cap out over a week or so.

sugarcatmom
April 18th, 2008, 05:48 PM
What does everyone think of the potato starch ? Yes or No?

Not a fan of potato starch for cats, but in order to make kibble, some form of starch is needed. So if it's not coming from grains, then it's likely to be either potatoes or tapioca, that's just how it goes with dry food. I believe the Wilderness has around 18% of it's calories from carbs, which isn't great but it's not the worst. In comparison, EVO is around 8% and CORE is 11%. Both of those also use potato starch.

Hazmat
April 18th, 2008, 06:15 PM
Just on this off chance.

And just in case.
Motly who I nameded after his coat. He I borught in from outside. His fur was extremely mottled. In the 4 months that I have had him inside. He has literally licked his fur off. now almost 4 months later after taking him in and even getting him neutered, he is finally beginning to look like an indorr cat.]]


He did and was licked all his originall fur off himself! He would lick and lick and lick then instead of swallowing it he would spit it out. I had and am still finding little balls of fur, everywhere.

He also swallowed some.

Now after 4 months inside he is beginning to actually look like a normal cat.

The diffrence is night and day. So I am wondering if you are in the same type situation? My Motly looked like a huge scrabby cat then turned into a fluffy house cat in a few months.

kathryn
April 18th, 2008, 08:14 PM
Not a fan of potato starch for cats, but in order to make kibble, some form of starch is needed. So if it's not coming from grains, then it's likely to be either potatoes or tapioca, that's just how it goes with dry food. I believe the Wilderness has around 18% of it's calories from carbs, which isn't great but it's not the worst. In comparison, EVO is around 8% and CORE is 11%. Both of those also use potato starch.


Okay well that's not a huge difference. My cats are all active except for Missy and her mommy is a bit of a lazy cat but not overweight so they are all healthy weight if that makes a different for the whole carbs and calories thing.

And I only found bottles of salmon oil anyways but I have enough cats where I am adding it to their food so they all can get healthy fur.

And I spoke to soon about Jack not hacking up a hairball for 2 days. Went into the kitchen and found one on their food table. Yes, it was his... He has different fur from all of my cats.. 3 are tuxedos, 1 is a russian tuxedo, 1 is a russian blue and one is an domestic short hair.. this was a greyish black blob of long fur.YUCKK.

I'm out of money for the week but I will from now on feed them grain free wet food to help them out.. they have 5 cans of Innova regular left anyways so when that's all gone I can feed them more meat and less grain.

And okay about the lunch meat I was wondering about the salt...

I'm a vegetarian so I could touch the sliced turkey without getting all grossed out cause it doesn't smell like anything and doesn't have any weird texture or anything so I would take it out of the fridge and tear it into small pieces and hand it out to the kitties.


Salmon Oil I got--
http://www.nutri-vet.com/pc-109-16-wild-alaskan-salmon-oil-feline.aspx

sugarcatmom
April 18th, 2008, 09:12 PM
Okay well that's not a huge difference. My cats are all active except for Missy and her mommy is a bit of a lazy cat but not overweight so they are all healthy weight if that makes a different for the whole carbs and calories thing.

The thing about carbs and cats is that they technically don't need any. The amount they would consume in "nature" is less than 5%, or basically the stomach contents of a mouse or bird. By constantly feeding cats these high carbohydrate dry diets (many are typically 30-40% carbs or more), we stress out a system that has to work overtime processing something it was never designed to do. And then you end up with something like diabetes because the cat's pancreas has "burnt out". Or inflammatory bowel disease because their intestinal tract is constantly irritated by an unnatural diet. So it's not just about weight, although that is certainly a factor for many cats.

Although 18% might not seem like a lot (especially when you compare it to so many other brands out there) if you consider that a cat has evolved to eat almost no carbohydrates, then it's still not ideal. I wouldn't sweat it for this bag of Wilderness, but it's something to think about for the future.

And I only found bottles of salmon oil anyways but I have enough cats where I am adding it to their food so they all can get healthy fur.

Excellent. I forgot about the rest of your entourage! No problem with the bottle then, and it looks like a decent product.


I'm a vegetarian so I could touch the sliced turkey without getting all grossed out cause it doesn't smell like anything and doesn't have any weird texture or anything so I would take it out of the fridge and tear it into small pieces and hand it out to the kitties.

Ya, I'm also vegetarian, so I understand where you're coming from. I've long ago lost the squeam-factor over handling meat though, since feeding my cat a raw diet. But my husband still squeals when he finds bone-bits stuck to the side of the sink :laughing:.

I hope Jack resolves his hairyus-vomitus episodes soon, and good for you for trying to help him with that. Let me know how it goes.