- "When moulting, cats will shed many more hairs than usual, which can lead to the formation of fur balls, especially in longhairs. As the cat licks itself, it will ingest large quantities of loose hair, which can accumulate as a mass in the digestive tract causing a blockage. The fur ball may be vomited successfully, depending on its location, but those which pass lower down the intestines and away from the stomach may cause constipation. A laxative, such as sardines in oil, medicinal or liquid paraffin [...] given directly on the food (about a 5 ml spoonful twice daily for two days) should ensure any accumulation of fur is passed without difficulty." (Emphasis added.)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Ack! Ack! Ack!
The Lady with the Red Hair took yours truly to the V-E-T (some of us can spell, too, you know) yesterday. Turns out that my tummy troubles were hairball-related. The nice doctor said there was a bit of fur that was obstructing my digestive system, which was preventing me from holding down any food. I lost nearly a pound (!!!) in a couple weeks since my last visit (when Kindly Couple first "found" me, abandoned and frankly starving, at Mooresville Public Library). That may be good news for some humans, but for us tiny felines, it's bad news city dump, I can tell you.
I could have told them what the problem was. Anime/Manga Gal, our librarian who is head of technical services, recently cataloged a replacement copy of The Complete Encyclopedia of Cats, by Michael Pollard (Bath : Parragon, 1999) (ISBN 9781405443883). (The old copy went to bindery heaven.) On page 90, the author quite clearly explains that hairballs cause vomiting, and, well, there was that unpleasantness for the last few days after meals. But the clincher was The Complete Book of the Cat (edited by Amanda O'Neill) (Secaucus, N.J. : Chartwell Books, 1989) (ISBN 1555214916). On page 156, it states:
Although the writer makes the unforgivable faux pas of calling a cat it, and referring to shedding as moulting (excuse me, but birds moult, and felines and slobberdogs shed), this otherwise seems to agree quite well with what the V-E-T told the Lady with the Red Hair. Since I had been exclusively an exterior kitty before Kindly Couple gave me comfortable lodgings, my fur coat was plush and beautiful, if I say so myself. So there were loose hairs aplenty to come off during daily grooming, and since cats use their tongues as washcloths (deal with it, people, it's what we do), that's a lotta hair going down the ol' gullet.
For you bottom liners, here's the scoop: two weeks of some tube of goop plastered on my din-dins, and the hairballs slide along nicely, thank you very much. No more "acking" after dinner. That's a relief, I don't mind saying.
Thanks to my library's fine feline collection (in Dewey 636.8) for diagnosing the problem. Thanks, too, to Scowl-Face, my gopher boy, for reading it to me. Say, about that laxative, the tube of goop is okay, but I like the sound of canned "sardines in oil" much, much better. Aisle 12 at the local grocery. Drop my name; you'll get a discount.
Feeling Much Better Now, Thanks For Asking,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Feline Hygiene & Health News Beat