The first time you see your fur baby cough up hairball it can be rather scary – they make choking noses, the scrunch up, they wheeze, they sounds like they’re coughing up the guts.
Then suddenly – spew – out comes a poo shaped mush of hair and slime. The colour of the hairball depends on the colour of your cat. My white cat spews out greyish coloured hairballs. My black cat spews out very dark black hair balls and my tortie cat spews brown coloured ones.
Whilst it’s pretty much impossible to stop hair balls completely – after all, they are covered in fur – we can give them a helping hand. There are various treats that help with hair or furballs; some are crunchy biscuit style and malt in a tube is also popular.
I loved how convenient this deodorant like hairball lickstick from Petkin looked:
Cats can lick the product right from the stick – but as we cat mommas know, kitties do no always do what we tell them to do!
This product from Petkin (a common high street pet brand in the UK and USA) is malt based.
The ingredients are: Malt Extract, Petrolatum, Purified Water, Monoglyceride, Vitamin E, Sodium Stearate, and Sodium Benzoate.
(Note: Notice there is Petrolatum in the ingredients. I was told that Petrolatum and Butter can also be used as hairball remedies as long as your cat can stomach it. I preferred to give them something with some flavour rather than plan vaseline!).
Kitteh chose to play ball – at least one of them anyway – with the lick stick. Infact Kitteh licked so enthusiastically that she didn’t know when to stop! Luckily you can swivel out the desired amount (there is a guide on the back of the tube to tell you how much to use per cat).
One problem is that you have to hold the stick down if they lick it straight from the tube. It is not solid enough to stand up on its own during licking! And some cats dislike eating things if your hand is too close, because they tend to like things to be private.
Although this product is in a stick form, it is very soft. It’s stiff enough to swivel out but once you add some pressure to it, it will squish down like vaseline. It also feels like vaseline.
It has a very strong malt smell – it’s quite nice, not at all unpleasant. The cats didn’t seemed turned off by this at all.
Whoops – looks like I am swearing!
I have to say – whilst cats are extremely individual and there’s no rhyme or reason as to why a cat likes or dislikes something – every one of my kitties liked this, and that is very rare! Usually only 1 cat will like 1 kind of treat.
Most of the other cats were too mistrusting to lick straight from the stick – maybe they don’t like other cats saliva, so I put this product on their noses (just a dot) or on the paw. This is a great way to make sure they will lick the product up without having to put it on a plate.
The nose technique demonstrated here:
Don’t put the product too high up the nose – they won’t be able to reach it all.
Also don’t place too much on the nose and make sure you don’t put it in the nostrils! Watch them until all the malt has gone.
Another thing you can do is dot some on the paw:
Inevitably, they will give the paw a shake, then they will have the product. I wouldn’t recommend the malt stick on the paw on a white cat or on a long haired cat – it can stain a little and really cling to the fur, but it worked great on the short haired cats.
I have noticed that there have been fewer hairballs this week since they had this product, and when there as one, it seemed to come up easily.
Note: This product can be taken 1-3 times per week between meels. Follow the dosage guidance on the back of the tube and it can be used on kittens over 6 weeks over.
I paid £3.99 for this on eBay but it is sold at Pets At Home for £5.98 (currently 3 for 2).
Have you ever given this to your kitty? Or what hairball products do you recommend?