How to Help a Cat Cough Up a Hairball
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation Hairballs are a pretty frequent problem in cats, however your cat should only have one or two a week on average, according to the ASPCA. A home treatment for a hairball in your cat, such as hairball paste or even petroleum jelly, might be used to help alleviate the situation. If your cat, on the other hand, is displaying indications of gastric obstruction, you should seek medical attention. Also, cats with asthma may appear to be coughing up a hairball from time to time, so if you suspect this may be the case, take your cat to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- 1 Apply hairball paste on your cat’s follicles to encourage them to move. This sort of paste, which is designed particularly for cats, works as a lubricant for the hairball and is applied topically. Putting a small amount on your cat’s paw will result in the animal licking it off
- Apply a thin strip of the paste to the cat’s fur to get started. If your cat brushes it off its front paw, try applying it softly below the front elbow of the cat’s front paw. Hairball pastes are available in a variety of tastes that your cat is sure to appreciate, such as salmon. Simply placing some on a dish and allowing your cat to lick it may be sufficient. Generally, you’ll have to apply the hairball paste to your cat several times before it stops shedding. Once or twice a day for 3 to 5 days, give your cat the paste to help him get rid of the hairball
- 2 A 1 2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) of petroleum jelly can be used as a low-cost alternative. When applied to your cat, this home treatment can serve as a laxative, which can assist in moving the hairball. Apply the jelly on one of your cat’s paws so that he or she may lick it off. If possible, massage it in a little to make it more difficult for the cat to shake it off.
- Try placing it in a location where it will be more difficult for your cat to shake it off, such as below the front leg if your cat does shake it off.
- s3 Give your cat 4-6 hairball cure treats to keep hairballs at bay in the future. At your local pet store, you’ll discover a variety of different types of dry hairball cure treats. However, while these treats may assist your cat in passing its hairball, they are most effective in avoiding future hairballs. Follow the guidelines on the packaging to determine how many to give your cat.
- Because there is no messy paste or gel involved, they are a simple solution. A lot of the time, your cat will just munch them down. Once your cat has passed its hairball, continue to feed it the hairball treatment treats to keep hairballs from forming in the future.
- 4 For a long-term solution, consider feeding your cat a hairball-controlling cat food. Changing your cat’s food may be beneficial in dealing with the present hairball problem. However, it is more likely to aid in the prevention of other incidents in the future. Look for a product that promises to provide “hairball management.”
- This diet uses a variety of strategies to cure hairballs, including boosting the amount of fiber or omega-3 fatty acids in the food
- Five, mix one tablespoon of canned pumpkin into your cat’s diet. Pumpkin includes fiber, which may be beneficial in helping your cat pass a hairball. Incorporate it into your cat’s canned food to increase his or her willingness to consume it.
- Wheatgrass powder, coconut fiber powder, and psyllium seed husk powder are some of the other fiber choices you might explore. Toss a 1 2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) or so of the powder into the cat’s wet food.
- 6 Pour a one-fourth teaspoon (1.2 mL) of olive oil into your cat’s food and mix well. It may be mixed in with wet cat food or even a little amount of dry cat food. Olive oil has a slight laxative effect, which aids in the movement of the hairball.
- While you can use this therapy on a regular basis, you should avoid using it on a weekly basis. Meat-based fatty acids are preferred by your cat’s body
- 1 Keep an eye out for a decrease of appetite. Keep an eye on your cat if he or she abruptly stops eating, especially if the behavior persists for more than a day. That’s an indication that your cat needs to see a veterinarian to find out what’s wrong with him.
- It is possible that your cat’s digestive tract is being obstructed by a hairball if he is not eating.
- 2 Keep an eye out for your cat hacking and not bringing up a hairball. Your cat may be suffering from a clog in its digestive system if it is constantly hacking but not generating anything as a result of it. It is especially important to pay attention if your cat hacks without producing multiple times in a day
- It’s also a good idea to check to see whether your cat is defecating. If it isn’t, then it most likely has a blockage and should be examined by a veterinarian. Alternatively, your cat may be suffering from diarrhea as a result of being unable to pass through the obstruction.
