Can I Give My Cat Petroleum Jelly?

Can I give my cat petroleum jelly?

Can I give my cat petroleum jelly?Petroleum jelly is often brought up as a makeshift remedy for hairballs, but is it something that you should be using or are there better ways to help them with these annoyances?

Often if something works people say it’s OK for your cat, but that’s not always the case. Just because petroleum jelly might work to help pass a hairball doesn’t mean that it’s entirely safe for your cat to ingest. Juts because it’s effective doesn’t mean you should do it. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it yourself, so why would it be OK for your cat? Some of the advice out there can be readily ignored, and you have to use your own judgement on this one. Something made you stop and think about this decision enough to research it, so listen to that small voice.

Your cats deserve to be treated with respect, and you can’t think of their digestive system as something that you can just lube up with something like Vaseline. It might sound logical, but it’s really not fair for them, and hairballs are a sign that something’s not right, and you can go about fixing it so that they don’t get them anymore, rather than just giving them petroleum jelly.

Can I Give My Cat Petroleum Jelly? Answer: Not Recommended

Petroleum jelly is not something that you want to get into the habit of giving your cat. It’s not meant to be ingested, and it’s not a food item, even if it does have jelly in the title. It’s more like an industrial product akin to oil or grease. While it may sound logical to help grease up those furballs and help them pass them, it’s not the best option, and not the recommended one from us. Since there are better remedies out there than this one, you’d want to go with those first, and only use this as a last resort, and not a go-to dietary supplement that you keep handy.

Hairball Relief
There are better methods of hairball relief, and the top one is prevention. Hairballs are not something that you cat must have, and it’s a sign that they’re not being groomed enough, and not being fed a proper diet. A good way to prevent hairballs is to make sure that you brush your cat enough so that they are not licking off too much fur when they clean themselves. You should also switch to a better cat food, even a wet cat food to insure that their digestive system is functioning well enough to pass hairballs on their own, without the need for something like petroleum jelly.

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They’re Probably Fine
You also have to realize that even though your cat may struggle with the occasional hairball, this doesn’t mean that you have to go out of your way to help them pass them. They’re equipped to deal with it on their own, and only in rare instances do hairballs become a problem worth seeing the vet over. The

Serious Situations
In cases where your cat is having an exceptionally tough time with a hairball, you might consider giving them some petroleum jelly, but only as a last resort, and not as something that you would give to them regularly as a digestive aid. Some cat owners say that they smear some petroleum jelly on their cat’s paw and just let them lick it off as a way to prevent hairballs, but this is borderline negligent and should be considered bad advice. Rather than buy a tub of Vaseline that’s just for your cats, try taking proper care of them by grooming them and giving them better cat food and you won’t have the problem in the first place.

Your cat doesn’t count on you for much, aside from food, water, and a litter box, so you have to make sure that you get these things right. And since you don’t even have to give them a bath, you can take that time to make sure that their coat is brushed at least once a week, even more if they are a long-haired breed. They might not like being brushed the first couple of times, but they’ll get used to it, and you’ll watch those hairballs become a thing of the past.

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11 thoughts on “Can I Give My Cat Petroleum Jelly?”

  1. As commercial hairball remedies are often nothing but petroleum jelly with a bit of fish oil added for flavor, petroleum jelly is indeed an appropriate hairball treatment, even if given as a prophylactic, say, biweekly.

    Instead of shaming people as “negligent” for using a cheap, safe, healthy way to control their cat’s hairballs, this article should point out that it’s important to use totally unscented petroleum jelly. No menthol, no lavender, no fresh scent, etc.

    1. I use my jelly every night in bed. My Siamese is beside me and wants to lick my hands, face and legs. Once I put it on the end of my fingernail and let her try it. She loved the small amount.

      Now when I open the drawer she knows it’s time for her and I put just a small amount on pinky. She loves it and no hairballs at all. She is 7 years old. My grandmother, born 5-1889 always carried her Vasoline petroleum jelly in the pocket of her apron along with her Garrets Snuff.

      She had beautiful skin and looked at least 10-15 years younger than most 100 year olds when she passed in 1988.

  2. To the best of my knowledge, in the two years we’ve had our cat, she’s never had a hairball. We certainly don’t brush her daily, probably more like once or twice a month. We do bathe her a couple times a year as well but we really don’t do anything special. Just lucky I guess!

    1. Well first, feline olfactory senses are much much higher than humans and this would just be unpleasant.

      Second, additives used for scent are not meant to be consumed. Unless you know the ingredients in the fragrance, don’t eat it. Petroleum Jelly is not a food-grade item and is not intended to be sold as food.

      However, medical-grade Petroleum Jelly (no additives) is not dangerous to consume in small amounts.

  3. A proper rotational diet of wet and dry food will serve as a lubricant to pass hairballs. Cats need moisture in their digestive system. Their bodies will naturally do what is supposed to do. No petroleum jelly needed.

  4. I gave my cat petroleum jelly at the night because she couldn’t poo. She has died. I feel very guilty right now. I’m still crying when I think about it.

    1. I really doubt it’s your fault she died! It was probably the underlying problem of why she couldn’t manage to poop. The petroleum jelly likely had no effect whatsoever.

    2. My cat died as well because he couldn’t poop and was only roughly 7 years old and he never had much issues with hair balls and no petroleum jelly. Zach was such a sweet boy who deserved better. His muscles just stopped working and he could not push it through. We nursed him the last month. I was sleeping with him, trying to get him to drink some ever 2 hours around the clock because the dehydration was miserable. It was sad but no one’s fault.

      I knew nothing about Petroleum Jelly until a few days ago, I put some jelly on my chest and under my nose due to a cold. I picked up Jasper to go upstairs and he just started trying to lick my breasts – an unexpected bizarre experience!!! He’s never had catnip but that is exactly the way he reacted. I just put some on tonight and he sought me out again. His just goes crazy. I just looked up to see if this reaction was common. I guess the answer is yes from what I read here so thanks.

  5. I took in a long haired stray cat that had no collar and wasn’t micro-chipped. After failing to find an owner, I took her in. Anyway, she was always cleaning herself and would bring up hairballs about once every 10 days. I found out that if I put a teaspoon of olive oil into her food once a week it cured the problem.

  6. I’ve read that the Asian breeds love petroleum in any form and have found that to be true. My Burmese doesn’t shed much but she loves the jelly so I use it sparingly if giving her a med in pill form. Careful not to leave the jar open, she would dive right in!

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