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Hair ball?

Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by footsie, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. footsie

    footsie New Member

    Sometime in the wee hours Footsie attacked me much more aggresivly than he normally would. Typically he starts bothering me once the sun comes up but this with in the dark and he was mad at me about something! I thought at the time that I must have kicked him in my sleep or something. Anyways, I put him in the hall and went back to sleep.

    Then around 6 I was woken up by the grossest noise! Footsie was making that barfing wheezing sound right outside my door, I believe it went on for at least a minute before I figured out where what was going on. I got up to investigate and he continued. I went in the bathroom to get a towel to put under him (to protect my carpet). As soon as I went in there he stopped hacking and just followed me like everything was normal.

    I felt so bad for the little guy that I let him back in with me (although I was half awake for the remainder of the morning worrying that he would barf under my bed where I can't really clean properly). He seemed completly normal. I'm wondering now if he wasn't feeling well earlier and thats why he tried to murder me in my sleep.

    Now after all that here are my questions:
    This has happened once before, yet I've never found any related vomit or hairballs. Does this mean that he's never successfully brought it up? So does that mean its still in his poor tummy?
    Also a couple days ago I caught him chewing on some plastic thing. I dont' know what it was (it was chewed beyond any recognition besides "plastic") or where he found it, so I'm worried that he could find more. Could he have been choking on something?
    Anything else I should look out for?
  2. nern

    nern New Member

    I'm not sure but what you describe sounds like what my cats do when they are trying to cough up a hairball. My cats do it every once in a while and I don't always find a hairball afterwards but sometimes I do.
  3. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    there is one surefire way to find hairballs - this is guaranteed to work.

    You walk around, in the dark, barefooted :roll: works everytime for me :0010:

    When my furkids start trying to bring up a hairball I start giving them the Pounce hairball treats that have the hairball stuff inside - they work pretty well.
  4. EternalFlame

    EternalFlame New Member

  5. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Hi Footsie. :D It sounds like he was trying to cough up a hair ball. Cats don't always cough them up, though. There are three main things that can happen with a hair ball:
    1) A cat will cough it out.
    2) It goes through the body and it gets 'pooped out.' You can see the hair in the stools.
    3) The hair ball is too big and it causes an obstruction. The signs of this would be not eating and constipation. Although a large enough hair ball can still cause constipation as it moves down the colon, even though it's not technically an obstruction.

    Here are a few good home remedies that do work and are all vet approved:

    1) Brush your cat daily. I think the Zoom Groom is the best cat brush on the market. The fur is just attracted to this rubber brush and it gets so much loose hair out.

    2) Place 1/2 teaspoon of petroleum jelly on the cat's nose (they will lick it off). The petroleum jelly will bind to the hair ball and help it to 'glide' down through the body and make it's way out via the stool. This can be done once or twice a week, but not more than this.

    3) Mineral oil is also very helpful. You add it directly to their food. The exact amount to give is: 1 teaspoon for every 5 pounds of body weight. For example if Footsie weighs 10 pounds he should get 2 teaspoons of mineral oil in his food. This is also only to be done once or twice a week. No more.

    I prefer just the brushing method, as I don't think it's good to give cats petroleum jelly and mineral oil for the rest of their lives. Both of these may decrease the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (only if it's given in large quantities and over a long period of time). However, it's very safe to use these home remedies for short periods or just anytime you notice your cat trying to cough up a hair ball.
  6. Cassie

    Cassie Active Member

    Good advice above...I'd also like to add that if he's an outdoors cat, he may have been wanting you to let him out to do his business. Cats often eat plants to help them clear their systems and that is normal. But also, some common house plants are poison to cats, like philidendrins (sp?). I had to toss mine and ever since, no vomit :D
  7. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    oh thats disgusting mary lol! whenever pepe coughs up a hairball it reminds me of that southpark episode where they start pooing out of their mouths. gross gross gross!
  8. vene

    vene New Member

    This thread is cracking me up and grossing me out! :p :roll: Great advice Chessmind. Footsie, do you groom Footsie on a regular basis. Cats tend to shed more fur after they turn one. :mrgreen: I love the zoom groom- it works wonders except I don't always groom my kitties like I should. Haven't seen too many hairballs since I've been grooming them! :eek:
  9. footsie

    footsie New Member

    Chess, thanks for all the info. Thats just what I was needing to know. I'll try the vasaline if this happens again soon (but 1/2 a teaspoon seems like an awfull lot!). I do have a zoom groom but footsie hates to be groomed, so I don't use it all that often.
    When they pass a hairball in their stool will it be all hair, or just some hair mixxed in? I've certainly seen hair when scooping the box, but never a huge mass of it.

    Wow cassy, you read my mind! I had been meaning to put something about houseplants in the original post but it got forgotten among the mass of unneeded details that I did include.

