Cats and Hairballs

Everything you need to know about hairballs

Cats and hairballs, whenever I see a cat coughing up a hairball, it reminds me of the animated Puss in Boots movie, where our hero seems to have quite a problem with hairballs, and often has to stop the action in order to deal with his hairball problem.

Is your cat coughing up hair balls? The occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, but if it’s a regular occurrence for your cat there could be more to it.  Keep reading for more information on hairballs

Ever wondered why your cat coughs up hairballs? Well it all starts with your cats grooming routine; cats being quite interested in how they appear to the rest of creation, one may even say rather vain,  are always making sure their coat is in tip top shape. As cats groom themselves they pull out the dead hairs and most of it passes through the digestive tract with no problems, however sometimes some of the hair will stay in the stomach and form a hairball.

This is not a pleasant occurrence for your cat, as they vomit it up, and it can be quite a painful experience; thus it is important to seek medical attention if this is a regular occurrence in your home.  If you notice any of the following hairball symptoms be sure to contact your vet as these could be an indication of a potentially life threatening blockage:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Ongoing vomiting, retching or gagging without producing a hairball
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

There are some helpful preventative tips that you can put in place to try avoid these situations as best as possible including:

  1. Feeding your cat food with added fibre

Feeding your cat a diet rich in fibre will help bind the hair and stimulate the intestine to aid in hairball reduction.

  1. Groom your cat regularly

Grooming your cat on a regular basis will help to remove the excess fur which will equal less fur ending up in their stomach when they do their own grooming. A simple comb or brush each day should suffice and can also provide a fun way to spend some time with your cat!

  1. Use a special hairball product or laxative

 A vet can recommend a suitable laxative or hairball product which can help the hairball to pass through the digestive track.

  1. Small servings of coconut oil, has also been reported to assist with digestive tract issues, including those related to hairballs