We’ve got hairballs – is that a problem?


Since we wrote this column on our hairball “problem” last year, it seems to have gone away on its own. Our Decca is really baffled, because nothing changed in our diet or our behavior. Maybe it was just a teen-ager thing?? What do you think?

*Cough* Hairballs *cough*

There's something donw thre on the floor...

Pardon us, but there’s something disgusting down there on the floor you need to take care of. (Trouble, left; and Mischief)

Friends, are you embarrassing yourself in front of yourself and others? Does your pep suddenly turn into pooped when you stop in the middle of a good run to hack and heave? Are hairballs making you unpopular around the house?

Friends, the answer to all of your problems is — well, to tell the truth, we don’t know what the answer is. But now that we’ve gotten older, hairballs are more of an issue in our lives. They’re interfering with our play time. They’re interfering with our social life.

Yes, we do too have a social life! People come to our house. They fuss over us, they play with us, they admire us.

And then one of us hacks up and everybody backs off. Talk about bad timing. But, sheesh! You’re around cats and you don’t expect a little lump of wet, compacted hair on your carpet once in a while? It’s what we do.

Even our dearest Decca is giving us the hairy eyeball more often.

Now we’ve checked, and there’s nothing abnormal going on with us. Once a week, each, especially now that the weather’s hot and we’re eager to shed some of our gorgeous fur.

Hairballs are actually a sign we’re grown up and become better at grooming ourselves (as long as we don’t overdo it. We’ve also read that “excessive” grooming can be a sign of health problems.)

But that’s not how Decca sees it. She keeps trying to get us to eat stuff that’s supposed to “help” us with our hairballs. Just because she doesn’t like stepping on them in her bare feet… Put shoes on! Wear your glasses!

Have we mentioned that we’re picky about what we put in our mouths — when it comes to food? (We’ll give anything else a try: Bugs — dead or alive — paper, organic matter that isn’t intended to be food, like leaves or grass, a blueberry that falls on the floor; you name it, we have to taste it.)
This hairball “treatment” thing isn’t going so well, from her point of view.

The best-selling commerical products, according to Amazon? We’ve spurned them all, from the Pet Naturals Fun-Shaped Chews (fish!) to the Nutri-Vet Hairball Paw-Gel for Cats (both flavors). We liked the caped super-cat on the chews package, so we gave that one a trial.

Decca got so excited when Trouble ate two pieces — he’s the primary hairball producer of the two of us — that she couldn’t wait to grab the package the next day to give us “treats.” (Really? You think we were fooled?)

There was no repeat performance, so she snuck them into our food bowls. That worked once, too. Now, instead of white emptiness in the bottom of our bowls after we eat, these gooey, sad-looking fish-shaped bits appear. Yuck.

As to those gels and pastes in tubes, no thanks. It’s not that we’re bothered over the controversy over whether petroleum-based hairball treatments are a bad idea, we just think they’re icky. And don’t you dare smear it on our beautiful paws!

We’re been reading the Internet over Decca’s shoulder as she looks for new ideas. There are some pretty crazy home remedies out there. Mayonnaise? Crisco? Yogurt? (We know she won’t try that one – like many adult cats, we’re lactose intolerant.)

Hmmm. Canned pumpkin puree? Is that a vegetable?? You do know we’re carnivores, right?
But, hey, here’s one that sounds good — catnip!!

This one is even better, though: The experts at Cornell University say you should brush and comb your cat frequently.

Yes! We’d like that. A lot. Bring it on.

We’ll start purring now.

This is an updated version of a post that first appeared on Central Penn Parent.