Hairballs in Cats: Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention

Have a cat at home, is it having a problem of hairballs in cats when it is licking each and every item. If a cat licks then it swallows the hair and after some time it vomits and we call it as cat throwing up hairballs. This happens for each and every cat but as a pet owner we must know how to get rid of hairballs in cats.

Cats hate water, but are aware that somehow they have to be cleaned. That’s why they lick each other so much. The bad thing is that this habit of toilet has a consequence, when licking they are eating hairs and then they have to vomit. It’s what we call hairballs. What problem do hairballs pose in cats? Can they be prevented? How do I know if my cat has hairballs? These and other questions, we answer them in this post.

hairballs in cats

Cats are very flirty and clean animals, you can spend hours preening. Without being able to avoid it, this hygienic habit has a disadvantage of hairs that are eaten unintentionally. Most of them are evacuated with stool or without stool problem, but sometimes some are trapped in the stomach and form balls. When this happens they usually vomit, but sometimes cats have problems and if they accumulate a lot of hair they may need surgery. Although hair balls occur to all cats, they are more common in longhaired cats, such as persian cat personality and others too.

How do I know if My Cat has Hairballs

The truth is not easy. Cats can disguise very well when they are bad, so to detect if your cat has hairballs you must be very observant. If you see that your cat vomits hairballs, it means that it is not expelling well with the feces. You will start to find lots of wet hair at home (yes, yuck!).

The fact that they vomit is much more common in dogs, they even do it with relative frequency to purge themselves and it is not necessarily a sign of illness. But cat vomiting does not tend to occur, so if you do be careful! If he vomits hairballs sometime, nothing happens. If it is frequent, even weekly it is almost certain that there will be a serious problem behind it.

hairball remedy for cats

Can I only know if my cat has hairballs when I vomit them? No, there are other signs that may indicate the presence of hairballs in cats:

  • Sickness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Apathy
  • Strange behaviors, bad mood

Of course these symptoms not only indicate hairball cat, it may be something else. Therefore as soon as you suspect that your cat is sick, go to the vet.

Why do Cats have Problems to Expel Hair

Although popularly hairballs in cats have been considered something natural and even funny, it seems increasingly clear that they are not normal. A completely healthy cat without problems to expel hair that swallows should never spit hair balls.

If it happens something is not right. It is believed that it is a problem of functioning of the digestive system, specifically in the intestine which does not move as it should to complete the digestions and expel feces.

Why are cat hairballs more common today than in the past? Probably because of the type of diet of domestic cats. Commercial feed has a high percentage of cereals, which far from being necessary in their diet, increase the hardness and dryness of the food bolus, hindering digestion. Cats are carnivorous animals and do not need cereals or your body is prepared to digest them. The same thing happens with dogs.

An excess of cereals in the diet of cats, such as rice can cause stiffness in the intestinal tract and cause inflammatory bowel disease.

hairball cat

Prevention of Hairballs in cats

We give you some tips that can help prevent the appearance of hairballs in cats:

Healthy and Adequate Diet

As we have said it is very likely that the difficulties of the cats to expel the hair are due to an inadequate diet, with an excess of astringent ingredients. Therefore it is a good idea to offer your cat a balanced diet and avoid unnecessary foods.

You can switch to a feed without cereals, combine it with wet canned food and you can also prepare homemade cat food with fresh foods. They often like fish, liver and chicken boiled.

Brush your Cat Daily

A very good way to avoid hairballs is to reduce the hair your cat swallows. If you brush it daily, you will catch all the dead hair that is letting go. So when licking, it will swallow much less.

Brushing your cat is important throughout the year, but even more so in times of hair change (spring – summer).

Give him Probiotics

Probiotics help keep the intestinal flora in good condition, so they are very helpful to avoid hairballs in cats. The probiotics for cats can give them as a nutritional supplement, you will find them in pet stores.

Get yourself Catnip

Catnip is a plant that cats love, nibble on and it is an excellent natural treat . You can look for it in pet stores.

How to Remove Hairballs with Vaseline

This cat hairball remedy against hairballs in cats is not natural and should be used only in case of emergency but it can be of great help. Vaseline works fast after only a few hours of intake your cat will eliminate the hairs by stool. The hairball remedy for cats can be done with this.

How to give Vaseline to your Cat

  1. Use transparent petroleum jelly which has no perfumes, flavors or colorings.
  2. Fill half a teaspoon of dessert with Vaseline and mix well with your cat’s wet food or with s so your cat does not notice it.
  3. If you do not get to eat it, another option is to spread the Vaseline on your leg. When your cat notice it, it will surely lick it. Extend it well, if you leave a goop it is likely to fall out before you can suck.

To make sure you expel all the hair balls repeat the process for a day or two more. Of course, this is good for healthy cats, if you have a health problem it is better not to perform this type of treatment.

Other Similar Articles on Cats

If you notice that your cat is apathetic, has a fever, nausea which in general shows symptoms of illness, it may already have a long time with stuck hairballs. In that case go to the vet as soon as possible! These home remedies will not be enough.

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