- Third, check on the cat’s digestion and energy levels. Put your hand on the cat’s tummy and rub it. If it is more difficult to breathe than usual, this might suggest an obstruction. Your cat may also appear to be extremely languid, as though it lacks the necessary energy to perform much. Advertisement
- 1 If your cat is displaying a number of symptoms, take it to the veterinarian. If your cat’s breathing is severely restricted, home treatments may not be sufficient. In fact, if left untreated, blockages might result in your cat’s death since he would be unable to digest his food.
- Furthermore, it’s possible that the condition isn’t a hairball at all, and you’ll need to consult with your veterinarian to find out.
- 2 Be prepared to undergo a physical examination. The veterinarian will examine the cat with their hands first, as this is the most comfortable method. They could press their fingers against the cat’s tummy to test whether it is firm. They will also perform a visual examination of the animal.
- You should expect the doctor to ask you questions about the cat’s medical history as well as about any current symptoms the cat has been experiencing.
- 3Be prepared to undergo diagnostic testing. Blood tests will very certainly be required by your veterinarian. Your cat may also be subjected to X-rays or an ultrasound by the veterinarian. These tests can assist your veterinarian in determining whether and where your cat has a blockage, allowing them to select the most effective course of therapy. 4 Be prepared for your cat to spend a few days at the veterinarian’s office. The vet will most likely detain your cat at the clinic if he or she has a blockage in the intestines. They’ll provide a laxative to your cat to see whether it resolves the blockage, while attentively monitoring the animal’s digestive process.
- When a cat’s obstruction isn’t severe enough to necessitate hospitalization, your veterinarian will provide recommendations for home therapies such as mineral oil.
- 5Consider whether or not surgery is an option. If your cat develops a blockage caused by a hairball, it may be necessary to perform surgery to clear it. If your cat’s condition is severe enough to necessitate surgery, your veterinarian will inform you of this. Advertisement
- 1 Pay attention to how your cat hacks. Cats who suffer from asthma adopt a distinctive hacking stance when they cough. When they are hacking, they usually squat down and stretch their neck forward to avoid being seen. You should keep an eye out to see whether your cat adopts this stance.
- 1 Take note of your cat’s hacking technique. 2. Huffing positions in cats with asthma are distinct from those in other cats. Most of the time, they chop away while crouching and extending their neck forward. Be on the lookout for whether or not your cat adopts this posture.
- 2 Instead of listening for a hack, listen for a cough. While cat coughing may appear to be hacking, it is more likely to be wheezing in nature. In addition, it can sound like a “dry” or “wet” cough
- Yet, it may appear that your cat is coughing up mucus and then swallowing it
- 3 Pay close attention to indicators that your cat is having difficulty breathing. It may appear that your cat is “winded” more frequently than usual. After a few minutes of running around, you may even hear wheezing-like breathing.
- Watch for symptoms that your cat is having difficulty breathing. 3 When your cat is “winded,” it may appear that he is doing so more frequently than usual. Depending on how far it spreads, you could even hear wheezing-like breathing.
- In the event that your cat gets hairballs, groom it every day until the problem is resolved. Hairballs are frequently preventable! Your cat develops hairballs as a result of ingesting its own fur during grooming. If you brush away the fur, your cat will not be tempted to eat it. If your cat is now or has recently had hairballs, brush it everyday until just a small amount of fur is collected by the grooming brush. You may then change your grooming plan to accommodate the length of its coat.
- There might be a buildup of shed hair on your cat’s coat, which is creating the hairballs. Even short-haired cats shed and require grooming on a regular basis.
- 2 Brush and comb long-haired cats on a daily basis to prevent hairballs. Work the comb through the fur first, and then go over it with a brush to finish it up! Not only will this aid in the prevention of hairballs, but it will also assist to keep your cat’s fur clean and free of mats. When you groom your cat, shower it with affection and provide it with a tasty reward to help it accept grooming more favorably.
- After each grooming session, be sure to clean your comb and brush.
- 3 Short-haired cats should be brushed twice a week to keep their coat under control. Even short-haired cats shed, which means they must be groomed on a regular basis. This aids in the prevention of hairballs and the maintenance of a lustrous coat. Give your cat lots of pets while you’re grooming him to make the process more pleasurable for both of you. You should also offer the cat snacks as a reward for its good behavior.
