Hairball Remedy Options


Meet Kali and Chloe, today's Throwback Featured Coonies!   Rosie says, "These are my beautiful girls. They live in the UK with me and are sisters. They'll be 1 year old on 9th January 2011.

The silver is Kali and the blue tabby with the white bib is Chloe....See more of Kali and Chloe in our 2010 Album!

Hairballs are a huge nuisance, and they have got to go! These hairball remedy options are sure to help! Here, we talk about the benefits of brushing, and reveal all the hairball remedies commonly used.

The first, and perhaps most effective hairball remedy is the simplest. Brushing a cat regularly will greatly reduce the excess hair on him. Every bit of hair you can brush off will be that much less fur for him to swallow at grooming time.

pawprints

If you have a Maine Coon, you know how unique and different they are. You know you have a special cat!

Since we're on the topic of health care for Maine Coons, I want to mention our E-book, The Care and Keeping of Your Maine Coon Cat. It's full of info. Check it out, and review the table of contents to see for yourself!

pawprints


Brushing:

brown tabby cat looking up from his grooming session

Many cats love to be brushed, and if your cat is one of them, you are all set! This might be the only hairball remedy you'll need.

Other cats tolerate it, and some simply despise it. If your cat falls in the latter category, you have some work on your hands.

It is really important to try to get your longhaired cat in a brushing routine. Here are a few tips for a stubborn cat:

  • Try brushing just a little at a time at first, even if it's just a stroke or two
  • Brush your cat when he's sleepy, happy, and content
  • Consider brushing in a small, enclosed room so he doesn't try to flee
  • Have a brush handy near your favorite "snuggling spot" or chair. When he comes to your lap, give him a stroke or two with the brush and put it aside until another time
  • Give your cat a treat after he's exposed to a bit of brushing time. He'll associate the brush with good things and be more accommodating next time (hopefully!)
selection of pet brushes

Do you have a drawer full of brushes? Admittedly, it's not easy to work it in to the schedule. Especially when you are confronted with a brush you know doesn't work great.

I used to dread pinning a cat down to use an ineffective tool on him or her. The bristles on some just didn't work, and on others they caused discomfort, pulling on the skin.

We recently purchased a FURminator Deshedding Tool on the advice of a local pet store associate. I knew of them, but had never tried one.

I'm totally impressed with it, and it was is of the best pet-care products I've ever gotten.

large ginger cat and large pile of fur

We'll soon be adding a whole page with details about our experiences with the FURminator, but for now here's a photo:

Keep in mind, this is an 18+ pound cat. So, that's an enormous wad of fur. It all came in one session.

And, every few days Leo lets me collect another few handfuls or so. We've seen a huge decrease in hairballs since then.


Oral Hairball Remedy Options:

Sometimes a double approach is in order. There are a number of oral hairball remedy choices out there.

These usually fall into one of two categories. First are fiber-rich diet supplements to get cat hairballs moving through the cats system. Secondly, there are petroleum jelly based products to help the hairball "slide along" on its journey.

Fiber For Your Cat:

The idea with these hairball treatments is that they act as a laxative to get the hairball moving through the cats system and out the other end. You would use this type of hairball remedy just until the hairball passes, then reduce the frequency.

Here are a few fiber-rich hairball remedy choices:

Hairball Control Cat Food & Treats:

Some people choose to simply purchase hairball-control cat food. This type of cat food can have 2-10 times the usual amount of fiber, so transition slowly to avoid gas, bloating and discomfort.

Also, too much fiber in a cats diet can be a problem. A high-fiber diet can have nutritional drawbacks. The concern is that more fiber in the food means less of something else. A cat on a high-fiber hairball diet should drink more water, to avoid a urinary-tract infection.

Sometimes, some high-fiber cat treats are the way to go for a hairball remedy. Cats love 'em and it's an easy way to add some fiber now and then without drastically changing their diet.

Supplementing Your Cats Diet With Some Fiber:

Flaxseed, Fish Oil, or Olive Oil: about 1 teaspoon per day until the hairball is passed

Canned or fresh pureed pumpkin: This time-honored home remedy is fiber rich. Many cats enjoy the pumpkin mixed with their canned food or other liquidy treat. Again, 1 teaspoon per day until the situation is under control.

After that, keep the fiber to a maximum of two times per week unless your vet prescribes. Too much fiber can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

If you are not sure about measuring and administering fiber at home, there are great natural hairball remedies and hairball control supplements on the market. Dosage instructions are right on the label.

Lubricating Hairball Remedy Options:

The thing about fiber is that it will get the intestines working overtime to move things along, but it doesn't do much for a hairball that is just sitting in the stomach. That's why it's good to lubricate as well.

Good old fashioned Vaseline jelly has been used for ages to lubricate hairballs and get them out. It doesn't break apart and digest in the system, so it is able to stick to the hairball and do its job all the way through.

Not too much: This hairball remedy should not be given too often, as it can bind up the fat-soluble Vitamins A, D and E. This would prevent a cat from absorbing these nutrients. Once or twice a week should do it. Also, it contains mineral oil, which can deplete your cats Vitamin A stores if given in excess.

Interestingly, many cats are absolutely obsessed with Vaseline, and actually beg for it!

It is a petroleum-based jelly. The molecules are too large to be digested or absorbed, and it comes out the other end unchanged. So, it is a safe hairball remedy. But even so, many folks are not comfortable giving their cat a petroleum-based jelly.

In this case, there are specially made non-petroleum products for lubricating or loosening hairballs. These hairball remedies are a great choice and should bring your cat relief.

Many in person and online shops now offer a wide selection of effective, safe and natural hairball remedy options.

So, between grooming, fiber and lubricants, cat hairballs can become a thing of the past! A good hairball remedy can be the ticket to a comfortable, happy and healthy cat.


maine coon cat care guide

Related:

  • Maine Coon Cat Health Problems

    This is a round up of Maine Coon cat health problems. Read about HCM, PKD, Hip Dysplasia and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It's a good idea to be aware of them.

  • Cat Dental Problems - Gingivitis, Polyps and More

    When it comes to cat dental problems, most of us think of feline gingivitis. Even with diligent dental care, cat tooth problems can surface.

  • Common Cat Health Issues

    Each cat breed has it's own health concerns. Let's talk about Maine Coon cat health, common cat health issues, kitten health and elderly cat health.