Dear Readers: Cats and kittens are known to spend hours on end licking and grooming themselves! Of course, that means ... hairballs!
In most cases, the hair passes right through the digestive tract and ends up in a litter box or the yard. However, if there is a larger hair buildup, it can irritate the stomach, and the cat will begin hacking and gagging to vomit.
Sometimes the hair mass gets so large that the cat cannot vomit or pass the hairball, which then can cause constipation and a very uncomfortable cat. Here's a simple yet effective remedy for aiding in the passing of a hairball: Put a bit of plain petroleum jelly (about 1/4 teaspoon) on the cat's paws or under its nose (according to our vet source, do this treatment one time a day for about four days). The cat will lick its paws or nose, and the petroleum jelly will be ingested, where it will help the hair mass to be more easily eliminated. Note: You can find hairball lubricants and hairball preventative diets at grocery or pet stores.
To help keep the problem to a minimum, invest in some grooming tools and use them as often as possible to remove loose hair! — Heloise
P.S. Daily brushing is good "together time," as it's beneficial for your cat and calming for you.
Dear Readers: David and Clara Boudreau of Fairfield, Maine, sent a picture of their triple dapple mini-dachshund singing to their tri-colored cat, which appears to be lounging in a brown paper bag.
If you have a unique pet photo you'd like to share, or even a pet hint that you have found helpful, send it to: Heloise/Pet, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. — Heloise
Dear Heloise:When we must leave our dog inside our motor home at a campground, we leave signs in the windows of both sides of our RV. They indicate that a dog is inside. We give phone numbers when we check into campgrounds or motels, also. — F.L., via e-mail
Dear Heloise:We read and enjoy your column in the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times. Here is my husband's favorite story about my often burning toast and a parakeet we had in the 1960s that was very adept at learning new words. Our parakeet's cage was next to the kitchen, and one day I noticed he began making a very strange noise, which we couldn't figure out. Then one morning when I was scraping that overdone toast, he started the strange noise, which mimicked the scraping of toast! — Peg Gordon, San Angelo, Texas
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