If you have a cat, you’ll know that if they’re not napping, there’s a 90% chance they’ll be grooming. While dogs don’t seem to give two hoots about how they look, cats are finicky about their appearance. If they muss up their hair in the morning, by afternoon it’ll be washed and coiffed to perfection. But their obsession with keeping themselves ship-shape and shiny comes at a cost – hairballs.
The sound of a cat hacking up a hairball might be one of the less well-known ‘pleasures’ of owning a cat, but for many pet parents, it’s an ever-present backdrop to daily life. In shedding season particularly, hairballs can be a major annoyance – and not just for you. Clearing up a freshly regurgitated lump of hair might not seem your idea of fun, but imagine how your cat felt when it was sat in their belly.
The digestive misery of hairballs shouldn’t be underestimated – nor ignored. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. Of all the hairball remedies on the market, Laxatone is one of the most popular. But is it really safe to give to your kitty? Or is there anything you need to know before you break open a tube?
Uses of Laxatone for Cats
Laxatone is indicated for two conditions: constipation and hairballs. In both cases, its lubricating and laxative properties ease discomfort while working to eliminate the symptoms at their source. Laxatone for Hairballs: Excessive hair ingestion can interfere with digestion, resulting in stomach discomfort and vomiting.
As kirkwoodvets.com notes, you don’t actually have to see any hairballs for them to be causing your cat grief. In some cats, the ball or wad of ingested hair stays lodged in either the stomach or the first part of the intestinal tract. When they eat, the food is unable to pass through the intestinal tract properly, resulting in regurgitation.
Sometimes, the vomit will include some hair; other times, it might just be a mix of saliva and undigested food. If it’s a hairball that’s causing your cat to throw up their food, the vomiting will usually be accompanied by retching and gagging. Once they’ve thrown up, they’ll normally go back to their usual happy selves straight away.
Many cats will return to the food bowl immediately. If they don’t, or if they seem lethargic, depressed, or otherwise ‘not themselves’, it could indicate a more serious problem that warrants prompt attention by a vet. While Laxatone is often used as a short-term fix for cats that suffer the occasional hairball, it can also be used as a longer-term solution to stop the hairballs from forming in the first place. This is often the case in long-haired cats or ones who shed excessively during shedding season.
Laxatone for Constipation: Thanks to its lubricating and laxative properties, Laxatone is also used to treat constipation. As vetoquinol.ca notes, the effects of constipation in cats are remarkably similar to those in humans, and can include less frequent stool; bloating and flatulence; cramps and abdominal pain; hard, compacted stool that is difficult or painful to pass; loss of appetite; and vomiting. As constipation tends to be more of a recurring problem than an isolated incident, having a remedy to hand to minimize any discomfort is crucial. According to many cat owners, Laxatone delivers quick results in an easy-to-use, palatable form.
Is Laxatone Safe for Cats?
Millions of cat owners may rely on Laxatone as a fast-acting solution to the problems caused by constipation and hairballs, but is it really safe? The fact that vets regularly prescribe and recommend Laxatone as a treatment for both conditions would suggest it is. Looking at the ingredient label for a tube of Laxatone might give you some cause for concern, but none of its ingredients (white petrolatum, soybean oil, light mineral oil, cane molasses, corn syrup, gelatin by-products, malt syrup, sodium benzoate, tuna flavor, water) are harmful in small doses.
Which is kind of the point. Laxatone isn’t an everyday food; it’s a medication intended to be delivered in small amounts for a limited period. Providing you follow the recommended dosage and speak to your vet prior to commencing treatment, you can use Laxatone without any concerns over safety.
What is the Correct Dosage of Laxatone for Cats?
Although Laxatone is considered a gentle and safe remedy, it’s important to follow the guidelines for recommended use. As with all medications, it’s also crucial to consult your vet before starting treatment. As cattime.com advises, the typical recommended dosage for the treatment of constipation and hairballs is between half a teaspoon and a whole teaspoon each day for the first two to three days of treatment.
If you intend to use Laxatone on a longer-term basis for preventative reasons, decrease dosage after the first three days to a quarter to half a teaspoon, administered between two and three times a week. Remember, the above dosage recommendations should be considered as guidelines only. If your vet recommends an alternative dosage based on the needs of your particular pet, follow their advice.
How Should Laxatone be Administered?
Laxatone comes in a gel form that takes away the inconvenience usually associated with pills or liquid medicines. Even cat owners who usually struggle to dispense medication should find Laxatone remarkably easy to administer. Most cats will find Laxatone very palatable. The majority of commercial Laxatone products on the market come with the addition of ingredients like tuna or chicken flavoring, both of which are intended to entice your cat’s appetite and make ‘medicine time’ far less painful than it usually is. Simply measure out the recommend dose and apply it in small quantities to your cat’s nose or paws. If your cat is anything like most, they won’t waste too much time hoovering it up.
Does Laxatone Have Any Side Effects?
While you should always speak to your vet prior to commencing any form of treatment, Laxatone is generally considered a mild and safe treatment for use in cats. To date, there have been no reported side effects. However, as with all laxatives, prolonged or excessive use may eventually interfere with your cat’s natural bowel function. It’s therefore recommended to stick closely to the recommended dosage and avoid overuse. While the contents of Laxatone are mild, any medication carries the potential for an allergic response. Although the risk is very minor, monitor your cat’s behavior after use (as you should with all medications) and speak to your vet immediately in case of any concerns.
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