Possible hairball, followed by a lot of noise

by Micah and Elaina
(Nova Scotia)

Hi there.

Our cat, Indie, has been acting strange today. I picked her up, and she made a very loud, guttural meow (she usually makes a fuss about being picked up, but this was particularly loud). Shortly thereafter, she started gagging, like she was going to cough up a hairball, but all that came out was some orange liquid. She then made the worst kind of long, deep growls and meows for about a minute, as she laid still. She stayed on the floor, on her side, occasionally making growls that sounded almost like wheezing, for some time before walking over to the litter box. She hasn't gone inside the box, but she's been standing outside of it for about an hour, with her eyes closed.

About a year ago, she had surgery to remove a very large hairball from her intestines, and since then we've been doing all we can to keep her hydrated and lubricated (she's VERY stubborn about drinking water, which is what caused the problem in the first place). She recently got fleas (we moved to an apartment that had dogs) and has been obsessively chewing and licking her fur for about five days. We gave her flea medicine today, and this incident occurred very shortly thereafter.

Our concern is that we cannot afford another surgery, so we want to know if this is something we can resolve on our own? We are giving her
laxative, as well as syringes of water in her mouth (the only way she'll drink water) as we know this is likely another large hairball.

Can we help her pass the hairball? Is that what the problem is?
Thank you so very much for your time.

PS: she is a Ragdoll, and therefore very prone to hairballs and the like.

A little tip regarding helping cats to drink more water. Feed them only dry complete cat food. this makes them naturally thirsty and they are more likely to drink. i had a cat like this and after changing her food to dry she would drink water and this prevented her from getting UTI's as well as keeping her well hydrated.

As for your cats current condition, if it is a hairball then lubricants are the only thing you can give her. See my page about hairballs here


Unfortunately if she has already got tot he stage where a very difficult hairball is stuck then it may be too late and surgery may be the only answer now.

If her symptoms persist then telephone the vets for advice and also tell them that she was treated with flea treatment. this may or may not be also part of the trouble. i don't know what flea treatment you used and whether or not you have used it on her before.

I hope she is Ok and better soon


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