Friday, April 16, 2010

Cats And Furballs

Cat owners are more than familiar with the gutteral choking, hacking, clicking and downright strange sound that a cat makes when it is in the midst of trying to dislodge a furball. Frankly to me it can be a  disgusting sound, and a frightening sound for those who have their first cat and aren't used to hearing it.

A "furball" is fur that a cat accumulates from swallowing when it cleans itself and it forms a "ball" or from my experience a long clump of fur that resembles a turd more than it resembles an actual ball.

Ways to avoid a cat having furballs are:

1) Brush daily-imperative if you own a long haired cat, short-haired cats, not so much.

2) Feed hairball formula cat food or treats to your cat, they claim to have vitamins and nutrients that help prevent furballs (if anyone can fill me in on why that is the case I would appreciate it! I don't understand how vitamins and nutrients can prevent furballs from forming when the cat is ingesting fur to begin with)

3) Another tip sent to me from a dear friend that she saw in "First" Magazine some months back is "mix 1 tsp petroleum jelly into his/her food twice a week. (Hint:you can apply the jelly to one of the cats' paws if they don't like it in their dinner.) The natural oils coat the fur in the stomach, helping to lubricate the strands so they can easily pass through the cats' digestive system"

Tip number 3 makes alot of sense because when the vet prescribes a furball medication the base ingredient of the medication almost has a petroleum jelly "look" to it, except for the dark brown color of the meds.

To me the most digusting and annoying thing about a furball other than the sound the cat makes when dislodging it, is that invariably the cat navigates its' way to wherever YOU are making you the "lucky" spectator and receiver of his "offering".


  1. The dark color is partially due to there being malt in there. It tastes better than Petroleum Jelly. It might even be a better source of lubricant than oil based. I'm not sure, it's been a long time since I've had to use it.

  2. Sandra thanks for reminding me! I had forgotten that malt was in the stuff that the vet tells you to buy. I used to give that to my first cat all the time, it also dispenses in a long line which I think would be better than petroleum jelly too.
    Thanks for your input!