Hairballs Are No Fun For You or Your Cat
23 July, 2013
As loving cat owners, we hate to think that our beloved feline friends are not feeling their best. One issue that is common to many of our cats is the release and/or appearance of hairballs. Most cat owners have encountered this lovely experience. Usually, hacking or dry heaving is the first sign of a cat trying to get rid of a hairball. If you see a blob of disgusting stuff on your floor, it is likely to be a hairball.
What is a hairball?
A hairball is a mass of hair that usually is accompanied with food inside the cat’s body. When a cat grooms himself, he removes loose hair from throughout his body and it ends up in his stomach. Sometimes, the hair comes together and forms a ball in there. If he can not pass it through, it is likely it won’t break down and will instead come out on the floor! Cats need to throw up the hairball to remove hair from within their stomachs to keep them from getting sick.
If your cat doesn’t pass his hairball, call the Vet
Most cats have trouble with removing hairballs. If a cat can not get rid of them, it can get into the cat’s intestines and cause a blockage. This can be life threatening to your kitty. If your cat seems to be constipated, it might be a sign of a blockage. If your cat is lethargic and his coat is dull and unhealthy looking, this could also be a sign that he or she can not get rid of a hairball. Make sure that your cat is eating normally. If your cat seems as if he or she is not being his usual self, make an appointment with your vet who will then find out if the issue is a hairball and then he’ll remove it.
Try to get ahead of the hairball problem by grooming your cat daily. A long haired cat needs to be combed and brushed each day to remove excess hair. Some cats love to be brushed and groomed, while others aren’t big fans. However, if you start to groom your kitty when he is still young, your kitty will learn to at least tolerate it. If your cat doesn’t like to be groomed, try to use a grooming glove instead.
Diet to prevent hairballs
If your cat still seems to having trouble with hairballs, there are many different dry foods on the market that can help to prevent hairballs. Don’t just buy the first bag of the formula that you find. Make sure it is still a good, high quality food for your cat that is high in protein and other nutrients. Make sure to talk to your vet before using one of these hairball remedies for a long period of time.
You can also try some of the more natural remedies as well but you should talk to your vet first before trying them. Some of these natural remedies can actually cause your pet discomfort or will remove important nutrients from his body. These include such things as pumpkin, mineral oils and even butter.
As always, if none of the above works to get rid of the hairballs, talk to your vet to see if he or she has any recommendations.