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Vet Care and Advice

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"Medium" length hair cat [Jan. 12th, 2011|09:47 pm]
Vet Care and Advice


Last year I got a mixed breed "medium" length hair cat we named Pounce. She is beautiful, I love her to bits and so does my kid. It is the kids job to feed and clean up after the cat (With many many reminders from me) and she has been doing a pretty good job. Recently we have been having an issue with Pounce getting numerous and very large hairballs. Pounce's fur ranges in length from about 3" to over 6" but it is very slick to her body. The only place it really sticks out is around her bottom where it is the longest, I trim the hair there often as she has issues keeping herself clean if the hair is allowed to grow.

We give her Hartz hairball remedy often, up to once daily but never less then three times a week. I do worry about giving her too much of this but when we stopped giving it so often she got very ill and was vomiting daily and had difficulty in the litter box. Her fur is VERY hard to groom, bristle brushes simply slide over her hair and slicker brushes barely penetrate any better, definitely not enough to take out loose hair. We have has wonderful results with a "Luv glove" but Pounce hates it as it builds up static quickly and zaps her, and me, as I use it. I try to pin her down and groom her once a week but she will attack me during use. I have considered switching to hairball formula dry cat food but she is incredibly picky about her food. Currently she eats Purina Friskies® Stuffed Morsels and even starting a new bag she will refuse to eat unless it is careful mixed with the old bag.

Any help or advice? is there anything we could do in addition to these things to help Pounce I hate seeing her when she is feeling off from hairballs... she stops grooming and simply looks ratty.



[User Picture]From: harliquinnraver
2011-01-13 06:18 am (UTC)
get her groomed? id also recommend a canned and better quality food. preferably grain-free.
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[User Picture]From: fan_tasylov_er
2011-01-13 06:44 am (UTC)
We do feed her half a can of special kitty canned food daily (that is as much as she will eat in one hour I won't leave wet food out) Oh and the dry food is free feed. I actually don't know if there is a cat groomer in town... I know there are dog groomers but not cats... plus I can't afford to get her groomed professionally. As I said I pin her down about once a week and use the luv glove (http://www.arcatapet.com/item.cfm?cat=4553) on her. She has never gotten any mats and as long as she is feeling ok (not vomiting and not having litter issues) she is very good at grooming herself. Also we do bath her about once a month... less in the winter but that is more cosmetic then anything to keep her white portions dazzling.

She is an indoor cat, though she will go out onto the balcony and bird stalk. Although not in the past few weeks, she is smarter then her humans and refused to go out in this cold.
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[User Picture]From: harliquinnraver
2011-01-13 06:53 am (UTC)
special kitty and purina are extremely low quality foods and i think youd see an improvement in her fur by omitting the corn and grain heavy diet shes currently on. really, try a quality meat based food such as Wellness. you will be SHOCKED at the improvement.

glove type grooming tools are not going to do much good on a long haired cat. theyre basically good for removing some loose fur from the top of the coat. look into a cat size Furminator. http://www.furminator.com/
i have 4 cats and can personally vouch for these.

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[User Picture]From: fan_tasylov_er
2011-01-13 07:24 am (UTC)
Well I have never seen Wellness in my area, I live in a small town.
I have looked at those types of groomers in the store but really I don't see how they would work any better then the slicker brush. I have used several types of bristle and slicker brushes on Pounce and they did not remove even as much hair as simply petting her with my plain hand did but when I got the luv glove it removed enough hair that my kid was able to ball the hair up tightly into a 3 inch ball for Pounce to play with. It works on my cat.

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[User Picture]From: harliquinnraver
2011-01-13 07:28 am (UTC)
i have 4 cats. i have tried every brush and comb on the market. i can assure you that it works much better than a slicker or glove. buy one and try it before you assume that it wont work/ if you hate it, return it, simple as that. did you post here for help or did you post here to argue against every suggestion made?
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[User Picture]From: fan_tasylov_er
2011-01-13 07:53 am (UTC)
harliquinnraver I came here for help and advice... not to have someones personal opinion shoved down my throat in as rude manner as possible.

I have an issue with money at the moment and the luv glove is working very well to remove the loose hairs but I do not expect any grooming aid to remover them all.

If you are going post in my thread please be polite, thank you.
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[User Picture]From: harliquinnraver
2011-01-13 08:00 am (UTC)
sorry if i came across as rude but your replies to my suggestions in which i was trying to help come off as dismissive, as though nothing could possibly be better than what youre currently doing. this is the first ive heard of money being an issue so i wasnt aware.

long story short, when you can afford it, the Furminator really does a fantastic job and will probably remove at least 6x as much loose fur as the glove. with each use, i can remove 1-2 full cats worth of fur from my 4 cats.

anyway, good luck with the hairballs.

Edited at 2011-01-13 08:01 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: fan_tasylov_er
2011-01-13 02:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

I do intend to look into the wellness food as well as the Furminator when I am in the specialty pet shop again but I do live in a small town and I have not seen them in there before.

