Hairballs in Cats: Symptoms and Remedies

Hairballs in Cats: Symptoms and Remedies

What is a hairball?

Hairballs are formed because your cat likes to groom itself properly and stay clean. When your cat grooms, small grooves on your cats tongue pick up loose and dead hair from the body and are swallowed. In normal cases, these hairs pass through the intestines and are passed out in the feces. If some of these hairs stay back in the intestine, they build up to form a hair ball.

In many cases, your cat vomits hair balls. This can become really gross at times. If your cat sheds excessively, it is more likely to happen to them.

Symptoms:

Your cat may be in serious discomfort when they are trying to vomit a hairball. They may gag, hack and retch, followed by vomiting and excretion of the hair ball. But if your cat is showing the following symptoms repeatedly within 24 hours, make sure you rush them to your vet:

Treatment and Remedies:

Hairball preventative
These products act as a lubricant and prevent excessive hair from staying back in the stomach. This can be applied to their paws and works when your dog licks it off.

Hairball control foods
These foods contain added fibers which bind to hair in the stomach and intestines. The stimulate intestines to contract at a faster rate to expel hair out of the body.

Regular grooming
If your cat sheds hair excessively, make sure you groom them regularly. Combing and brushing their coat everyday will remove loose and dead hair from their body, reducing the chances of a hair ball forming to a minimal.

Discourage your cat from excessive grooming
If you notice that your cat grooms itself excessively, discourage this behavior by making them engage in other fun activities and keeping them busy. This will prevent them from licking their hair excessively, reducing the chances of forming a hairball.

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