- After each grooming session, be sure to clean your brush thoroughly.
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- Some cats with hairballs groom themselves excessively, which contributes to the problem. Provide them with toys and engage in play with them, since they may simply be bored.
About This Article
Summary of the Article 1/2 teaspoon of petroleum jelly can be given to your cat to help it cough up a hairball. The jelly acts as a laxative, allowing your cat to pass the hairball naturally. Alternatively, you may apply some hairball paste on its paw, which you can purchase at a pet supply store. When it licks its paw, the paste will be swallowed and the hairball will be dislodged from its stomach. As an alternative, you may mix in a scoop of canned pumpkin into your cat’s diet, which might be beneficial because pumpkin has fibers that aid with digestion.
Purchase cat food branded “hairball control” if you are looking for a long-term solution to the problem of hairballs in your cat.
Continue reading for information on how to determine whether your cat is experiencing difficulties breathing.
The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 168,647 times.
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images News/Getty Images Chris McGrath/Getty Images Hairballs aren’t very attractive or precious in any way. Consider what your shower drain looks like after you’ve washed your hair a few times — but while you’re on an empty stomach. Guys, I apologize for the graphic depiction, but that is essentially what is happening to your cat’s digestive tract. If you’re concerned about what to do when your cat has a hairball, don’t be discouraged; there is still hope. You have the ability to unclog your cat’s blockage.
It’s important to understand that when your cat starts hacking up hair, it’s due of their grooming routine.
The veterinary website PetMD states that “The small hook-like structures on your cat’s tongue capture loose and dead hair, which is subsequently swallowed, as he grooms himself.
Our strong, independent cats are in a state of misery, and it is difficult to witness their suffering.
As a responsible and caring cat owner, you want to be certain that this hairball, which may appear ordinary and like something a cat would do, is not potentially life threatening. Hairballs may be prevented by following a few simple steps.
Call Your Vet
Because hairballs may be potentially lethal to cats if they get obstructed, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. As a result, you will receive the greatest advise on how to go about settling the situation with your cat. If you notice that your cat is having difficulty breathing, isn’t going to the potty, or is refusing to eat or drink, you should take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Groom Your Cat
Grooming your cat regularly is an effective and simple technique to avoid your cat’s hairball problem. Make regular use of that radiance-enhancing brush. It will assist in preventing all of the shedding that your cat is attempting to clean up on their own, which eventually results in hairball formation. Also, it’ll be lovely to cuddle up with your cat and pretend to be a hair stylist.
Look Into “Hairball Formula” Cat Food
A large number of cat food manufacturers provide “hairball formula” variants of their products. These are often high in fiber, which helps to increase the overall strength of your cat’s coat. It is intended to prevent shedding and increase the ability to flow through its system, allowing your cat to continue about his or her business prancing and purring through life.
Use A Hairball Laxative
If you have any questions, always consult with your veterinarian before purchasing any medications. According to PetMD, “there are a variety of various hairball treatments on the market today, the majority of which are mild laxatives that assist hairballs in passing through the digestive system.” This may assist your cat in passing the clump of hair that has been lodged in its digestive tract.
Mix Pumpkin Puree In Your Cat’s Food
If you don’t want to use cat laxatives, there are several natural methods you may use to increase the amount of fiber in your cat’s food. Of course, you should consult your veterinarian before making any modifications to your cat’s diet. It is possible that adding a spoonful of pumpkin puree to your cat’s diet can help to facilitate the passing of hairballs due to the high fiber content. Just make sure you’re buying organic pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie filling when you do your shopping!
Just A Teaspoon Of Olive Oil.
. causes the hairball to fall out. According to CANIDAE’s website, “If you notice that your cat is having trouble with hairballs, you might want to attempt adding a little amount of olive oil to his or her diet. Never, ever force oil into your mouth since it might cause it to enter your lungs and cause serious injury. Allow your cat to lick it off of your hands.” The inclusion of oil in your cat’s diet may aid in the digestion of the hair that your cat has sucked up, allowing it to pass through with ease.
