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Fluffy kittens await new homes, say Cats’ Protection League 

PAGE 12 FLUFFLY

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of stepping out of your warm bed onto a cold, squishy, slimy hairball! Perhaps we should feel flattered that our feline companion has left a special gift for us, but frankly, most of us would rather bond with our cats another way!

Normally, when cats groom and ingest the dead, loose hair, it passes through the digestive tract and comes out in the stool. A carnivore’s gut is designed to handle fur, its own as well as the fur of prey animals. However, generations of directed breeding have created cats with much longer coats than ever conceived of by natural selection. When too much hair collects in the stomach rather than passing out through the gut, it irritates the stomach lining and whoops there’s a hairball.

While an occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, if your cat is vomiting up a hairball more than once or twice a month, it’s time to think about a plan of action. This will probably start with a trip to your vet to ensure there are no underlying health issues but assuming not then what next?

Prevention

Frequent combing is often all it takes to resolve the problem. But brushing won’t do. Brushes tend to slide over the surface of the fur so for short haired cats, a fine-toothed flea comb is best. Longer hair may require a wide-toothed comb. Many hairball-plagued cats will try to self-medicate by eating grass or plants. The coarse plant fibres will cause the cat to vomit, and hopefully, the irritating hair will come up as well.

 

Treatment

This generally falls into two categories: adding fibre to the diet, or giving a lubricant (usually a petroleum jelly product) to slide the hair through to the correct end of the cat for disposal. This can be given plain, as in good old Vaseline, or in a commercial product. Petroleum jelly’s molecules are too large to be absorbed by the intestines; it passes through the cat unchanged, and is perfectly safe. Hairball “treats” contain mineral oil rather than petroleum jelly. It works on the same principle, but has a slightly more laxative effect – don’t overdo them!

 

Diet

There are a lot of hairball control cat foods and treats out there. How do they work? The general idea is that the higher fibre content will help hair pass through the gastroin-testinal tract, out the other end, and into the kitty litter box where it belongs.

If your cat struggles with hairballs, talk to your vet about taking a closer look at possible underlying causes.

 

Kittens

We have fluffy kittens of all different colours available for immediate adoption and also some adults. They’re available for viewing at Vet Express behind Gran Sur, Don Perro in Las Chafiras and Kiwoko pet shop El Trompo shopping Centre Puerto de la Cruz.

We do not charge an adoption fee but there is a contract of care to sign that you agree you will get its vaccinations and neutering done when old enough. Many people do not want black kittens as they do not think they are “pretty”. To encourage adoption we arrange free of charge the vaccination, microchip and neutering of black kittens and if two kittens are adopted together of any colour we will arrange the vaccination, microchip and neutering of one kitten. You can contact us via our website www.cats-welfare-tene-rife.com or ring or WhatsApp Maria on 646629129 7 days a week.

Our Shop

Do you have anything to donate. Items can be dropped into the shop on San Blas in Golf del Sur. It is open 7 days a week 10.00 until 18.00 but on Saturdays is open from 10.00 until 16.00. If you don’t have transport or have large bulky items such as furniture and household effects to donate please ring Mark on 636590557 and he will arrange collection.