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Discussion Starter #1
Charlie has been on the Friskies grain free while I wait for some good stuff to be shipped to us. He also gets some Purina hairball formula dry (blue bag) as that's what he was eating before I made the switch. He's spent the past 4 days trying to get up this hairball. I thought on an all wet (his is now 98% wet..he eats very little dry, though it is left out) there weren't supposed to be as many hairballs?
He has been grooming himself more lately. I assume it's because he is feeling better.
I got the hairball cream to put on his paw from the store. He wouldn't lick it off. He just shook and shook and rubbed until most of it was off, then begged for dinner.
How do I help him ingest the cream? Is there anything else to help him?

Oh, and I ordered Evo and Wellness Core wet and BG dry chicken.
Thanks much!
 

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There are many benefits to an all-wet diet, but I've never heard of a wet diet leading to fewer hairballs. Still, it's good that Charlie is on mostly wet food.

There are four main ways to deal with hairballs. The first is to give a lubricant (usually petroleum jelly), although Charlie didn't take very well to that approach. If he doesn't like the cream, there's not much you can do about that, other than to try a different type/flavor. You can also use just a bit of plain Vaseline if you have some, since some cats like it.

The second approach is to add fibre to the diet, which is what many of the hairball treats/foods use (except Purina). I've never fed the Purina formula, so I can't speak to its effectiveness. Another source of fibre would be to feed a teaspoon of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) with his wet food or given as a treat, if he likes it and will eat it.

The third approach is frequent combing. I think Charlie is an American Curl, and for a long-haired cat a wide-toothed comb would work best to remove the dead hair, leaving less hair for him to ingest.

The fourth approach is to learn to live with the occasional hairball, which admittedly is not a very scientific approach! I tend to use the third and fourth approaches with my girls. As long as Charlie is not tossing back hairballs any more than once a month, they’re nothing to worry about…although I appreciate they’re not the most pleasant thing to deal with when they pop up! :)
 

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I would brush him at least 2 times a week and see if that improves the hair ball issues. If he's not used to being brush start by brushing a minute a day then increase the times as he accepts the brushing. I guess he doesn't like flavor of the cream. Try a different cream or something else to help with hairballs. Ask the vet for some options or go to a pet store and see what they have.

Kathy

Kathy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's been a surprise every morning for the last four days. I do brush him every day..he really enjoys it. My girls (5 and 4y) will brush him as well. Are you using a tooth comb for cats? I couldn't find one at the store. They just had a fine one for fleas.

We are heading out to the grocery this morning, so I'll pick up some Vaseline and see if he'll lick that off. I have pumpkin in the pantry, so that will be next on the list.

Thank you for helping. I know they are basic questions.
 

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Smear the goop around his mouth. He'll have to lick it off.
 

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It's been a surprise every morning for the last four days. I do brush him every day..he really enjoys it. My girls (5 and 4y) will brush him as well. Are you using a tooth comb for cats? I couldn't find one at the store. They just had a fine one for fleas.
Yes, I use a wide-toothed comb. I find brushes don't get down into the undercoat and don't do as good a job of removing the dead fur as do combs. Perhaps keep an eye out at other stores for a wide-toothed comb.
 

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However, high fiber may have some serious drawbacks down the road. Besides a potential for diarrhea/constipation, there are a number of other possible concerns:
  • Excessive fiber holds water in the gastrointestinal tract, which results in a more concentrated urine, which could increase the risk for urinary tract disease. Cats should be thirstier and drink more water on a higher fiber diet, but that doesn’t mean they will.
  • More fiber causes more stool and increased bulk, which may be undesirable to some people. No more hairy messes on the carpet, but a lot more stools in the litter box!
  • Even if the fiber increases intestinal mobility, it may not force the hair to pass out of the stomach, which is the real problem with hairballs — they get stuck in the stomach, not the intestines. No one has proven that fiber does anything to enhance stomach contractions or gastric emptying. Petroleum jelly products, on the other hand, do appear to get the hair out of the stomach.
  • Since there can never be more than 100% of ingredients, an increase in fiber means a decrease in something else. And the ingredient lists of many hairball formulas are suspiciously similar to light/diet foods. Some light/diet foods have even more fiber than the hairball formulas (but less fat).
  • Bloating, cramping or gas may occur as fiber is increased in the diet. For kitties, this can usually be minimized with a gradual switch of foods, but is something to keep in mind if the cat seems uncomfortable.
  • The hairball formula can be more expensive than maintenance diets of the same brand, even though fiber is a very inexpensive ingredient.
from Hairballs | Little Big Cat
Have you considered mixing extra water with the wet food or giving salmon oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I picked up some random wet Friskies to help with a bit of fiber. I will give it to him every third day and see if that helps. My 2yo was screaming his brains out at the store, so I forgot the vaseline, but I'm going to smear the hairball goo around his mouth. DH wants to just squirt it in there. Does it really matter? I mean, does he have to lick it off?
Can I order some of the hairball treats? Do they work?
I ordered the furminator from Amazon. Should be here by next week.

Should I be giving him vitamins/supplements along with his wet food?
 

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As long as you get the hairball cream in him, it doesn't matter whether or not he licks it off. I use the Furminator on my two girls and it works very well. I haven't used hairball treats so I can't speak to their effectiveness. Perhaps someone else here has used them.
 
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