Solutions for Hairballs in Cats

hairballs in cats

In this article we want to consider in detail the problem of hairballs in cats.

Hairballs in felines are undesirable. Moreover, they’re not simply disagreeable for the person who has to clean them up– they can cause digestive blockages, which can be a severe health problem for your cat. It’s a given that your feline is going to groom herself, so what can you do to keep hairballs to a minimum?

What Causes Hairballs in Cats?

Hairballs might be revolting; however, they establish as an outcome of your cat’s healthy and fastidious grooming regimen.

When your cat grooms himself, tiny hook-like structures on his tongue catch loose and dead hair, which is then swallowed. The majority of this hair passes all the way through the gastrointestinal tract without any issues. However, if some hair remains in the stomach, it can form a hairball. Usually, your feline will vomit the hairball to get rid of it. Because hairballs go through the narrow esophagus en route out, they often appear thin and tube-like, instead of round.

Hairballs in felines are more likely to appear in long-haired types, such as Persians and Maine Coons. Felines that shed a lot or who groom themselves compulsively are likewise most likely to have hairballs since they tend to swallow a great deal of fur. You may have noticed that your cat didn’t have hairballs as a kitten, but developed them as she grew. This is rather normal– as cats get older, they end up being more skilled groomers and for that reason more competent at getting rid of fur from their coats with their tongues, which indicates more hairballs for you to clean up.

Symptoms of Hairballs in Cats

It can be troubling to enjoy (and hear) your feline removing a hairball. Some common hairball symptoms include hacking, gagging, and retching. Generally, your feline will then throw up the hairball in relatively short order.

If you observe the following hairball symptoms, be sure to contact your veterinarian, as they might suggest that a hairball has triggered a possibly deadly clog:

  • Continuous vomiting, gagging, retching, or hacking without producing a hairball
  • Absence of cravings
  • Lethargy
  • Irregularity
  • Diarrhea

Can Hairballs Make a Cat Sick?

Sadly, hairballs that are specifically large and immobile can certainly make a feline sick, although these circumstances are exceptionally uncommon. If a fluffy mass of hair obstructs a feline’s digestive tract, it can even bring upon dangerous repercussions, notes the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. This threat arises typically when a hairball becomes too enormous to travel within the cat’s tight sphincter quarters successfully. Surgery is needed to ease this obstruction. It can frequently even conserve a cat’s life, in reality.

Hairball Home Remedies

Nothing can be done to avoid hairballs in cats totally, but there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood your cat will have hairballs or decrease their frequency.

  1. Groom your feline routinely. The more fur you get rid of from your cat, the less fur that will wind up as hairballs in her stomach. Combing or brushing your feline on a daily basis can be a reliable way to minimize hairballs, and it can also provide a fun method for you to bond with your feline. If you can’t get your feline accustomed to brushing, consider taking her to a professional groomer for grooming and hair cut (particularly for long-haired felines) every six months approximately.
  2. Give your feline a specialized “hairball formula” feline food. Many pet food manufacturers now make hairball-reduction feline foods. These high-fiber formulas are designed to enhance the health of your cat’s coat, lessen the quantity of shedding, and motivate hairballs in cats to go through the gastrointestinal system.
  3. Use a hairball item or laxative. There are a variety of different hairball items on the marketplace today, most of which are moderate laxatives that assist hairballs to travel through the digestion tract.
  4. Discourage extreme grooming if you presume that your cat’s hairballs are an outcome of compulsive grooming, attempt to train your feline to do another enjoyable activity instead of licking his coat. This might include teaching him to have fun with a new toy on his own or finding an enjoyable toy you can have fun with together.

Surgical Options

If a hairball is causing a dangerous blockage, you will need to count on surgery. Make sure to contact your veterinarian as quickly as you believe something is wrong so that your cat has a higher chance of a successful outcome.

How to Prevent Hairballs

  • Brush your cat’s fur daily. Routinely grooming your feline rids it of loose and shed hairs. When your feline grooms itself, it will be less likely to swallow fur.
  • Keep your feline hydrated. Make sure that your furry pal drinks sufficient water to hydrate its intestinal tract. The liquid hydration will keep it lubricated and running efficiently.
  • Feed your feline a good diet. Felines are predators. Their bodies are not created to process carbohydrate-rich foods. Offer your feline a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, grain-free diet. Poor nutrition will trigger food digestion issues and increase the probability of hairballs.
  • Offer digestive supplements. Feed your pet supplements that will enhance food digestion. Several formulas contain psyllium seed. It will encourage your feline’s gastrointestinal tract to pass the hairball instead of regurgitating it.
  • Provide your feline catnip or cat grass. This treat can provide extra fiber for your feline which helps them expel the hairball.

How to Reduce Hairballs

You can assist your cat in minimizing hairball development, by:

  • Brushing your feline regularly to eliminate shedding hair. In this method, you will help to prevent excessive hair consumption.
  • Feeding your cat with foods mainly created to aid in hairball passage.

