Ask the vet: No fun with furballs

RACQ, in partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland, can help solve your pet problems.

RACQ, in partnership with Animal Welfare League Queensland, can help solve your pet problems.

Got a curly problem with your favourite pooch? Is your cat being too catty?

While animals can bring much joy into our lives, they are not always problem free. If there is an animal issue that you need help to solve, send your question to via RACQ to the Animal Welfare League Queensland experts, to find the answer.

It’s that sound that no cat owner wants to hear and guarantees you will leap into action. When your cat coughs up a furball it is a messy business. Here’s one reader’s question.

No fun with furballs

Is there anything I can add to Sheldon’s diet to reduce hairballs? He really does not like the laxative paste I have been giving him twice a week and is making it very difficult for me to continue with it. Sheldon is an 11-month-old domestic medium hair cat.

AWLQ experts say

Hairballs occur as a result of Sheldon grooming and swallowing hair. Normally, the cat’s digestive system is able to handle the hair and it simply passes through the intestinal tract and out in the faeces. However, in some instances, rather than passing through the intestinal tract the hair can build up and cause the cat to vomit, or cause an intestinal obstruction which could be life threatening. There are a number of cat foods that are marketed to help prevent and/or control hairballs. Most of these diets feature a high volume of fibre and work on the assumption that the fibre bind the hair and stimulate the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Some also have additives to help keep the skin healthy and in that way reduce hair shedding. You can also try to reduce the amount of hair ingested by brushing him regularly, or by having him clipped at the groomers regularly.

What’s your question?

Send your pet questions to and Animal Welfare League Queensland‘s experts will provide the answers. Letters will not receive an individual reply and should be no more than 120 words.

AWLQ work with local councils, state government, rescue groups and the community to improve the outcomes for stray and surrendered pets.