Most of us have heard of a cat having a hairball, but what’s the deal? What are they and where do they come from? They don’t have to be a cat owner’s nightmare. It’s time to learn everything you need to know about hairballs in cats.
What causes a hairball?
Hairballs can often seem gross, but they are a result of our cat’s grooming regime. Our cats have unique tongues that come with tiny hook-like pieces designed to catch all their loose hair. This is then ingested and usually passed through their system without any worries. Hairballs occur when the hair gets lodged in your cat’s stomach. They have no choice but to bring it back up and get it out of their system – and they are usually long and shaped like a tube rather than a ball. Longer-haired cats are more likely to get hairballs thanks to the extra fur. Plus, cats that love to groom themselves or those that become a bit obsessed with grooming are more likely to have hairballs along the way than those who stick to a regular routine.
What are the symptoms of a hairball?
It can be pretty worrying to see your cat trying to cough up a hairball if you have never seen it before. It tends to involve your cat hacking and coughing as they try to clear their throat, but some end up getting distressed when things don’t go to plan. It’s vital to keep a close watch on your cat and call your veterinarian if a hairball doesn’t appear very quickly, or the hacking is teamed with other symptoms. Some other signs to look out for are a lack of appetite, sleepiness, or any blockages when it comes to your cat’s usual toilet routine.
How can you prevent hairballs?
One of the best ways that you can prevent hairballs in cats is to make sure you groom your feline friend on a regular basis. Brushing or combing your cat daily is an excellent habit to get into to try and minimize the amount of hair that could get into your cat’s system. This is also a great way to bond with your cat and check them over for any wounds or skin injuries. You can also try to stop your cat from excessively grooming themselves. This involves trying to get your cat to focus on playing with toys or relaxing instead of grooming.
Can you treat hairballs from the inside?
You can invest in some high-fiber cat foods that are designed to minimize the risk of hairballs. They work by limiting shedding, improving their coat, and helping any hairballs pass through their system with ease. This can be a good option for cats who are prone to hairballs. However, if in any doubt, it is always best to contact your veterinarian who can give you the best advice for your feline.
Learning everything you need to know about hairballs in cats shows they aren’t as gross or scary as they first seem – they’re all natural!