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Question
Posted by: Michelle | 2011/03/16

Excessive Hairballs

Hi CyberVet,

I have a 7-year old female cat, average domestic shorthair in excellent physical condition. Recently she has been spitting up hairballs on a daily basis, this has been going on for the past 2 weeks. I''ve changed her food, but it didn''t help. I then started giving her a lubricant that I bought from my petstore, but this only seemed to help for a day or so.

The reason why I''m worried is that this seems to be a daily occurence, while in the past it happened perhaps once a month. I also feel completely helpless, because (a) she absolutely won''t let me brush her at all, and (b) I have no idea if she is constipated (she''s a bit of a private kitty and usually does her business where I can''t see it).

Is this normal? should I be taking her to a vet? In the past 7 years this has never happened, so I''m really worried now. Otherwise she seems to be doing well, she doesn''t seem to be ill or acting outside of her normal character.

What can I do to help her?

thanks,
Michelle.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Subject
Excessive Hairballs
Answer:

Hi Michelle. Yes obstruction of the GI tract can indeed happen due to excessive hairballs. Regular grooming would have certainly helped with this, but we do have certain diets available on the market specifically to reduce hairballs and off course laxatives that I think you might have tried. I would suggest that you visit your vet for a clinical examination to confirm or exclude constipation and give you advice on certain diets and laxatives. Furthermore I think it’s also a good idea for the vet to rule out any skin condition that might lead to excessive grooming which might or might not aggravate this problem. If the skin is in good health and constipation not severe you should be able to control this with a special diet and laxatives.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cybervet | 2011/03/16

Subject
Excessive Hairballs
Answer:

Hi Michelle. Yes obstruction of the GI tract can indeed happen due to excessive hairballs. Regular grooming would have certainly helped with this, but we do have certain diets available on the market specifically to reduce hairballs and off course laxatives that I think you might have tried. I would suggest that you visit your vet for a clinical examination to confirm or exclude constipation and give you advice on certain diets and laxatives. Furthermore I think it’s also a good idea for the vet to rule out any skin condition that might lead to excessive grooming which might or might not aggravate this problem. If the skin is in good health and constipation not severe you should be able to control this with a special diet and laxatives.

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