Hairballs in cats are a common problem that occurs when a cat ingests hair while grooming itself. Cats have tiny barbs on their tongues that catch loose fur as they groom, which they then swallow. Normally, the fur passes through the digestive system without any problems, but sometimes it can accumulate in the stomach and form a hairball.
Symptoms of hairballs in cats may include vomiting, gagging, constipation, loss of appetite, and lethargy. If left untreated, hairballs can cause serious health problems such as intestinal blockages.
To prevent hairballs, you can brush your cat regularly to remove loose fur before it can be ingested. Feeding your cat a high-fiber diet or a special hairball control formula can also help prevent hairballs by promoting healthy digestion and reducing the amount of hair your cat ingests. Additionally, providing your cat with plenty of water and encouraging exercise can help promote healthy digestion and reduce the likelihood of hairballs.
If your cat is already experiencing hairball problems, there are several treatments available. One common treatment is a hairball remedy, which is a flavored gel or paste that helps lubricate the digestive system and aid in the passage of hairballs. Your veterinarian may also recommend a prescription diet or medication to help treat hairballs, especially if they are causing serious health problems.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a hairball that is causing an obstruction. Hairball happens because the tiny backward-slanted projections (papillae) that roughen the surface of her tongue propel the hair down her throat and into her stomach.
Coconut oil or fish oil in moderate quantity can help keep the digestive track lubricated. If your cat coughs a lot, it is important to change the food you are giving your cat. Some cat food brands have a product to deal with hairballs.
The cat food should be high in fiber, oil, minerals, and vitamins that can help the swallowed hair pass through the digestive system naturally. Kittens are less likely to develop hairballs because young cats haven’t quite learned to clean their coats as thoroughly as their adult counterparts, so hairballs are less commonly a concern for them. Keeping cats hydrated can keep the risk of hairballs at bay.
Cats are known for their poor drinking habits. It’s no wonder why many cats suffer from chronic low-grade dehydration, and kidney disease is quite common among cats. Therefore wet cat food and water fountains are very important for cats to avoid hairballs.