Cats spend hours grooming themselves each day. Fortunately cats have a uniquely designed tongue, which allows them to clean dirt and oils off of their fur. Their tongues are also designed to grab shedding hairs and push them down in order to swallow them immediately. This allows cats to easily groom themselves, however they can’t always digest the hair they have consumed.
Hairballs occur when strands of hair pile up in the stomach and are unable to digest. Cats usually vomit up hairballs to purge them out of their system. This can be disgusting and alarming at times, especially when it occurs frequently. Luckily, there are treatments available to prevent and reduce hairballs.
The most common symptoms of a cat having hairball issues are coughing, wheezing, and vomiting. Most hairballs that have been coughed up contain some cat food and some hair. Sometimes there is a lot of hair that has been thrown up, while other times it may be hard to see the cat hair in the vomit. If your cat is throwing up a lot, it is important to monitor and write down the times the cat is throwing up. For example, is it before food or after food, after exercise, and does the cat appear lethargic. If your cat is lethargic visit a veterinarian because this could be a more serious problem.
Often times cats will start to cough and wheeze a bit. This may lead to vomiting a hairball, but the cat may fight against throwing up and swallow the hairball again. Cats may experience anxiety from vomiting and display distress from having a hairball.
It is important to note that there may be other reasons your cat is having hairball symptoms. Hairballs and asthma sometimes appear the same way. Cat asthma is usually a lifelong problem and usually occurs early on. However, it is not impossible that your cat has developed asthma. Allergies can also present hairball symptoms; i.e. coughing and vomiting. Be sure to visit or call your veterinarian with your concerns.
To help prevent and reduce hairballs, there are many inexpensive and efficient ailments. The best hairball remedies I’ve encountered are listed on this post. I hope they help your cat with any hairball problems.
There are hairball treats with different flavors for you cat to enjoy. Hairball treats assist with the digestive process and help break down the hairballs.
Pet Naturals Hairball Relief Cat Soft Chews help support cats’ hair and skin, while reducing hairball formation by also supporting cats’ digestive system. These sort chews are natural for those who wish for a natural hairball treatment. They are also easy to give to your cat because they appear as a normal treat.
Vet’s Best Hairball Relief Digestive Aid helps support cats’ digestive system, which helps eliminate hairballs. These chewable tablets are also easy to administer to your cat.
GELS & LUBRICANTS
Hairball gels and lubricants are also very helpful. The gels and lubricants work by placing a dime sized amount (or other specified amount) onto the cats paw. The cat will lick the treatment off of its paw and the treatment begins. The gels and lubricants will help break down the hairball for easier digestion. There are also natural hairball gels and lubricants available.
Nutri-Vet Hairball Paw-Gel, Tomlyn Natural Laxatone Cat Hairball Eliminator, and Sentry Petromalt Hairball Relief help reduce and prevent hairballs. Nutri-Vet and Tomlyn’s hairball treatment contain natural ingredients.
Hairball cat foods are also available. They help control the hairballs and aid in prevention.
Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Light Adult Cat Food provides excellent nutrition and aid for your cat’s hairballs. However, it may require a prescription from your veterinarian.
If you are looking for cat foods with hairball treatments and do not require a prescription, Purina Pro Plan Focus Hairball Management Adult Cat Food and Purina ONE Smart Blend Hairball Formula Adult Cat Food are excellent.
*Purina Pro Plan cat foods have also been personally recommend for my cat by her veterinarian.
Sometimes cats need help grooming themselves, especially if they have long hair. Cats benefit from regular fur brushing and petting. The brushes pick up excess hair and reduce the amount of hair consumed by the cat. Most cats enjoy being brushed, but if your cat is difficult being brushed provide a calm environment and a reward after it is done; maybe a hairball treat or some playtime.