Cat Hairballs

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This article was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Rebecca Welters.

 

How to Stop Hairballs in Cats

Hairballs are a completely normal thing for cats to throw up every now and then; there is nothing you can do to completely stop hairballs altogether.

When your cat grooms him or herself, tiny hooks on the tongue will catch loose and dead hairs which will then be swallowed and sit in your cat’s stomach. Most of the time, these hairs will easily be ingested by your cat and they will pass through the digestive system without causing problems but, occasionally, these hairs can accumulate, and a hairball can be thrown up.

In long-haired cats, hairballs are much more common, because there is more opportunity for ingesting hair. If you have a cat who has very frequent hairballs, however, then you may be able to do some things to help make this happen less often.

By regularly brushing your cat’s coat, you can prevent hairballs quite easily. Each time you brush your cat, it removes excess dead and loose hairs which means less of them get caught on your cat’s tongue during grooming. Some cats hate brushing though and, despite your best efforts, you may find it almost impossible to do.

If this is the case, there are other things you can do to reduce the frequency of your kitty’s hairballs. One of the most convenient ways to reduce hairballs is a change in your cat’s diet. There are plenty of specialised foods available which prevent the formation of hairballs in your cat’s stomach. These foods are high in fiber and help ingested hairs to pass through the system easier.

There are a couple of other hairball prevention methods and remedies, too. Laxatone is a popular product, which is made from mineral oils to lubricate your cat’s digestive tract. This helps hairs pass through with ease through the feces, instead of them being thrown up. The downside to laxatone gel is that many cats will resist being fed it, but many usually come around when they have had chance to smell it.

A common question when it comes to hairballs are whether or not these are dangerous. In rare circumstances, hairballs can be dangerous, but it is rather uncommon, and they are typically caught during routine visits to the vet or by spotting obvious symptoms such as severe retching which doesn’t produce a hairball.

Hairballs become dangerous when they cause obstructions in your cat’s stomach, throat or digestive system. If your cat is continuously retching, does not eat for more than a day or two and is very low in energy, these are signs of a possible hairball blockage and you should take your kitty to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Additionally, very frequent hairballs can be signs of other medical problems, so it is always best to consult a veterinarian if you notice any obvious changes in behaviour, activity or health.

Rebecca is the weird cat lady at PawsomeKitty “We are the ultimate resource for cat owners where you find everything under one website.” © 2018 PawsomeKitty.com All Rights Reserved