Friday, August 15, 2014

Hairballs Aren't Really Ball-shaped, Are They?

In my previous article, I mentioned how Tungsten had to receive injections of water several times a day. Josie is currently receiving worse treatment, though hers, fortunately, is not permanent.

I think my Chubs has a hairball. She was been throwing up lately, more than usual. She has always had a sensitive stomach, and eating too much would cause it to overflow, so to speak. But recently, she has begun to vomit less food and more fluid, sometimes a pinkish, clear liquid. I’m told that this may be a symptom of a hairball, one which may be irritating her stomach and won’t come up.

Enter the laxative, in a manner of speaking. This is a special laxative / lubricant, something in the form of goop that will help push, pull, force, coax, persuade, perhaps even blackmail the hairball out. The first thing was to get the goop into her.

I knew I would face an up-hill battle when I was told that it was ‘fish’ flavoured. Most of my cats like some form of fish. They like it from a variety of tinned foods which, I suspect, use real fish, more or less, in their contents. The goop one buys as a form of medicine is probably not full of the harvest of the sea. I don’t know which ultimately cancer-causing chemical is used to simulate fish flavour, but it doesn’t find favour with my crowd. I recall tormenting the late Bear-Bear with ‘triple-fish’ flavoured medicine. The ‘triple’ bit must have meant he would hate it thrice as much as normal. Josie shared the BB’s opinion and would have nothing to do with the goop.

The instructions were to apply a bit to the cat’s nose, so that they would grow accustomed to the taste. Do you know what happens when I put something on one of my cat’s nose? She walks around with it on her nose. “Put a drop on her paw” is another useless instruction. Mine just rub it off, which is pretty messy when it’s sticky goop.

Anyway, I initially tried pushing some of the medicine into Josie’s mouth with my finger. That was a failure. It got all over the outside of her mouth and she looked like a badger that had just caught a rabbit; an unpleasant sight. Then I used a syringe. This is was better, but the big syringe I used was too big. I could not force the plunger down hard enough against the drag of the goop, and so either too little came out, or too much. Then I switched to a smaller syringe. This, though not perfect, got the job done. It is still a struggle with Josie, but almost everything that should go into her is going into her.

However, I think I have been overdosing the Great White. The directions stated that a quarter to one teaspoon of goop should be fed daily for two or three days, and then a quarter to a half teaspoon once every two or three days. I misread and put two or three teaspoons into Josie each day. Well, that ought to oil the insides, don’t you think? Aside from a fear of goop, my cat has suffered no ill effects from the excessive dosage.  I’ll give her a teaspoon once a day for a couple of days, then two or three over the next week.

I am not sure if I will be able to tell if the medicine is working. I know that Josie hasn’t thrown up since I started giving it to her, though it may be that vomit simply can’t force its way up against the goop. Seriously, though, the only vomit I’ve seen was an immense hairball this morning. It wasn’t Josie’s colour (white) and was probably Renn’s. If it was Josie’s, so much the better. This written, I will probably go home to find that my Chubs has exploded in my absence. I did notice a large amount of softer poop in the litter-box today. I hope that was Josie’s, as well.

Her appetite is not what it should be, but I imagine if she has a hairball, it would turn her off eating, as well as causing her to throw up what she has consumed. And having goop forced down her throat likely doesn’t make her feel like sitting down to an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord either. The real test will be in a week or so, after the treatment is done. If she continues to keep her food down, and starts enjoying it again, we will have won.

With so much of a cat’s life revolving around eating - it’s as much a pleasure for them as a necessity, I think - I want Josie to feel good inside and outside. I want her to wake up one morning and dance about the house singing, like one of those old commercials in which a man has taken Ex-lax or something similar the night before. I’d like her to prepare her own breakfast while she’s at it, but I’ll settle for her feeling good.


  1. My first thought was to ask if she's doing her business normally, because a constipated cat often will throw up and won't be eating and can even have some diarrhea, as only a bit can move around the mass. (This from my experience, and then reading, with Annie, though Annie didn't throw up.)

    Fingers crossed it's just a hairball that has or will shortly come up.

    I'm not sure what the hairball med is, but years ago I remember putting some over-the-counter hairball paste onto Chumley's paw, so he'd lick it off.


    You'd think I'd put poison him.

    He ran around the living room and managed to flick it all off -- over the walls and curtains.

    I never used that stuff again.

    1. I kept your reply in mind and noted on the weekend when Josie went to the litter-box. She delivered a good sized poop, so it isn't constipation, thank goodness.

  2. Please consider taking her to the Vet if this does not resolve itself just to be on the safe side. Purring for dear Josie.

    1. I'm keeping a careful eye on Josie. As of this morning, she threw up a small hairball and has regurgitated some food - something she has always done from time to time - but no more fluid by itself. I may retain the hairball remedy as a regular preventive measure.

  3. I do hope this hair all passes quickly. This goop, whether it be fish, chicken or beef flavour, was always rejected by Jessica. Such a mess we made trying to get it in her. From, Eileen and Jessica

  4. We'll keep our fingers and paws crossed for both of you. The pink tinged liquid scares me.
    Please give your darling girl hugs and kisses from us.

  5. I'm sorry...I have to admit I'm laughing so hard right now I have tears in my eyes.

    Though I do feel sorry for both of you, Josie for having to take the meds and you having to give them to her. I have to wonder if the hairball might be Josie's, even if it isn't the right color. Does she groom any of the other kitties?

    Here's hoping the next week proves that she is feeling well and has rid herself of whatever was causing her to vomit.

  6. I hope Josie gets rid of her hairball before too long. Flynn who never gets them brought up 2 while we were on holiday. They were carefully wrapped in paper for me to see when we got home. I give him malt flavoured Katalax on his paw and he loves it.
    Eric used to suffer with a lot of hairballs and had the katalax regularly. Of course he hated it! I used to rub it well into his paw otherwise he would fling brown gloop everywhere. I had to keep Flynn away or he would lick it off for him.

  7. I will keep my fingers crossed and keep Josie in my prayers. Keep us updated.
    Marty's Mom