Hairballs and how to deal with them

By Valdette Muller| May 16, 2017 | Blog


Hairballs are unpleasant and develop as a result of your cat’s grooming.

When a cat grooms itself, loose and dead hair will often be swallowed. This hair will be passed into the digestive tract and will ether stay there or move through the intestines and come out in the cats stools.

If the hair stays in the cat’s stomach, it will form a hairball. Once a hairball becomes a blockage or nuisance in the stomach, your cat will vomit the hairball up to get rid of it along with other contents contained within the stomach.

This is a helpful reaction, as it helps with removing obstructions from your cat’s stomach.

Long haired cat breeds tend to have more hair and therefore tend to have more hairballs. Cats that shed their fur often tend to get hairballs more numerously as well.

Allergies, or other problems which cause itchiness in cats can also lead to increased grooming behaviour thereby increasing hairball production.

Are hairballs normal?

A healthy cat can have up to two hairballs a year but Dr. Jane Brunt, a feline veterinarian and executive director of the CATalyst Council says “The bottom line about hairballs is that they are not normal.” “The cat has developed a digestive tract that can handle normal amounts of fur without a problem. Even long-haired cats should not develop more than one or two hairballs a year.”

Not every experience of nausea or coughing is a sign of a hairball, it could also be another medical issue like an allergy or internal problem. If no hairball is found, seek professional veterinary advice.

Symptoms to watch out for.

If you notice the following symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

  • Continuous vomiting or gagging without producing a hairball
  • A lack of appetiteRC_F_Hairball_Pouch1
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea

Hairball remedies.

  1. Grooming your cat: The more you brush your cat the more loose and dead fur comes off them, lessening the fur they swallow when they lick themselves.Laxapet_Gel
  2. Specialised foods and formulas for hairballs: There are plenty of hairball formulas and specialised foods to choose from. Today there are many pet food manufacturers that make hairball-reduction cat foods.
  3. Laxatives: There are medical hairball prevention treatments on offer such as such as Laxapet Gel. These laxatives typically have a lubricant to help move things along your cat’s digestive tract.HealthyBites_Hairball_Remedy
  4. Eating grass: Allowing your cat to eat grass outside is a natural source of fibre, and has been known to aid cat’s digestion and help prevent hairball build-ups such as this Catit Design Senses Grass Garden Kit. This grass grower is ideal for indoor cats.




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