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Constant hairball puking.

(23 Posts)
MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Fri 23-Jan-15 18:23:05

Portia is 15 and a long haired torty with attitude.

She has always had hairballs.. she is a good groomer and thinks nothing of dozing on the bed, hacking up a hairball on said bed, and then wandering off.
Her ultimate puke happened a few weeks ago.. I was asleep in bed..I sleep face down and vaguely became aware of the puke noise, to realise she was actually sitting on my back and promptly puked between my shoulder blades!!!!

She averages out two or three pukes a week.. always on beds/carpets NEVER on the lino or hard flooring!

However it seems to be increasing.. three in three days. Definitely a hairball with a little surrounding catfood (ugh) and I am wondering if this is a vet worthy problem. We have tried hairball formula kibble etc and she seems well enough in herself, she is small and light but always has been.

Short of shaving her, I don't know what we can do to reduce this, but it's becoming a bit of a problem simply as she has ruined the carpets, and stepping in it first thing is not fun! Any suggestions welcomed!

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 19:16:05

What do you do in the way of grooming her, Medusa ?

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Fri 23-Jan-15 19:32:38

I approach tentatively, leather gloves on and cat friendly grooming brush in and hand and attempt to get a couple of strokes in before staggering off to the bathroom to wash the blood off my hands (yes with gloves) and face....

Not a fan of too much personal contact is Portia grin She is of the 'I want two tickles under my chin only, try a third and you'll need stitches' variety of cat grin . In her defence she was a farm kitten and I suspect semi feral so we are lucky she even speaks to us.. but extensive grooming is a no no. She has beautifully silky unknotted fur but obviously swallows a lot of it :/

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 23-Jan-15 19:38:44

I think you should send her to a groomers once a month.

She'll behave like a little angel for them.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 23-Jan-15 19:41:56

Although dont let them bath her, I've heard things about cage dryers that I don't like.

I may buy a Newfoundland or a Bukisa one day (after all it couldn't be much more mess) so I pay atrention to dog articles.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 23-Jan-15 19:48:40

*bouvier des Flanders.

Why don't I preview? Why?.

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Fri 23-Jan-15 20:41:13

I couldn't do that to her.. she would be absolutely petrified.. it once took the vet the help of two assistants to get a pill into her, as she is very wild when scared!

Also as she is very silky.. really has no knots, no tufts, she just seems to suck up a lot of her own hair, it seems cruel to send her when she doesn't need sorting out, she just needs to clean herself less often.

SHE seems perfectly happy... it's my laundry and my carpet which isn't!

HanBreakTurn Fri 23-Jan-15 20:52:29

O'Malley pukes loads of hair balls too. I'm posting for the advice. wink

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 21:06:55

When Seniorboy came to live with me, he was a little blighter who had never been groomed/claw-nipped and was given to doing what he darned well pleased.

We had a long discussion about his attitude and my house rules and now, 6 years later, he obeys the house rules and has a daily (evening) groom and regular claw tip nipping. (I've just done his groom so thought I'd mention that. He came up to have it done as soon as I said the word and enjoyed it very much.)

He's a short, fairly silky haired cat but I'm constantly staggered by how much hair I get from him. After three evenings, I have a felty wad of hair waiting to go in the bin - and he's not sick with furballs any more. Maybe sick once every two or three months on a 'Why Not?' basis.

I really think you have to find some way to help her with some grooming, Medusa. At 15 she's also likely to get stiffer and less able to do it so will really need the assist in future. Is there any way you could start off with two or three strokes on each flank (with added treats) and build up gradually from there? I don't do Seniorboy's stomach and that doesn't seem to matter - just the flanks, neck and chest.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 23-Jan-15 21:18:59

Do you have a zoom groom? I have a furminator but the zoom looks kinder on old bodies.

RubbishMantra Fri 23-Jan-15 21:24:52

What about a mitten-type groomer? MCat hisses at the Zoom Groom.

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Fri 23-Jan-15 22:04:10

I'll google the zoom groom.. we have a mitten type (and several others) but she really is seriously vicious . I will try and see if she will let me do a couple of strokes more via the power of dreamies, tho she isn't food motivated either. Her furriest parts are her tummy and leg bags and there is no way in HELL she will let me touch those. Strictly a head and two strokes of her back girl!

