Ask Dr. Waffles

DrWaffles

Dr. Waffles is VOKRA’s senior feline health advice columnist. He has had more than four years of experience as a cat with health, and is thus fully qualified to advise other cats in their health.

Dear Dr. Waffles,

The screened balcony, which was my own sanctuary when it was colder, is suddenly crowded with pots full of mud. Green stuff that is delightful to chew on is starting to appear out of the muck, as if by magic. I suspect my people are getting into witchcraft or something. What’s going on? Can I eat this stuff or will it turn me into something terrible?

Yours,
Ginger Cat

Dear Ginger,

It’s really hard to say what these creatures we live with are up to at any given moment, but I doubt they’re clever enough for magic. In my experience, the green stuff comes in many varieties – some are delightful to munch on, but some could actually kill you! Best to steer clear of all of it if you’re not sure – but here are some types that are relatively safe to you (although with any you might still get a stomach ache) – basil, begonia, orchid, jasmine, roses, sage and summer hyacinth.

More about toxic and non-toxic plants can be found here.

Sincerely,
Dr. Waffles

Ask Dr. Waffles

DrWaffles

Dr. Waffles is VOKRA’s senior feline health advice columnist. He has had more than four years of experience as a cat with health, and is thus fully qualified to advise other cats in their health.

Dear Dr. Waffles,

Now that I’m not a kitten anymore and am all grown up something weird has started to happen. I get this funny feeling that makes me gag and retch.  Then I start hacking which seems to upset my humans, especially when I end up upchucking a gross clump of matted fur on the white carpet. What’s happening to me? Am I sick?

One concerned kitty,

Peanut

Dear Peanut,

It sounds to me like you’ve got hairballs. But don’t worry because this is quite normal. When you were a kitten you were still leaning to groom, but now that you’re older you’ve become more adept at grooming which means more fur will be removed from your coat with your tongue. Some of the hairs from your coat end up getting swallowed and when they stay in your stomach they form a hairball. And what goes in must come out!

It’s not a pretty sight but it’s nothing for you and your humans to worry about. They should keep an eye on you though to make sure you don’t end up with a blockage which can be dangerous. Symptoms of a blockage may include ongoing vomiting, gagging, retching or hacking without producing a hairball; lack of appetite; lethargy; constipation or diarrhea. If they notice these symptoms they should contact your vet right away.

Your humans can also help you out by regularly brushing you. By combing or brushing you everyday they’ll be removing a lot of loose fur that otherwise may end up in your stomach. And you can also do your humans a big favour too by staying off the white carpet when you feel a hairball coming up!

Sincerely,

Dr. Waffles