Tips and Advice on Hairballs in Senior Cats
It’s totally normal for your cat to cough up a hairball every now and then (even if it does sound a bit worrisome!) and this is completely normal. But, as your cat ages, does this pose an issue for you? Dr. Brian Faulkner, a veterinarian with Petplan, addresses our concerns about furball facts and outlines the signs to look out for.
Q How do hairballs form?
AY Grooming with our cat’s tongue is a breeze, thanks to its small backward-facing barbs, which assist to pick up stray hairs and remove them from her coat. This is excellent for avoiding matting, but because those barbs also prevent your cat from spitting the hair back out, she will wind up ingesting it with every lick. When this happens, the hair accumulates into a little ball in your cat’s stomach, where it normally passes out securely and gently with her feces. Occasionally, a hairball will not pass normally and your cat will vomit up a little sausage-shaped ball of fur in addition to the usual hairball.
In rare instances, if a hairball refuses to come up or pass out, it might produce a painful tickling sensation in the stomach of your cat. When this occurs, she will attempt to regurgitate it, and you will hear the characteristic retching noises that accompany it.
Q How can you tell when a hairball is a problem?
A When a cat has a furball, the most common symptom is what is known as a ‘cough-gag-retch’ sound. This is so-called because it can be difficult for even veterinarians to determine whether a cat is coughing (clearing the airways by pushing air out of the lungs), gagging (making throat movements to clear an object that has become stuck), or retching (a noise associated with dry-heaving and vomiting). Hairballs and retching are normal in cats, but if your cat is gagging every few weeks or for more than 48 hours at a stretch, she may be ingesting too much extra hair, which might be causing her to vomit.
If you observe your cat licking herself more than normal, or if any bald spots form on her body, it’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about having her tested for allergies.
A bile-producing cat, on the other hand, may indicate pancreatitis, and you should take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you can after seeing this.
If your cat doesn’t pass the hairball and these indicators persist for more than two to three days, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure that nothing else is wrong with him.
Q Are furballs a cause for concern in older cats?
Most older cats continue to encounter hairballs in the same manner as they did when they were younger, but constipation may be a problem for these cats and – in rare cases – can result in serious health consequences for them. The reason for this is because as cats age, the passage of food through their digestive systems becomes slower, which can result in constipation. Cats that endure discomfort when defecating (such as those suffering from arthritis) may also have constipation more frequently.
If you notice that your cat isn’t using her litter tray as frequently as she used to and appears sluggish, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure that nothing is wrong.
Q Is that retching noise always due to a furball?
A It is difficult to distinguish hairballs from other dangerous health issues, such as feline asthma, because they are so similar in appearance. If your cat is suffering from both a dry cough and a painful throat (laryngitis) at the same time, she may make a retching sound that sounds like she is coughing up a hairball, which may indicate that she is suffering from both conditions at the same time. For this reason, if you’re in any question about which ailment your cat may be suffering from, consult your veterinarian for guidance.
Q Do furballs ever need veterinary treatment?
If your cat’s bowel becomes blocked as a result of hairballs, he or she may require treatment from your veterinarian. While it is extremely unusual, some senior cats might suffer from constipation, which can result in a hairball, which can then create more complications. So, if your cat was afflicted by hairballs when she was younger, or if her litter-box habits aren’t as consistent as they used to be, your veterinarian may recommend an anti-furball laxative.
Your cat’s gut is de-fluffed as a result of the thick, sticky nature of the product, which collects all of the hair and excretes it safely in her feces.
Q Any prevention tips?
A light brushing of your cat on a regular basis may surely assist, and you should aim for once-a-day grooming sessions for longhaired breeds and once-a-week grooming sessions for shorthaired cats as a general rule. A dry food with anti-hairball properties may also be appropriate if your cat is susceptible to furballs. In addition to providing vitamins and minerals to enhance the health of your cat’s fur and decrease hair loss, these kibble-based diets often provide enough of fiber to help’sweep’ any unwanted fur through her digestive tract.
If your cat is coughing or choking on a frequent basis, you should never assume that it is due to a hairball.
Your Cat Has Hairballs: Should You Worry?