I'm not neglectful honest.. all my others have always submitted to grooming, even Morph who wasn't keen, but she is only vaguely domesticated and at 15 isn't getting any nicer grin

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 22:26:50

I think it's worth another try although it sounds as if it would be a long haul with her. I'd ignore the tummy and any other parts that bring her to 'Kill' status and just go for the flanks and back at the start - see how that goes. I suspect that an important thing is regularity because grooming seems not only to collect loose hair but also to actively loosen some hair - so once you start, you pretty well have to continue very regularly to get the benefits.

One thought - you said that the frequency had increased. Has she by any chance, and with the lousy weather, been spending more time inside in heat? If so, I'm wondering whether the heat could have tricked her system into shedding more - sort of like an artificial moult. I know that Seniorboy is actually paler in winter than in summer because in winter, he's pretty well welded to his electric blanket - and although that's a different mechanism, it just made me thoughtful about Portia's issues.

Good luck anyway and let us know how it goes.

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Fri 23-Jan-15 23:21:10

YES. She has always been an equally indoor / outdoor cat.. happy to potter and snooze in the garden. But since she got over the horror of the kittens arriving she has been almost a totally indoor cat.. she hasn't been out at ALL since it got cold. it's food, litter, snuggle by the radiator, swat kittens, repeat grin I think she is feeling her age a little, but she is still very agile and in the summer was still hunting.

Thinking about it a few months of being almost entirely indoors is probably making it much worse (or at least the puking is IN the house!)

ArabellaStrange Fri 23-Jan-15 23:26:57

This will help, I promise, though trying to up the grooming too, would be good, if at all possible:
www.amazon.co.uk/Katalax-Cats-Hairballs-Furballs-Tube/dp/B003Y3UIIE

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 23:33:07

Might also be worth a general senior check at some point in the near future - if you can get her in the carrier to go to the vet! (I'm starting to feel a lot of respect for this girl.) Her staying inside could be just the weather - and who could blame her - but she's of an age where a little arthritis might just be possible.

RubbishMantra Sat 24-Jan-15 00:17:05

Leg bags grin

You're not neglectful Medusa, if I was a cat I'd love you to be my hooman slave. grin

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Sat 24-Jan-15 09:04:44

Yet another puke this morning...and this time with no hairball so I'm a bit concerned. I'm going to get her to the vets and get her checked over.

cozietoesie Sat 24-Jan-15 09:28:49

It could still be a hairball that she didn't manage to bring up but as I said above, a vet visit would be no bad thing, I think. The occasional sick goes with the territory but she's vomiting a bit too much for comfort.

How are her teeth by the way?

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Sat 24-Jan-15 09:41:25

As far as I know hers are ok for her age... Vet usually chips off a bit of tartar at annual jabs and check up. DH said this morning's puke wasn't hairball and smelt funny..which is most unusal and makes me more concerned. Portia has always been a puker, hence me not being terribly worried before, but now it's daily and she seems constantly hungry. (she is wormed and no sign of anything there!)

Hoping they give her a good going over today though not looking forward to the inevitable hit on my wallet (stopped insuring her a few years ago when it got silly money) I suppose I'm now more worried it's a mass or something. After Morph I can't bear the thought that she might be quietly suffering and we assumed it was just hair sad

cozietoesie Sat 24-Jan-15 09:52:15

So an appointment today? That's good.

Maybe have the vet check out her teeth properly while she's there. (There are lots of possible causes so I'm guilty here of extending personal experience - but I recall that Seniorboy had a very bad mouth and he started sicking up a lot at about Portia's age because of it. A proper dental cured that.)

MedusaIsHavingaBadHairday Sat 24-Jan-15 12:15:13

Well the vet saw her and was overall impressed at her general health..she's shiny , spritely and still badass grin
He could feel some thickening of her intestines which he said is common in cats her age and she is also a bit constipated, so has given me some cat laxative which amazingly she appears to have licked off the chicken I just fed her, tho she didn't eat much. She is to have a real food diet for a while (does mostly anyway tbh)..so chicken and perhaps some oily fish in very small amounts, and see how she goes. He couldn't feel any masses and her teeth look ok, so hoping the laxatives do the trick!

cozietoesie Sat 24-Jan-15 14:30:25

I never thought to ask how her littering was, either, so that makes sense - if she's all blocked up below then stuff can't stay in up top in my experience.

Fingers crossed that the laxatives work. I think I'd still be looking to have a go at some grooming to establish a routine (as she's a long haired and pukey girl) and I'd also be keeping an eye on her for old bones in the sense of ensuring that she wasn't defeated in straining to poo. She's no spring chicken and will likely need some help with the minutiae of life in the future. This guidance includes some stuff on environmental assists which could apply to an older cat and not just an arthritic one.

Good news anyway.

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