    I was going to say that I've sometimes wondered if cats are like dogs and will eat greens when they feel like they should throw up. I have a good friend with an ill "door dasher" cat who will run outside and eat grass any chance he can, only to throw it up an hour later. (This is particularly bad as this cat is suffering from kidney failure and is very fagile at the moment).

    Anyways, back to Footsie. (Its always "me me me" isn't it?) I have about 2 dozen houseplants and I always will. I've had most of them for years and before I got Footsie they were "my babies". So, I have no intention of ever being without them, although I did move my pothoses and philodendrons to my office after the drooling incident last winter. Footsie is generally good about most of them. There are only two that he eats (a calathea and a palm, both on the safe list). I try to keep him distracted with catgrass. He does really chow down on the calathea if I leave him unsupervised in my bedroom and he had gotten to it the evening before this happened. I wondered if he was doing that in an effort to help him bring something up, or just because he likes the taste.

    Since I've already written half a novel here, I'll just continue to babble... Yes, even though his favorite plants are safe I do not allow him to eat them if I can help it. This is more because I love the plants than I'm worried about him, and for the sake of consistancy so he never thinks its OK to taste one of my plants. I do have a couple other plants in parts of my apartment that he has access to that are on the dangerous list, but he's never tried to eat them. Dig them up, knock them down, bat at their leaves, yes he likes to do that, but he just doesn't show any interest in eating them and with only the one incident with the pothos over more than a year I'm not worried. And yes, this was one of the "just in case" reasons why he was kenneled on my vacation and will be again when I go on a business trip next month.
  10. luna

    luna New Member

    the vet gave me some stuff in a tube for hairballs and shadow just loves it. you squezze out a littler bit and most of the time they lick it right off. buster hates it so i have to smear it on his mout h so he'll lick it off.
  11. Aussie Ang

    Aussie Ang New Member

    I loved that comment about the "surefire way to find hairballs"! I nearly knocked myself out on my computer screen when I laughed!

    One of my first experiences of hairball was when my Fluffbum was sitting on the top of the fence facing little Floxy. They were both facing one another about a metre apart when Fluffbum started moving weird and a hairball shot out of his mouth like a torpedo and landed on the fence directly in front of Floxy. You never had the video camera when you want it!

    I give Fluffbum a product called Katalax now which seems to work OK.
  12. footsie

    footsie New Member

    So, all these products people are mentioning that "seem to work well". What do they do? Make it easier to bring up? Make it disolve in the tummy? Make it easier to pass? Preven them from forming in the first place?

    How can you tell that they're working?
  13. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Hi Footsie. I am not familiar with every single hair ball remedy on the market. For the most part, the hair ball remedies that are oil based or petroleum jelly based, simply help the hair ball glide down through the body and pass via the stools. There may be products on the market that dissolve the hair ball, but I can't be certain about this.

    None of these products prevent hair balls. The only way to prevent a hair ball is for the cat to not lick and digest it's fur. Like that's ever going to happen. :roll: As I mentioned before the best prevention is to brush your cat daily to remove the excess hair. This will greatly lessen the chance of our cats getting big hair balls that may cause problems.

    You know it's working, when they are not trying to cough up hair balls. Instead you see some hair in the stools. However, if you are still seeing a considerable amount of hair in the stools, you may want to try brushing them more often, especially during the warmer months, as they are more prone to shedding then.
  14. luna

    luna New Member

    the one i got is supposed to dissolve the hairball before it gets thrown up and makes the hair go down easier where its suposed to go.
  15. fridaylove

    fridaylove New Member

    Ohhhhhhhh NO!!!! I was thinking that Hunter did so well this year not shedding...I rarely had to brush him at all....no hairballs....that last 3-4 weeks I've seen him "hacking" a bit......SHOOOOOOOOOTTT....now I gotta brush him too??? He hates that!!!!! :x

    I feed them a Hairball formula cat food....Purina One, weight management and Hairball formula. Something like that might help you footsie and help footsie too!!!
  16. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    when my furkids start threatening to bring up a hairball I get the Pounce hairball treats - they seem to do a good job. Zeus, of course, loves the hairball remedy ointment stuff; Missy & Tilly see the tube and they head for parts of the house where I can't reach them. But for some odd reason they'll eat the stuff if it is encased in a treat :roll:

    I do my best to avoid those late-night upchucking noises that always result in my barefoot being smeared when I get up in the dark to let Sadie out cause she barks to go outside earlier and earlier every day (4am this morning). And if I have to stop to clean my foot off Sadie can't wait to get outside - so then after I clean the mess from the cats off my foot I step in a warm Sadie spot when I go to let her outside.

    Who wants my life?
  17. fridaylove

    fridaylove New Member

    :eek: That's tooooooo funny! I got a picture in my head late night cursing and all that...and I was thinking...."Nope....I definately don't want you life"
  18. vene

    vene New Member

    :0017: :m39:

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