Diet plans that are greater in fibers assist in minimizing the variety of cat hairballs. The fiber pulls the hair through the intestines so that it is transferred in the feces rather than be spit up like a hairball.

Right cat food (dry or wet) helps lessen the formation of hairballs in felines and helps with the removal of hair through the intestine tract to high level of fibers.

If your feline is experiencing regular hairball regurgitation, see your veterinarian for suggestions on suitable cat hairball remedies and treatments or diet recommendations.

Questions and Answers

My cat coughs and hacks and has too much hairballs. Why?

Cats always groom themselves by licking their fur and this consistent preening triggers them to swallow loose hair. The hair usually goes right through the feline’s gastrointestinal tract and comes out in the stool. However, periodically hair gathers in the feline’s stomach and forms into hairballs. That’s when the hacking and heaving takes place, leading to a regurgitated fur mass on the floor. Cats do feel much better after they get rid of a hairball, so it is nothing to be fretted about. Repeated coughing usually raises feline hairballs, and it’s not unusual for felines to pass a hairball after eating their food or cat lawn.

My cat coughs and hacks and has excessive hairballs.

A feline who hacks for more than a month likely has more than a hairball. Naturally, Persians or longhaired felines do get hairballs more often than shorthaired feline breeds, but cats do not “hack” or “a cough” up hairballs continuously. Cats vomit up hairballs; feline specialists even prompt individuals to stop utilizing the phrase “spend a hairball” as it is misleading– coughing suggests a lung issue; hairballs live in the stomach, not the lungs.

If hairball diets and hairball gels/ointments do not curb the issue, another problem could be causing coughing and hacking.

Does hairball medication work?

Hairball formula food includes more significant quantities of fiber that help push the digestive tract contents through the system efficiently. This food also includes particular enzymes that help avoid hairballs from forming in the stomach in the first place.

Hairball gel or paste consists of mineral oil or petroleum jelly because that is not absorbed in the system and therefore helps oil so the hairball will pass quickly. It must not be provided with food, thus, so it won’t hinder normal nutrition.

Are hairballs to blame for my feline’s throwing up and irregularity?

Vomiting right after consuming often is a sign that your feline consumes too rapidly or perhaps the kind of the food (dry vs. canned) irritates your feline’s gastrointestinal tract.

Hairballs are a typical cause of vomiting and likewise can add to irregularity. When hairballs trigger throwing up, however, it takes place at times generally unrelated to eating. Hairballs would be not likely to trigger vomiting after consuming.

Felines vomit from either a metabolic problem (like kidney failure or hyperthyroidism) or an intestinal issue. Blood and urine tests can eliminate common metabolic causes of throwing up.

If you think gastrointestinal causes, change your cat’s food to a dull, non-irritating diet, or a hypoallergenic diet. If your feline continues to throw up, ask your veterinarian for an ultrasound or endoscopy.

Constipation can be linked to vomiting, too. When cats strain to defecate, and their colon is irritated, felines will sometimes throw up at the same time or soon afterward. Hairball medication– the brown ointment that comes in a tube– helps prevent hairballs when offered two or three times a week, and when given every day, it could act as a laxative also.

What if my feline’s hairball medication isn’t working?

Managing hairballs can be challenging. Ointment-type hairball solutions, such as Laxatone or Petromalt, often assist. These are gooey ointments that you offer a cat two or three times a week. Lots of cats delight in the taste and consider them treats; nevertheless, some felines do not like them. Some diets are created for felines with extreme hairball problems. The majority of felines like the taste of the food and these diets typically help cats.

The best bet is to attempt to avoid the problem in the first place. Do this by brushing your feline often. Brushing eliminates loose hair before your cat has a chance to swallow it. It seems like you’re doing everything that can indeed be done. The supreme trifecta is brushing, hairball ointments and hairball diet plans.

A feline who hacks for more than a month likely has more than a hairball. Naturally, Persians or longhaired felines do get hairballs more often than shorthaired feline breeds, but cats do not “hack” or “a cough” up hairballs continuously. Cats vomit up hairballs; feline specialists even prompt individuals to stop utilizing the phrase “spend a hairball” as it is misleading– coughing suggests a lung issue; hairballs live in the stomach, not the lungs.

If hairball diets and hairball gels/ointments do not curb the issue, another problem could be causing coughing and hacking.

Reyus Mammadli
Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.
Pet Health
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  1. Reyus Mammadli автор

    Super! Just a cool article, what I was looking for. My cat just was tortured by its own hair balls. That she is sick, then constipation … Often, that both.

    What I decided: I will buy a good comb for my cat and will brush it weekly. This should reduce several times the number of hair falling out hair, which he swallows. For me, it is better to buy a good comb once, than to constantly spend money on special food and medicine.