Is Your Cat Getting More and More Chubby?

This is Raja, our overweight cat!

Raja started out a reasonably svelte 12 lbs when we got her from a local shelter at age 7. Then, barely 2 years later, she was up to a hefty 15 lbs!

Diet cat foods were no help. Then, I happened to read a book: "Your Cat, Simple New Secrets To A Longer, Stronger Life" and it changed everything.

We invite you to follow our quest for a healthy weight-loss plan for this funny, personable and very talkative cat.

Hopefully, together we can help all our cats live healthier and thinner lives!

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2008-07-22

HairBall Help for Laxatone-Hating Cats

It's summer and that means hairball season! It also means sneaking up on Raja and trying to smear Laxatone or Petromalt hairball remedy on her paw. She hates that! She hates it so much that she usually shakes it off her paw and then won't lick off what's left anyway.

The directions for Laxatone and Petromalt suggest you "Place a small amount of Laxatone on animal's nose to stimulate taste interest." Yeah, right. After giving it a perfunctory snarf, Raja just walks away. So much for stimulating interest. And that's the tuna flavored Laxatone, a taste we were sure she would love!

So, we tried mixing it in her wet food, thinking she wouldn't notice. Well, we found out that she'd rather starve than eat Laxatone in her food.

So we gave up and just hoped her hairballs were taking care of themselves, since she wasn't throwing up very often. Then one day we heard her crying while having a bowel movement. Believe me, you don't want to hear your cat wailing while doing something so natural. It's really pitiful. And preventable, if she would only eat the Laxatone or Petromalt (she hates that even more than Laxatone.)

So I did some online research and talked to our vet and we came up with an alternative that works so well I thought I'd share it with anyone that has a "Laxatone-intolerant" cat like ours.

What we tried was regular petroleum jelly in her wet food (you feed your cat wet food don't you?) and it worked! Petroleum jelly is the main ingredient in Laxatone anyway, but because it's tasteless and odorless it mixes well in Raja's wet food. She eats the whole thing!

Did it work to solve her difficult bowel movements? Yes, we're happy to say, she is NOT crying anymore while pooping, which makes us all happy.

That's the upside.. now for the downside.

There is one problem with petroleum jelly and with Laxatone or Petromalt too. Because they are indigestible fats, they pass through the small and large intestines intact. That's how they coat the swallowed hair and allow it to easily pass through your cat's intestinal tract.

So far, so good. The problem is that petroleum jelly can interfere with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins E, A, D and K. So use only according to the directions and only if needed for hairball relief.

For example, our cat doesn't shed much at all in the winter now that she is on an all wet food diet. So we will reduce the amount of petroleum jelly we give her to maybe once per week.

Ideally the petroleum jelly should be fed between meals to prevent problems with vitamin absorption, but I doubt any cat will eat plain petroleum jelly by itself.

Here's what we do that seems to work well: Since we feed Raja about 4 times each day, on the days when she gets her petroleum jelly, we mix it in one of those feedings. That gives her 3 feedings that day without the jelly so she can absorb her fat soluble vitamins in those feedings.

Directions for feeding petroleum jelly for the prevention of hairballs:
(NOTE: these directions were taken from a tube of Laxatone, but will work for petroleum jelly too; just be sure not to overdo it.)

Dosage

For Hairballs: Give 1/2 to one teaspoonful for two to three days then 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon two to three times a week for maintenance.

Store in a cool area and try to keep the petroleum jelly sanitary. To do so, it's best to get a tube of petroleum jelly just for your cat instead of scooping it out of the jar everybody in the house uses.

Please note: If your cat develops diarrhea, constipation, has bloody stools or throws up too often, please take him/her to your veterinarian immediately! These could be symptoms of a serious problem.



Other ideas for preventing hairballs (from CatUrineRemedy.com):
  1. A small pinch of catnip, because it's rich in fiber, every other day can help reduce hairballs.
  2. Canned pumpkin (unsweetened please!) is also rich in fiber and may be a tasty treat for your cat. Just don't overdo it, as pumpkin can cause diarrhea in large amounts!
  3. Brush your cat everyday, especially in the summer. You know your cat loves this!
  4. If your cat has long hair you can have it trimmed. This is an especially good idea in the summer since it will help keep your longhair cool and prevent matted hair.

So there's our remedy for hairballs for cats that hate Laxatone or other hairball remedies.

I hope this will work for you too if your cat is "Laxatone-intolerant"!

4 comments:

  1. I am suggesting growing wheatgrass. In the wild cats get some greens from the stomach of animals that they eat. What I do is trim the wheat grass tiny with scissors and add it to the wet food. Also for my grass allergic cat I use lettuce/apples/cucumbers etc. The cats seem to really like them if they are cut tiny.
    The cheap way to grow wheatgrass is to buy it by the pound at a health food store. (aprox. $1.39 lb) Soak a handful overnight, then put it into a yogurt tub and rinse twice a day. Try not to "tumble" the grains after they start sprouting. After the grass is about 3 inches tall, trim the top bits with scissors and put the tub in an open plastic bag and put in the fridge. The fridge is optional but the grass lasts much longer.
    Works great, cuts down on hairball and seems to be healthy for the cats!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would suggest that you are over feeding your cat. 4 Times a day is twice what I feed my current cat 6 yrs old and 10 pounds and he stays within 1/2 pound. I also had a previous cat for 18 years that weighed 13 pounds and I fed him twice a day too and he also stayed within a 1/2 pound. I also put out dry food & keep it out 24 hrs a day for him. That dry food is; Purina Naturals plus vitamins & minerals,and it also helps with hairballs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you feel that feeding your cat Raja 4 times a day might be too much? I have always fed my cats 2 times a day and it has worked out fine.That might be the reason she is overweight. Should you try this she will fuss but she will get used to it. Cats can really be greedy for food sometimes but don't give in. Also I feed mine dry food for one meal then canned (wet) food for the other meal. Dry food according to research is nothing but carbohydrates which gives our cats the feeling of being full but only temporary.Cats by nature are carnivores. Thanks for your article.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Since I wrote this post, we have cut down on Raja's feeding to just 2 per day.

    She seems to be just fine with the number of feedings and the amount of food we give her (just one 3.3 ounce can of wet food per day.)

    We are happy to report that she is losing weight slowly but surely.

    Thank you all for yor helpful comments!

    ReplyDelete

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