Unfortunately as I have said Pounce is not a long hair cat she is called a "medium" hair cat. Her hair length varies greatly depending on the body part it grows on and it all lays flat (except her bottom and tail there it fluffs out a tiny bit). Her hair is fine and silky which is wonderful when we are petting her but not so great when grooming. I have owned both short and long hair cats and I know the issues of trying to get the brushes through the coats of long hairs.

This is why I am so very baffled at Pounces issues, I have pulled every trick I know but she is not having any overall improvement. I don't like giving her hairball remover on almost daily basis but when I pull back to once weekly the symptoms start again. Cat grass seemed to help but after a few days she simply ignored the pot and wouldn't eat any more.
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[User Picture]From: harliquinnraver
2011-01-13 02:56 pm (UTC)
even short haired cats can be prone to hairballs. although to the extent that she seems to be having issues, you should consider making a vet visit just to rule out an intestinal blockage or something.
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[User Picture]From: amyty
2011-01-13 06:35 am (UTC)
My cat quite enjoys his dry, hairball control, kibble. He's not a fan of wet food, and has had some serious urinary infections I'd rather not repeat, so he gets hairball control with kitty bladder protection, etc. It works a treat!

I'd highly recommend a gradual transition to some hairball control biscuits, mixing it in with what she has at gradually increasing ratios until she's content to eat only that food. I also understand - though I don't know if it's actually true - that good dry food can help with oral hygiene, amongst other things. But if she's been eating meaty or wet food, DO keep a full bowl of clean water for her, the transition can dry a kitty out if they're not used to it.

Good luck with her! There's nothing quite like stepping out of bed first thing in the morning and get a sock soggy with fresh cat barf. It's not the best start to a day.
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[User Picture]From: harliquinnraver
2011-01-13 06:55 am (UTC)
actually dry food is worse for oral hygiene, believe it or not. that any kibble is better for their teeth or cleans their teeth is actually a myth.
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[User Picture]From: fan_tasylov_er
2011-01-13 07:05 am (UTC)
LOL Yes very true! luckily I get to take a few steps before I find it as she always barfs just inside my bedroom doorway.

Treats are an issue, she won't eat them! At all, the only kind of cat treat we have ever found that she will eat is a dried salmon strips that at the moment I can not recall the name of. Oh yes and the dog treats my friend makes. We have about 10 packages of cat treats in the cupboard of different flavors and brands some hard some soft and she won't even sniff them. My kid has been trying to hide them in her dry food to get her to eat them but she noses them out of her dish. *Sigh* Yes my cat is picky.

Water >.< that is another issue she won't drink plain water from a bowl unless it is the toilet. We have bought two different water fountains. The first she refused to drink from as it did not have a pool of water she could reach just a curved area the water sheeted over. The new one has a pool but I guess she doesn't like the sound of the motor as she keeps trying to dig under it spilling water all over. But she will drink from it I just hope she will get used to it and stop attacking it.
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[User Picture]From: fwickee
2011-01-14 09:16 pm (UTC)
Your best bet might be to get her shaved. A lion cut is a common cut for kitties and, while some people think it's a bit mean, many cats find it much more comfortable. That said, some cats hate being shaved, so you'd have to try it to find out. Most veterinary offices can sedate and shave her if she won't allow a groomer to do it while she's awake.

If you do not want to have her shaved, I also recommend the Furminator. Having 5 long-haired cats (and a long-haired rabbit), I can assure you it works better than any other brush I've seen.
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[User Picture]From: fan_tasylov_er
2011-01-17 10:35 pm (UTC)
Well if we can scrap together the money or find one used I will be giving it a shot, Pounce would hate being shaved and it is just too cold up here to consider it. She would hate to give up her "outside" time on the balcony. Fwickee is there any specific food you would recommend for helping with the hairballs?

Also my friend has been having issues her cat has hairballs often but he will not even take the hairball remover he detests it. I told her to smear it into the hair on his paws and gave her the info from you all. Thanks :D
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[User Picture]From: ashkestral
2011-01-15 09:50 pm (UTC)
I know you questioned the effectiveness of a Furminator. Basically, it's not a brush, it actually shaves out the undercoat and makes it thinner. My friend swears by them, my kitten is so small right now I'm just using a regular comb for her.

If cost is an issue, they re-designed the tools recently, so you can find the old style for a discount in some places, like on Amazon. This is the one my friend uses.

You can see the new design here:

Sometimes switching to grain free will help with hairball issues. One of the cheaper grain free foods is "Taste of the Wild" - it's about $11 a 5lb bag compared to the $18 I'm paying for a different brand. The reason I'm not sticking with Taste of the Wild is my kittens loved it so much they ignored their wet food, and I'd like them to eat wet food! If they ever are sick and refuse to eat, the Canyon River Feline formula is what I'll offer them, they went nuts for it. You might need to use the store located on their website to find it, it will be at groom shops or feed stores rather than the grocery store.

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