Sunday, April 18, 2010

Of yarn balls, hairballs, and litter boxes

Remember the video of Melly attacking the yarn balls on the cat tree? Well, I came into the living room this morning and found this:


Apparently, between bouts of attacking my head and wiggling about under the covers last night, Melly was busy.


I mentioned yesterday that both cats seem to be using both litter boxes. I am aware that this raises Scarlett's risk of contracting Coccidia, but short of confining Melly to the bathroom again, I'm not sure how to make sure each cat uses only her own litter box. Since Melly's confinement would drive everyone batty (except possibly Scarlett), that's not going to happen. So, I welcome any other suggestions anyone has about how to remedy this issue.


Also, Scarlett has been working on a hairball for a couple of days now, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tried-and-true ways of helping a cat get the hairball up. Scarlett hardly ever gets hairballs, and the ones she's had have been fairly mild, so I'm a little inexperienced on this front.


And a video of Melly playing, just 'cause:

video

11 comments:

nichole said...

Katie has a hard time with hairballs sometimes and my vet recommended Petro-Malt. You can find it at Petco/Petsmart. I squeeze about an inch onto Katie's wet food. Kate only gets wet food as a treat, so she attacks it with gusto and chows right through the Petro-Malt. The added bonus is that Jack refuses to eat wet food, so I don't worry about him eating her ration of Petro-Malt. The vet said cats will eat it off your finger (it looks like brown toothpaste), but Kate wanted no part of it, so into the wet food it goes. It's about $7.00 a tube and a tube lasts me a long time.

Tanya Sloan said...

aw, Melly, you are so much fun. maybe I can borrow you for a couple of hours to wear out my cats, who has been positively berserk since the sun has come out and need somebody to rid them of their energy. I'm definitely not enough, we've been playing for an hour straight.

Nicole is totally on top of the hairball remedy. Petramalt is basically thick-ish oil stuff that some cats like, and others don't. It helps the cat pass it with the rest of the stuff in their stomachs; just coats the hairball in oily goo and it slides right through and should definitely stop S from coughing. If Scarlett doesn't go for goo-hidden-in-food, my most frequent method of application when I volunteer at my shelter is to smear about an inch on the cat's front paw. Cats are clean freaks and will have to lick it off. But you have to really smear it into the fur, otherwise when cat starts licking, if it's sorta kinda loose on there, it will fall right off.

There are also petramalt treats, sold in the same section at PetSmart. Those are good for summers for cats that shed a lot. But those can be dangerous, an overdose of those will cause the cat to have diarrhea so powerful often they don't make it to the litterbox.

K, I'm going outside to enjoy a beautiful day in Portland!

Tanya Sloan said...

Sorry, Nichole, I had every intention of spelling your name right. You can call me Tonya to get back if you want :)

sue said...

Honestly, I think that given Melly's rather mild case, the fact that she's been on medication, and Scarlett's age, the liklihood of transmission is small.

I'd just suggest being as diligent as you can with scooping until Melly's done with her antibiotics.

I think they'll be fine.

The photo cracked me up. Melly the DESTROYER.

Natalie said...

Nichole and Tanya: Thanks for the petramalt suggestion - I shall get some ASAP!

Sue: I am scooping pretty much as soon as I find something to scoop (the fact that Melly's poo is pretty stinky is an added motivation). I know Scarlett probably won't catch it, but honestly, I'd much rather give her antibiotics if she does get it than shut Melly in the bathroom again so she doesn't.

Coco's Mom said...

One of mine LOVES petramalt and will beg for it. The other remedy, if you don't have petramalt, is vaseline. I smear a gob on the top of her paw and she will then lick it off. Vaseline has the same effect as petramalt, coating the hairball so that it will go down & pass.

You are doing such a great job with Scarlett and Melly!

sue said...

Natalie ~ I had to smile a bit. The added 'frangance' is part of the coccidia. I feel your pain. Your olfactory pain.

This too shall pass. So to speak.

Katnip Lounge said...

Toys on elastic tend to last about 12 seconds at our house! hee hee!
xx Lounge Kats

nichole said...

It's okay Tanya, after 30+ years many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins still spell my name without the H.

I echo Coco's Mom's comment - you are doing such a great job with them!

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about kittens (or puppies), but your blog helps me understand that it's not as easy as it seems to bring home a pet and that it should be carefully considered.

You're doing great! There's no right or wrong, only trial and error.

Hang in there Scarlett. This too shall pass.

Rene said...

I agree with Sue's comment about scooping both boxes as often as you can. I had a similar situation with our Sadie, and our vet assured us that the chance for transmission is very small.

As for Scarlett's diet, you may need to feed them in separate rooms to make sure they get the proper food. With our three, I have a ritual of who goes where. They soon get used to it and run to "their" room for feedings.