If you own a cat, you understand how serious cats are about thoroughly grooming themselves. One drawback of a cat’s meticulous grooming habits is the formation of hairballs in the digestive tract.
What Causes Hairballs in Cats
Cats in the wild eat birds and other small animals, and they often ingest the bones of these small animals. Hairballs have the important job of covering the ends of these bones so they won’t puncture the cat’s intestine. In captivity, we need to prevent hairballs, especially in long-haired cats.
When cats groom, they inevitably swallow hair, which accumulates in the stomach. This hair is supposed to pass uneventfully in the feces, but when the fur gathers into a clump too big to pass through the intestines, the cat regurgitates the hairball.
There are certain factors that increase a cat’s chances of vomiting hairballs. Long-haired cats, excessive groomers, and cats that groom other cats increase their difficulty with hairballs.
Hairballs in Cats Symptoms
Symptoms of hairballs in cats may include retching, constipation, and loss of appetite.
Hairball Prevention in Cats
The best way to prevent hairballs in cats is to brush your cat’s hair as often as possible. If you brush out your cat’s loose hair, then he won’t swallow it while he is grooming.
Administering a preventive gel or soft chew that lubricates the ingested hair and aid its passage through the gastrointestinal tract is usually beneficial. Hairball Remedy removes and prevents hairballs by gently lubricating hairballs to pass through the intestinal tract.
Using a fatty acid supplement such as Omegaderm-3 will reduce your cat’s shedding, which will help to prevent feline hairballs by improving the skin and hair coat quality and slowing excessive shedding.
As cats age, their activity and intestinal movement slow down. Decreased movement and activity in older cats increase the risk of hairball complication and constipation. Being proactive and putting salmon oil or pollock oil on your cat’s food will encourage him to eat and help prevent hairballs. The added fatty acids result in healthy coats and fewer issues with matting coats.
Most cats will vomit hairballs, but you can easily prevent this issue by brushing your cat regularly and giving your cat a hairball preventive and fatty acid supplement.
If you have more questions on cat hairballs, call us at 800.786.4751.
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