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Cat Shedding/Vomiting [Mar. 13th, 2013|01:05 am]
Cat Health


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Hi All...

The cat:

Amelia... 3 years old, fixed, indoor only, female, grey shorthair. Had a tiny amount of crystals in her urine in late January, so the vet put her on Hills c/d dry. She won't eat the canned version.

The problem:

These last two weeks she has vomited about 4-5 times (that I am aware of. I have 4 cats, so its hard to tell)  The vomit is undigested food mixed with clear or slightly bile/food colored vomit. No blood and no actual hairballs, though I did notice tonight there was loose hair in the vomit.   (two of my other cats have been vomiting a bit as well off and on for the last month, they are long haired cats and I have seen them produce hairballs)

Edit*  I also wanted to mention she grooms herself a LOT. I mean, way more than any of my other cats do. I see her grooming her self all the time. After I pet her, just once, she goes and grooms the spot I touched. So I know she is kind of a over groomer.

She is playing, drinking, peeing (haven't caught her pooping yet, so unsure) and I've seen her eat the regular cat food I have out, but since the vomiting started, she doesn't want the c/d anymore. I don't blame her, she probably sees some kind of connection with that food and vomiting. (maybe I give her too much credit there)

I'm assuming its maybe a hairball or just hair in general that is making this happen, because last year (I don't recall at what point last year) she did something just like this for a couple of weeks. Vomiting, no actual hairballs and so on. I bought a Furminator and found that though I wasn't seeing any shed hair from her around the house, when brushed, I was getting HUGE clumps off of her. After about a week of daily brushing and hairballs meds, she stopped vomiting and was fine.  I think I may have taken her to the vet about this last year as well.

Anyway, she is doing the exact same thing. So I Furminated her tonight and yep, HUGE clumps of fur came off of her. I also picked up some hairball gel today.  I was thinking I might pick up some wheat grass for her to munch on, in case she has something in there she needs to get up.

I'm curious.. I'm used to owning long haired cats.  Do short haired cats tend to shed a lot?  Is this a normal time of year to see such heavy shedding (I live in the Seattle area and we've had a pretty mild winter so far)  Is there anything else I should do?  Should I be worried?.. like, rush her to the vet tomorrow. Or should I give it a couple of days with good brushing and the hairballs meds?

Also, since she won't eat the Hills c/d anymore, any suggestions on something else I should try or just go for whatever gets her to eat?

I'm a pretty paranoid cat mom. I've been through kitty diabetes, IBD, pancreatitis, kidney disease, cats eating lilies and so on. So over the years I've gotten to the point that every little thing they do that seems off to me makes me worry and freak out.

Any help would be great!

Thank you

[User Picture]From: opal581
2013-03-13 08:19 am (UTC)
I am not an expert, but my dog and my friend's horses have begun their spring shed. It would not surprise me if your cat is also going through a seasonal shed. At least one of my cats has started shedding more heavily, too.
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[User Picture]From: denisia
2013-03-13 09:16 am (UTC)
When I lived in a colder climate, my cats definitely got winter coats every year and lost them in the spring...regardless of the fact that they were 100% indoors, oddly enough. All of them have (or had) short hair. So yes, your kitty could be losing that winter coat.

If it were me, I wouldn't panic but I'd call the vet and describe what is going on, to be on the safe side. If she's been on c/d the vet might want her on another prescription food or some other type of food that would help stop crystal formation, so I'd check with him/her on that, too.
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[User Picture]From: onceiwasaturtle
2013-03-13 02:28 pm (UTC)
My indoor shorthair cats have started shedding, too, and I'm in the Seattle area. And, yes, regardless of climate and indoor/outdoor status, shorthair cats seem to have two yearly more-shedding-than-normal times, one in the fall and a bigger one in the spring. Perhaps your cat has a hard time releasing the fur that's ready to shed? Sounds like bi-yearly furminating (and a call to the vet just to be safe) is in order. :)

ETA: By climate, I mean mild areas like Seattle vs areas that get lots of snow. I can't vouch for cat shedding in warmer climates as I've never lived in one. :P

Edited at 2013-03-13 02:30 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: subluxate
2013-03-13 10:42 pm (UTC)
Happens there too--I'm originally from San Jose, CA, and all my cats there went through spring and fall shedding periods.
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[User Picture]From: beth82
2013-03-14 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, my shorthaired indoor cats always shed more in spring. I live in Texas, so we don't have particularly cold winters, but my pets always get heavy winter coats anyway. Shedding season is starting right about now, in our house at least, which means hairballs are more likely.

I would check with the vet about other foods she could eat, since she isn't eating the c/d. It's much more important that she keeps eating than that she eats a specific food. Otherwise, just brush her & use the hairball goo, she should be fine soon.
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