A light brushing of your cat on a frequent basis will surely assist, and you should aim for once-a-day grooming sessions for longhaired species and once-a-week grooming sessions for shorthaired types at a minimum. Consider using an anti-hairball dry food if your cat has a tendency to produce furballs. In addition to providing vitamins and minerals to enhance the health of your cat’s fur and minimize hair loss, these kibble-based diets often provide lots of fiber to help’sweep’ the extra fur from her digestive tract.
In the event that your cat coughs or gags on a frequent basis, don’t automatically think it’s a hairball.
What Causes Cat Hairballs?
Grooming is a daily activity for domestic cats that takes between 30 and 50% of their time. A healthful pastime, grooming is necessary for keeping cats clean, and it is also relaxing. The papillae (hook-shaped protrusions) on their tongues force them to ingest a significant amount of the loose hair they lick out of their coats. Because hair is composed of keratin, a protein that mammals cannot digest, the majority of the food that fur cats consume is passed along unprocessed and excreted with the feces of the cat.
Jane Brunt, executive director of the Catalyst Council.
However, this is very typical.
If the hairball development becomes too large to travel through the intestines, it is regurgitated rather than digested.
(And what about the dogs? Hairballs in dogs are quite uncommon, although they do occur.)
9 Surprising Home Remedies for Cat Hairballs
If you’ve ever heard your cat struggling to expel a hairball, you’re familiar with the sound. You may wake up in the middle of the night or ruin your lunch because of the retching, gagging, and vomiting noises. The paper towels and cleaning sprays are gathered as your poor cat tries to rid himself or herself of this alien product. Hairballs, also known as trichobezoars (from the Greek tricho-, which means “pertaining to hair,” and bezoar, which means “a mass trapped in the gastrointestinal system”), are formed when cats groom themselves.
- Balls form, and when the cat becomes uncomfortable with them, the wad is vomited up.
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian before attempting any of the techniques listed below, especially if your cat is elderly or suffering from a long-term medical condition.
- Using a brush When your cat sheds, it contributes to the formation of hairballs, so removing loose hair from your cat is essential to preventing hairball formation.
- Your cat will grow to enjoy these grooming sessions, and you may find them to be soothing as well.
- This will aid in the removal of any remaining loose hair.
- If you notice that your cat is having trouble with hairballs, you might want to consider putting a small amount of olive oil in his or her food.
Allow your cat to lick it off of your hands.
The use of oil throughout your cat’s digestive system will aid in the elimination of hair from its stools as well as digestion.
Other oils, such as mineral oil, corn oil or saffron oil can also help.
Melt it in the microwave and drizzle over your cat’s food once a week.
Petroleum Jelly You can trick your cat into relieving his or her own problems by applying a bit of petroleum jelly to a paw.
This will help make feces elimination more comfortable, thus removing hair in the cat’s digestive tract.
Give your cat a special treat with a bit of tuna or a sardine occasionally.
Fiber-loaded pumpkin has binding qualities and can assist in the passage of feces and hairballs.
Just mix a teaspoon or so into Tigger’s bowl ofCANIDAE® cat food.
More FiberAn increase in fiber is good for anyone’s diet, and cats are no different.
A quarter teaspoon of Metamucil or another fiber product can be added to the food for the same effect.
Diet Cats benefit from diets that suit their metabolic needs, and CANIDAE® offers a formula that is specially formulated for hairball control.
The food features fresh chicken, making it delicious and beneficial to your cat’s digestive tract.
Warning Signs of Problems Hairballs are usually harmless, but they can cause a blockage. Call your veterinarian if your cat develops a swollen or hard belly or has difficulty defecating (constipation), unproductive attempts to vomit, or repeated coughing.
4 Natural Remedies for Cat Hairballs
If you’ve ever heard your cat straining to release a hairball, you’ve heard that terrible sound. You may wake up in the middle of the night or waste your meal because of the retching, choking, and vomiting sounds. The paper towels and cleaning sprays are rushed to your rescue as your poor cat tries to remove himself or herself of the foreign object. Hairballs, also known as trichobezoars (from the Greek tricho-, which means “pertaining to hair,” and bezoar, which means “a mass stuck in the gastrointestinal system”), are formed when cats groom themselves too aggressively.
- A wad of fur forms, and the cat vomits it up when it becomes unpleasant.
