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Old 01-19-2004, 09:06 PM
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Looking for Natural furball remedies


Are there safe effective remedies for furball prevention? I know about petromalt but I don't like the idea of using poisonous petroleum products on my foster kitty.

All input is welcome! Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:07 PM
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100% natural petroleum jelly. I use it for my ferrets. Make sure it's unscented and 100% pure.
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:10 PM
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We had a persian kitty when I was a girl ... when he had a bout with impacted hairballs, his vet told us to give him Mineral Oil - I wish I could remember how much and how often, but it's been so long ago...
Lizzie seems to have a hairball problem, and after 2 months of "hairball remedy" food, I'm actually seeing less and less of it.
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:15 PM
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Yep, mineral oil. I don't know a dosage either, but your vet should be able to advise you.
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:46 PM
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I didn't know there was hair ball remedy food. Does this have special enzymes to break down the hair in the stomach? What is the brand name please. Sounds good.

I have heard mineral oil causes abdominal and intestinal problems in people and other small animals are you sure it's safe for cats?

100% petroleum is used in car engines too!
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:58 PM
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I use Petromalt. Its a combination of malt syrup and petrolium with some added fish flavor so its not exactly "natural" but the minute I see them coughing I give them a teaspoon and its gone. I hardly have any problems with hairballs it happens maybe twice a year. I never have to give the recommended doses either just the once seems to work. My two are on Nutro Natural Choice food (weight management for the fatty and kitten for my almost adult)

As for foods I know that Nutro claims all their foods help with hairballs, Science Diet has a specific formula, Ekanuba and Iams have hairball formulas. Science Diet also has a sensitive stomach formula but I am not certain if that helps with hairballs also. You might want to try brushing the cat on a scheduled basis and even try wiping him down with a wet cloth. I use hypoallergenic unscented baby wipes - it just seems more economical than those dog or cat bath wipes that are loaded with fragrance. They also make some wipes and sprays that help with shedding and dander, mostly for people that have problems with allergies to their kitties.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:21 AM
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Thanks for all the great info Dena. It's been 20 yrs since I've cared for a cat. I normally do have allergies to them but this little guy isn't bothering me yet. I did see the allergy wipes and found that kinda nice.
The food is a big problem with this kit. He hates most cat food. I made food for him up until recently when he finally liked a dry food I got him. He used to cover any can food, he thought it was waste, well it smelled like that to me too! We figure he is about 5 months old now. After his surgery he will need to start being weaned over to adult food over the course of several months according to the vet. Maybe I can check into these special feeds and find one he may like.
I got the impression cats cough up furballs all the time and it didn't make much since for this to be so. I figured, like you said, brushing him often to be of great benefit.
Thanks again
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:31 AM
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I'm with Dena, I use Petromalt or Femalt too. I only have to use it rarely. When I hear or see one of them starting to cough I give them about an inch from the tube on my finger and they lick it off happily. They like the taste and would lick it right from the tube.

I know that people have reported a lot of success with the hairball remedy foods, again, like Dena said. The hairball remedy foods are higher in fiber, which helps the ingested hair pass through the GI tract easier. You can increase the fiber in the diet yourself by adding a tablespoon of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) to the food once a week, or more often if you are noticing a problem with hairballs developing. Canned pumpkin can actually be given daily if you wanted. Just back off the amount if you notice loose stools. It's a great source of fiber as well as nutrients.

They also sell various treats made for hairball relief.

My mom swears by butter! I know it sounds nuts - but she has a long hair cat and every morning Miss Kitty goes running to the kitchen for her lick of butter! My mom gives her a bit every morning - it's her special treat and she loves it and licks it right from her finger. According to my parents (who pamper and adore this cat!), she has never had hairballs.
Brushing daily, and occasional bathing - if you can get the cat used to it which can be a scary prospect to say the least, will also help keep the amount of ingested hair to a minimum.
The only negative effect from mineral oil in animals or people could be diarrhea. It's totally safe to use.
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
My mom swears by butter


My Mom swears by butter as well. I bought hair ball remedy treats, the cats fell for those twice and since then have never touched them. If I notice one of them making "the noise" I put a dab a butter on my finger and let them lick it off. Problem solved.
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:22 AM
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I don't give my cats the chance to lick it off their paws or nose like they say to. My cats wont eat it and I end up with sticky pawprints all over the house I squirt it directly into their mouths then they have no choice. I don't think they like the texture of it. But it works. I haven't found a cat that likes it yet. Maybe they should make the stuff butter flavored and it would solve everyone's problem.
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Old 01-21-2004, 11:53 AM
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Butter makes since, I think that is a old traditional remedy on farms. Unfortunately Dij is lactose intolerant. I found out when I gave him some Whiskas milk and had to rush him to the vet with vomiting, diarreha and dehydration.
Don't people use enzymes for cat furballs? I had rabbits and we used enzymes but I didn't know how safe this is for kitties.
I don't like the idea of using mineral oil (intestinal gas etc) or petroleum (toxic) products so I was hoping to find something else.
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Old 01-21-2004, 01:49 PM
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Well, adding fiber to the diet is a good, natural way to help keep everything moving - including ingested hair.
Adding some canned pumpkin to the diet is a good, way to achieve this. And what was stated above - brushing daily will reduce the amount of hair ingested.

Small licks of butter may not bother him the way that the milk did. All cats are lactose intolerant. Milk is never a good idea to give on a regular basis because it will give them gas, bloating and diarhhea - all the classic symptoms of lactose intolerance.

I have never heard of using enzymes for hairball prevention, that is interesting - can you elaborate on what kind of enzymes and in what form they are given to the animal?
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:08 PM
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Some people use papaya enzyme. You can get it at health food stores in capsule form.
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:26 PM
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There are natural plant enzymes that come in a powder, pinapple enzyme (bromotine ?) and papaya enzymes from the dried ground seeds.

The brushing is a must! I agree Deja. Pumkin is a must try and Dij loves bits of cooked brown rice or oats, I use to have to make his food/MR PICKEY . That is good fiber too.
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Old 01-21-2004, 04:25 PM
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Brown rice and oats - another great source of fiber that never occured to me! Great idea - and healthy too!

Mr. Pickey He's so lucky to have you though!! And - show me a cat that isn't picky and I'll show you a dog

It sounds like you have it all under control! The enzymes sound like something I would like to learn more about! Thanks! I am going to go do some reading. Very interesting! And if safe for cats, and it helps to eliminate ingested hair - wow - great! Ill bet a call to your vet will answer the safety of the enzyme question.

Candycane - do you use these enzyme capsules on your cat? (I don't remember if you have a cat - hrrm - I have a sifter brain )

Good luck with Mr. Pickey!!
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