Preventing Hairballs in Your Cat

November 9, 2017


Let’s face it, hairballs are disgusting; especially if you step on one in the dark in your bare feet. However; besides being disgusting, unpassed hairballs can cause intestinal blockages in your cat. This can be a really serious problem for your pet and may require a trip to the vet. So the questions are, what is the cause of hairballs, the symptoms when there is a problem with hairballs and how do you keep hairball production in your feline done to the bare minimum? 


What causes hairballs?

Hairballs are caused by your cat grooming himself with his tongue. His tongue has little hook-like structures which will collect any dead or loose hair.

Most of this hair will continue through the digestive tract without any problems caused. But if some of the hair stays in the stomach, it will become a hairball. Your cat will have to throw the hairball up then to get rid of it.

Further, the name is somewhat misleading because hairballs aren’t round, but are more tube-like and thin because of having to pass through the narrow esophagus. Also, long-haired cats or cats that groom themselves excessively will have more hairballs.

Symptoms of hairball problems

The symptom of a hairball is your cat trying to hack it up and eliminate it. When you hear this sound, your cat will follow shortly with an up chucked hairball. However; there are some things to watch out for that could be potentially life-threatening:

  • If the vomiting, retching, gagging is ongoing with no hairball being produced at the end.
  • If you notice a lack of appetite in your pet.
  • If you notice your cat is lethargic, has constipation or diarrhea. 

Hairball remedies

Hairballs are a fact of life if you own a cat and there really isn’t anything that can be done to totally prevent hairballs in felines, but you can reduce their frequency. So below are some products that will help your cat and his hairballs

These are chewable tablets which are made from natural ingredients and free of petroleum based products. These tablets not only help to prevent hairballs, but help aid in your feline having a healthy digestive track.

This can be applied directly to your cat’s paw where he will lick it off. It contains all natural oils and lubricates. It's so clever that you'll finally outsmart your cat for once. It can be used on cats of all ages.

These are tuna flavored, but plant-based for fiber intake and made with natural ingredients. They are designed by veterinarians to help prevent hairballs and keep a cat’s digestion system healthy.

So to help your cat prevent hairball problems it comes down to this: groom your cat regularly, make sure he is taking a hairball product; and if you see excessive grooming which means more hair in is the digestive system, then try to train him to enjoy something else instead. Perhaps a new toy with some fun playing on your part with him to distract him.

Maintaining hairball control can be accomplished.

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