- However, a simple home cure can prevent hairball formation.
- Regular brushing of your cat’s coat is recommended, especially if he or she has long hair or is shedding.
- Make careful to pick a fragrance-free brand that is hypoallergenic if you want to use wipes on a regular basis.
Make an olive oil addition to your cat’s food if you notice that he or she is having difficulty with hairballs.
Make it easy for your cat to get it.
Allowing oil to circulate throughout your cat’s digestive tract can assist it in eliminating hair from its feces as well as assisting it in its digesting.
Other oils, such as mineral oil, maize oil, or saffron oil, can also be beneficial in this situation.
Spread the love!
Once a week, melt the butter in the microwave and pour it over your cat’s food.
By putting a small amount of petroleum jelly to a paw, you can deceive your cat into thinking he or she is helping himself or herself.
This will assist in making excrement removal more pleasant for the cat, as well as eliminating hair from the digestive tract of the cat.
Give your cat a special treat every now and then by giving him a piece of tuna or a sardine.
Did you know that canned pumpkin may assist pets in passing over obstacles?
Remember to pick pure pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie filling, which contains additional sugar.
You may supplement your cat’s meal with a few tablespoons of high-fiber cereal to aid in the digestion of those hairballs.
Dietary Supplements It is beneficial for cats to consume diets that are tailored to their metabolic requirements, and CANIDAE® has a recipe that is specifically created to reduce hairball formation.
Fresh chicken is used in this recipe, which makes it both delicious and good to your cat’s digestive tract.
Please see your veterinarian if your cat gets a large or hard tummy, has trouble defecating (constipation), makes repeated unsuccessful efforts to vomit, or has frequent coughing episodes.
What Causes Cat Hairballs?
Cats are careful groomers, and they utilize their tongues to accomplish their grooming tasks. It is likely that cat owners who have experienced the occasional affectionate tongue wash from their feline companions are familiar with the abrasive texture of our feline friends’ tongues, which can be rather unpleasant. This is due to the fact that their tongues are actually coated with small barbs, which are ideal for removing dirt and other detritus from their coats. They’re also great at catching superfluous fur, which they subsequently swallow whole if necessary.
I’m a celebrity!
Cat furballs, also known as hairballs, are formed when a big amount of fur becomes stuck in a cat’s stomach and is regurgitated back up through the mouth.
Cat Hairball Symptoms
The symptoms of a cat hairball are all well-known to most cat owners, and they are easy to recognize. They frequently consist of the following: The majority of the time, these noises indicate that your cat is ready to expel a hairball from its system. In addition to the obvious indicators of a hairball, there are several less obvious signs that your cat is having difficulties with it and may require medical treatment. If you see any of the following indicators in your cat, it’s time to forego the home cures and make an appointment with your veterinarian right away:
- Continuous hacking or retching that does not result in the formation of a hairball Difficulties digesting food, such as diarrhea or constipation, as well as a lack of appetite Lethargy
- The presence of a large or firm stomach
However, if your cat is prone to hairballs and has no difficulty expelling them, there are certain things you may do at home to reduce the frequency with which they occur.
Natural Remedies for Hairballs in Cats
To the relief of most people, hairballs are not generally an indication of a more serious condition. However, if you’ve ever observed a cat in the process of coughing one up, you’ve probably noted that it isn’t a particularly pleasant experience for the cat in question. We don’t especially love cleaning up after ourselves, either! You’ll be relieved to discover that there are a few simple and natural cures for cat hairballs that you may try at home.
The most efficient technique to deal with hairballs is, of course, to avoid them in the first place. When you brush your dog regularly, you may remove a lot of the extra fur that might otherwise be eaten and regurgitated. Moreover, it gives an exceptional opportunity for us to spend quality time with our cats. While some cats adore being brushed, others may not be quite as excited about the experience. Introducing grooming time gradually may assist them in adjusting with the least amount of discomfort (for the cat or the cat parent!
Starting with one or two strokes with a grooming glove and then rewarding your dog with special goodies may make the changeover less difficult.
With a size that is tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand, it’s an excellent tool for gently removing extra fur that might result in hairballs.
