Does your cat have that gut retching kitty cough and then leave a present for you? A present that is a dark, felt-like oblong glob. That glob is a hairball. It doesn’t come up round like a ball because as it passes through the esophagus it becomes oblong so the kitty can cough it up and get rid of it.
It’s not unusual for cats to have hairballs, but it is messy to clean up and it is uncomfortable for kitty to cough them up. But take heart, there are things you can do to help your cat digest this hair naturally.
Cats are very clean animals and are constantly grooming themselves. As they do so, they swallow loose hair. The hair passes to the stomach where it digested and passed on along in the cat’s stool. Sometimes, if there is a lot of hair or if your cat has a sensitive stomach, the hair doesn’t get digested and the only way your cat can get rid of it is by coughing it up.
If the excess hair doesn’t get digested or coughed up, the intestine can get blocked and cause serious problems. A trip to the veterinarian then becomes necessary to have the kitty cleaned out.
To make sure things don’t reach the trip to the vet stage, there are several things to try. Give your cat food or treats that help control hairballs. (I have found this to be very effective with my cat.) Brush your cat daily to get rid of the loose hair so there is less hair for her to swallow. Cats shed more in late spring and early summer so at this time of year you may need to brush twice a day.
If you have a long hair cat you might want to consider trimming her hair in the spring when she is shedding the most.
Adding fiber in the form or catnip or grass to your cat’s diet may also help, especially if your cat is inside all the time. A pinch or two every other day may do the trick. Check with your local pet store for grasses that can be grown indoors.
If changing the food and brushing does not help, there is medication available at your local pet store. There are several different brands, but the main ingredient is the same in all of them. The main ingredient is a mineral oil that is flavored so your cat will eat it. At times of peak shedding, I use this with my cat. She likes the taste of it and will eat it right off the spoon. If your cat is hesitant to take it, smear it on her front paws and she will lick it off her paws.
If after trying these remedies, your cat is still vomiting regularly it could be your cat is impacted with hairballs and needs to be cleaned out or she could have some other health problem. Be sure to take her to your veterinarian and have her checked out.
The hacking kitty cough is not pleasant for either cat or owner so when all else fails, consult a veterinarian, and both you and your cat will sleep easier at night.
4 Solutions to Rid Your Cat of Hairballs:
- Groom your cat regularly. The more fur you remove from your cat, the less fur which will find yourself as hairballs in their stomach. Combing or brushing your cat on a day to day is often an efficient thanks to minimizing hairballs, and it also can provide a fun way for you to bond together with your cat. If you can’t get your cat familiar with brushing, believe taking them to a knowledgeable groomer for grooming and haircut (especially for long-haired cats) every six months approximately.
- Give your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat chow. Many pet food brands now make hairball-reduction cat foods. These high-fiber formulas are designed to enhance the health of your cat’s coat, minimize the quantity of shedding, and encourage hairballs in cats to undergo the gastrointestinal system.
- Use a hairball product or laxative. There are a variety of various hairball products on the market today, most of which are mild laxatives that help hairballs it undergoes the alimentary canal.
- Discourage excessive grooming. If you think that your cat’s hairballs are results of compulsive grooming, attempt to train your cat to try to do another enjoyable activity rather than licking their coat. This might include teaching them to play with a replacement toy on their own or finding a fun toy you’ll play with together.
How do I know if my cat has a hairball stuck?
If a hairball gets stuck somewhere in the digestive tract, the resulting blockage can be life-threatening. ... Can Hairballs Be Dangerous? Repeated unproductive retching. Lethargy. Lack of appetite. Constipation. Diarrhea.
How long does it take for a cat to pass a hairball?
Other hairball symptoms can include your cat nibbling on grass, as well as constipation and lethargy. If your cat doesn´t pass the hairball, and these signs last for more than two to three days, book a check-up with your vet to make sure nothing else is amiss.
Can hairballs kill a cat?
A large clump of ingested hair can block a cat's intestinal tract and pose a deadly threat. Here's how to prevent them. Every so often, your otherwise fastidious cat will do an alarming and somewhat disgusting thing.
What is the best hairball remedy for cats?
A teaspoon of fish, safflower, or flax oil added to your cat's food can coat a hairball, allowing it to pass through your kitty's system. Another option is a hairball prevention jelly containing slippery elm, marshmallow, or papaya. These are usually given once or twice a week.