Will hairball medication help a cat with constipation?

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Our question this week was:

My cat stormy is 13-years- and she recently is having hard stools, but otherwise seems ok. She occasionally has hair balls so I bought some hair ball medicine at the pet store. Will that also help constipation? Also I’m having a hard time giving it to her without getting it all over her fur. Is there an easier way to give her the hairball meds? It comes in a tube.

Gerry C.

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your cat has a history of some hairballs and recently has hard some hard stools. Otherwise she seems healthy. You have multiple questions and I’ll try to address them all.

Yes, the general hairball medications are a form of a laxative and will help with constipation. The hairball remedies come in different flavors – some of which cats love. I give it to one cat that can’t lick it fast enough out of the tube when I squeeze it. There is tuna, malt and chicken favors – and others. This cat loves the malt flavor. The least messy way of giving it too them is if they like it and lick it right out of the tube. If they don’t – then some owners will put a small amount on their paws and let them lick it off. That can work but is messier. I’d recommend trying a different flavor to see if there is one she will like and eagerly eat.

Other things you can do to help the constipation problem is ensure that she have plenty of fresh clean water to promote her hydration. Offer new water bowls around the house, freshen and change the water at least daily, place ice cubes in the water (will encourage some cats to drink) and even a water fountain drinking device. Another way to encourage water intake is to offer canned food, which is a high percentage of water. Even a small amount twice daily can help.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Constipation in Cats, Hairballs in Cats and How to Encourage Your Cat to Drink.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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