My cat can’t get hairballs out and has an increased appetite. What should my next steps be?

Original Question: I have two concerns. The first one is that my cat has a ferocious appetite that has developed over the last few weeks. We do a mix of wet and dry food. Yes, she is over weight. Typically it would take a few days to finish the dry and often but not always, complete the wet food but lately both bowls are cleaned completely at each meal. She isn't losing weight but I worry she will become more round. Thoughts on what I am dealing with? The second concern I have is that since May we have been dealing with hairball hacking almost daily sometimes more but no hairballs come out. Our vet started her on omega-3 and I add in some coconut oil but it still continues. She is not a fan of the brush. Could the hairball be stuck and growing in the stomach? What else can I do? Thank you. - Denise

My cat can’t get hairballs out and has an increased appetite. What should my next steps be? Nov 26, 2018

Hi Denise,

The best thing I can recommend is getting a re-check at your veterinarian. With changes in appetite, some medical conditions could be appearing such as hyperthyroidism (even though you haven’t seen weight loss yet). A full blood panel should be done to help rule out some common problems. Secondly, that diet change and hairball issues could be related. Frequent hairballs could be a sign of intestinal issues. And yes, it is possible (though uncommon) for hairballs to accumulate in the stomach in cats. An X-ray (radiograph) could help eliminate that as a possibility but again, in general, getting some tests done would be the safest recommendation.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Ryan Llera

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My cat can't get hairballs out and has an increased appetite. What should my next steps be?
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My cat can't get hairballs out and has an increased appetite. What should my next steps be?
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The best thing I can recommend is getting a re-check at your veterinarian. With changes in appetite, some medical conditions could be appearing such as hyperthyroidism (even though you haven't seen weight loss yet). A full blood panel should be done to help rule out some common problems.
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