My shorthair cat ate the hairballs of my longhair cat causing a blockage

By Madison

Cat hairball
Photo in public domain
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I was remiss in not brushing my short hair cat. He never had hairballs and for ten years he was fine.

I regularly brush his brother, a long haired cat prone to hairballs, and was perplexed when Toby, the short hair, stopped eating and the X-rays showed a mass stuck in duodenum. It lead to $5,000 of surgery.

It was a hairball. The veterinarian did have me try Miralax first: 1 tsp. dissolved in 2 tsp. of warm water, administered with l0 ml syringe.

It didn’t do the trick as it was ‘too much, too far’. Having time off from work I had more time to observe my cats and I realized that it wasn’t his hair. Yep, he eats his brother’s hairballs.

So we’ve gone through times where it looks like something isn’t working, he doesn’t cough up, he gets a wider, hardened abdomen, shows less interest in food and is lethargic.

On these occasions Miralax has worked every time. I will try the anchovy oil recipe on this page as it seems more natural, but while I haven’t read up on the chemistry, I’m told Miralax just makes things slippery and the hairball is expelled not absorbed. And while not a cat, I had to take an entire bottle with gatorade for a colonoscopy, so hoping not too toxic!

P.S. From Michael (Admin). My cat loves to lick and eat his own hair. When I comb him with a flea comb and ball up the hair and present it to him he loves to lick it and tries to eat it. There is something fascinating about their own fur which compels cats to eat it or is this rare? I don’t know if this is a general characteristic. Comments welcome.

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2 thoughts on “My shorthair cat ate the hairballs of my longhair cat causing a blockage”

  1. My cats will attempt to eat their brushed off hair also. I think it is a cleanliness thing. Cats don’t want dirty hair and feel it’s their responsibility to clean it up, regardless of whether it is on them or in your hand from the brush. They are grooming their dirty hairs off of you.

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