Feline Shedding/Fur Balls


My cat is shedding like crazy and I have been seeing a lot more fur-balls.  Is there anything I can do to help my cat?


I wish I had a perfect solution to these related problems.

The short answer to the shedding problem is: brush more, bathe more and use a high quality diet that has balanced omega three and six fatty acids for healthy skin (you will find this in such brands as Purina ProPlan, Iams, and Science Diet).  For long-furred cats, I recommend grooming (Lion Clip) during warm weather to cut down on extra fur waste.

There are several commercial nutritional supplement “secret formula” products that claim to help cut down on shedding.   One such product is Shed Stop.  Although there is no scientific evidence to support the manufacturers’ claims that the products actually decrease shedding, the use of these products is probably safe, as the primary ingredients are fatty acids (mostly omega 3 and 6).

The measures that you take to decrease shedding will also help with the fur-ball problem. Additionally, a good maintenance regimen should include the use of a fur-ball remedy once to twice a week to prevent fur accumulation in the stomach and esophagus and subsequent irritation leading to regurgitation and vomiting.  Fur-ball remedies such as Laxatone and Catlax act as lubricants to help the wad of fur pass through the digestive system.  Many of the high quality foods on the market today have similar products built-in for your convenience.  If you are giving your cat one of these types of food as its sole diet, you would not likely need to use a fur-ball remedy as well.  Some treats are even marketed as anti-fur-ball; however, I do not believe there is sufficient active ingredients consumed in the average treat to be adequate to get the job done without additional supplementation.


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Max Conn, DVM is the owner of Cat & Exotic Care of the CentralCoast, a full service veterinary hospital dedicated to the special needs of cats, birds, reptiles and small mammals.  Cat & Exotic Care is located in PismoCoastPlaza, 565 Five Cities Drive, 805-773-0228.  More information can be found at www.catandexoticcare.com.


Disclaimer: The informational handouts and website links above are for informational purposes only, they are not intended to replace veterinary care.