What do I need to know about hairballs?
Hairballs are a common occurrence in cats. But what do you need to know? Are they dangerous? Do you need to do anything? Should you ignore them?
Hairballs are more common in long haired cats and caused due to your cat grooming itself and not fully digesting all the hair groomed and then vomiting back up the excess as a hairball. It’s quite a disgusting thing to witness and some owners may not even know it’s what is happening as the ‘hairball’ is not ball shaped at all, as it must pass through the digestive system it is more of an elongated shape.
Some small infrequent hairballs are likely nothing to worry about. However, there are situations that can be a worry. If your cat is repeatedly retching, trying to vomit but not producing anything combined with, lethargy, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhoea this could be an indication of a blockage, you need to seek vet assistance quite quickly as this can be life threatening.
On the other hand, if your cat suffers with regular hairballs due to excessive grooming there are some things you can do to help them.
Grooming your cat regularly to remove excess loose hair especially if they are long haired. A Furminator is an excellent tool for this job. They can be bought especially for cats or you can use the small dog one, it will last a life time. You can find them here: https://bit.ly/2AKRf6r.
You can purchase a ‘hairball remedy’ cat food. There are many cat foods on the market that are designed to reduce hairballs by including ingredients to aid digestion and improve coat quality. You can find some here: https://bit.ly/2qtzXF2 made by Hill’s pet foods.
There are also ‘hairball’ treatments available in the form of pastes or treats that contain malt to aid the digestion of hairballs, here is an example https://bit.ly/2QiTT8T. Cat grass cat also aid digestion and as such help hairballs, it can also induce vomiting if the cat needs help that way. You can find cat grass here: https://bit.ly/2JFO174.
These remedies can make your cat much more comfortable and save you on clean up and vet bills.
Written by – Emma Browne