Hairballs in CatsIf 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.
CausesCats 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.
SymptomsSymptoms associated with hairballs may include retching, constipation, and loss of appetite.
PreventionThe best way to prevent hairballs 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 will reduce your cat's shedding, which will help to prevent hairballs. Missing Link Ultimate Feline Formula or Omegaderm-3 are fatty acid supplements that will help improve the skin and hair coat quality and slow 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 need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.
-The Revival Education Team
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.