Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Furballs - or not?

Thursday, December 01, 2016



RIP Spunky

Spunky was a big boy and aptly named. He ruled the house and his carers' day centred on his every need - because he wouldn't let them forget his standards and requirements.

He often brought up a furball, so often that his carers just thought it was normal for him to bring one up every week or so. Six months ago it became more frequent and he started bringing up food as well. He seemed as bright, happy and demanding as ever so at first they thought nothing was wrong. After talking to us they tried out a few different foods, including a hypoallergenic diet, thinking that maybe something was interfering with his delicate digestion.

He vomited all the more and started to lose weight despite appearing normal. We tested him for all the usual causes of vomiting in cats - kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism - but everything came back normal. Something nasty was going on.

Dr John recommended biopsies of his stomach and intestines. His carers were reluctant to go so far and played with his diet a bit more. Eventually they decided that something must be done and he came in to hospital for an anaesthetic and investigation. Samples were sent to the pathologist.

The result was a diagnosis of low grade lymphoma of the intestines. This is the end result of chronic inflammation of the stomach and bowel.

The good news is that it can be controlled with low grade medication if caught early. Spunky lived another healthy 5 months, but the lymphoma spread to his stomach at the end. Many cats live much longer than 5 months. Some, especially if the lymphoma is advanced on diagnosis, have a more limited time to live.

If we diagnose the inflammatory bowel disease in the early stages we can prevent it from developing into lymphoma all together. Spunky's carers urge everyone to take notice of any 'furballs' or vomiting early on. Furballs are simply a sign that the stomach or intestine is inflamed - they are usually not because of the fur. If you see them more than once a fortnight, discuss it with your vet.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


sick cat sense of smell furball marking stare into space off food activity poisonous plants dementia introduction attack checkup rigid head cat herpesvirus feline enteritis lilly weight paralysis tick anxiety kidney comfortis blue weight control noisy breathing christmas allergy ribbon train radioactive iodine strange behaviour indoor cats pheromone lymphoma restless gasping stiff paralysed vocal new year sudden blindness straining change wet litter ulcer bladder poisonous spray introductions mental health of cats enteritis hypertension vomiting arthritis gifts tumour holes in teeth pill check-up urinating changed hairball panleukopenia carrier itchy hearing heart disease mass prey abscess,cat fight dental treatment cortisone poison appetite odour snuffle hungry high blood pressure nose scabs moving food puzzles seizures fear cryptococcosis touch head flu lily calicivirus cat behaviour kitten deaths toxic face rub computer mouth breathing sensitive stomach not eating AIDS grooming return home tapeworm panamax feliway senior allergy, cough drinking a lot wobbles pica sun sore pain killer mince echocardiography nails cat flu sore ears grass panleukopaenia abscess string best veterinarian ACT spey dental signs of pain bladder stones competition sucking wool fabric snot rolls blindness snakes FORLS paracetamol dilated pupils lump unsociable fight hypertrophic cardiomyopathy plaque twitching thirsty bed salivation cat enclosures yowling xylitol Canberra Cat Vet fat lame chlamydia jumping holidays cta fight virus renal disease pancreatitis kidneys scratching post inflammatory bowel disease desex holiday diarrhoea rash vaccine holes sore eyes overweight on heat paralysis pain relief eyes vomit blood in urine polish tablet client night flea prevention pred hunting groom obese blood test insulin constipation bump skin hole intestine cystitis cat containment corneal ulcer lick free poisoning asthma scratch heavy breathing depomedrol whiskers drinking more lilies fits dry food in season Canberra eye kibble weight loss tartar urine hyperthyroidism crytococcosus fever award vision pain thyroid introducing slow when to go to vet kittens love goodbye snakebite conflict hard faeces worms physical activity new cat spraying behaviour Hill's Metabolic panadol behaviour change cranky feline herpesvirus panadeine vet visit cat vet tick fleas unwell sensitive toxins diuretics home New Year's Eve pet meat opening hours annual check fluid pills castration exercise cat enclosure training cancer painful cat fight poisons urinating outside litter body language euthanasia old cat dental check prednisolone blood sneeze tooth cat friendly urine spraying open day runny nose desexing snuffles health check hospital worming stress microchip FIV skin cancer scale blood pressure aggression sick senses open night brown snake obesity African wild cat antibiotics cage permethrin blocked cat litter box kidney disease hyperactive learning biopsy introduce diabetes breathing difficult bad breath appointment rub hunched over photo competition IBD advantage collapse antiviral flea treatment best cat clinic revolution hunter snake snake bite rough play information night foreign body hiding teeth petting cat urination urinating on curtains or carpet dymadon decision to euthanase pet insurance massage visit blind best vet diet fireworks thiamine deficiency cat worms furballs eye infection cat history heaing scratching aspirin tradesmen vaccination catoberfest ulcers best clinic roundworm headache runny eyes aerokat hunters liver old birthday litter wool bite kitten play anaemia pet skinny cognitive dysfunction new kitten eye ulcer blockage meows a lot ulcerated nose enemies mycoplasma plants socialisation aggressive adipokines breeder kitten


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions