So this is probably going to rank up there as one of the stupidest things I've posted to LIT SOUP, but as I know that there are numerous cat owners out there, I figured, what the hell...
Here is the stupid question:
How can you tell if your cat has a hairball obstruction?
I ask for several reasons. First off, Zoe has been walking around for the past few weeks, making weird coughing/choking/snuffling noises, every so often. She makes the weird noises, sometimes for as long as five minutes at a time, and then stops. Nothing ever comes out of her mouth; no vomit, no hairballs, no nothing. I have consulted with my friend Mary on the subject, and Mary has offered the useful advice that a cat coughing up a hairball sounds like, "They're trying to vomit up an alien". Ok, all well and good. Zoe's noises could be that, I suppose. But once again, we have the fundamental fact that no hairballs EVER emerge.
We thought to solve the weird noise problem by giving her cat grass, which she likes quite a bit, and enjoys chewing/sucking on. Certainly she must be getting more fiber this way, we thought. Yet the noises continue.
Now, for the last few days, she hasn't been eating very much at all, and today she ate almost nothing. She's been tired and lethargic at times; certainly not totally up to her lively kitten self. She won't really touch her dry kitten food (which prior to the last few days, she loved), and she only ate a little bit of the wet kitten food, when we gave it to her tonight. She will eat treats still.
Is it possible that she has a hairball stuck somewhere? Should I be rushing her to the vet tomorrow morning? And most importantly of all, if she does have a hairball, why oh why doesn't she vomit it up? Don't cats have a notoriously easy-to-trigger vomit reflex? And if so, why does Zoe's vomit reflex seem broken?