Brushing does not have to be a time-consuming and tedious activity. Long-haired cats normally only require a few minutes of brushing every day, whereas short-haired cats may only require brushing a few times per week.
We all know that we need to consume enough fiber in our diets, but did you realize that fiber is also necessary for our feline companions? It is possible to increase the amount of fiber in your cat’s food, which will aid in keeping the hair she eats going through her digestive tract rather than being vomited back up. Fiber-fortifying cat diets, canned pumpkin, and small pieces of fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all viable sources of fiber for your feline companion.
If you want to increase your cat’s fiber intake, always consult with your veterinarian first.
Treats are another delicious approach to keep hairballs under control.
Remedy3: Natural Lubricative
Hairballs can be coated with a teaspoon of fish, safflower, or flax oil, which can be given to your cat’s diet to help it travel through his digestive tract. Using a hairball prevention jelly that contains slippery elm, marshmallow, or papaya is an additional alternative. These are typically administered once or twice a week. Tomlyn Hairball cure is a lubricant that is available in two forms: agelor chew and soft chew.
Unless a cat’s diet has adequate moisture, her digestive tract may have to work harder than it should, which may exacerbate her hairball problem. The majority of cats really prefer to drink water that is moving or flowing. Therefore, even if your cat has continual access to a good clean bowl of water, she may not be drinking enough water to keep up with her needs. A water fountain is an excellent technique to encourage your cat to drink more water. Our Catit Flower Fountain is a favorite of myself and my cat Olivia.
- She may drink clean, flowing water to her little heart’s content now that my faucet has been turned off for her!
- A cat that consumes a diet that is mostly comprised of dry kibble may be deficient in the amount of moisture she requires.
- Consequently, it will assist her digestive tract in moving all of the hair and debris through instead of sending it back up where it came from, which will be beneficial.
- A cat that is dry heaving or vomiting undigested food, that has stopped passing feces, that has abdominal enlargement, or that has lost its appetite should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
However, in the majority of cases, using these natural therapies can make a significant impact. Because of our efforts, hairballs are no longer a problem for our cats (and for our floors, too).
Cat Hairballs – Symptoms & Treatment
Some cat owners believe that their pet passes a hairball on a daily basis, but this is not the case. The majority of the time, cats should only develop hairballs once or twice a month, if at all. When cats brush themselves, the majority of the hairs they consume will pass through their digestive system and out into the litter box without issue. However, if your cat develops hairballs on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to take them to the doctor. Cat hairballs in large quantities might be a sign of a problem with the gastrointestinal tract, and it is advisable to have this checked out as soon as possible in this situation.
When cats are anxious, they tend to over-groom – similar to how we bite our fingernails – and as a result, they eat more hair, resulting in more hairballs in the litter box.
Which cats produce more hairballs?
In most cases, cat hairballs are a normal component of a cat’s instinctual grooming routine and are not a cause for concern. Kittens and younger cats tend to have less hairballs than older cats and kittens because they are less particular about their grooming. Older cats, on the other hand, may have become more finicky and may be more prone to producing hairballs. Fluffy cats are the ideal companion, but they are also susceptible to generating more hairballs on a more frequent basis. Generally speaking, cats with longer coats, such as Persians and Maine Coons, create more natural hairballs because their hair gathers into a clump more quickly.
How to help a cat with hairballs
When a cat gets hairballs, many cat owners are anxious because it appears that the cat is choking or having difficulty breathing. What is the most effective method for owners to assist a cat in throwing up a hairball? Allowing your cat lots of room is the most effective way to help them with hairballs, even if it is terrible to see them squirming and choking. To be able to vomit the hairball, it is totally natural for your cat to gag numerous times. The trick is to remain calm and watch your cat to ensure that the hairball is brought up and then that they stop gagging when it is.
Hairball treatment for cats
When your cat has hairballs, it’s natural to question what therapies are available to help him or her. There are several home cures available on the internet, particularly for oils and lubricants. However, we do not recommend that you attempt these. Alternatively, you may purchase a specific cat hairball treatment paste that contains a laxative and lubricant to assist them in passing through the digestive tract. However, in most cases, this is not necessary. If you do decide to use it, make sure to follow the directions to the letter.
These kibble-based products include a high amount of fiber, which aids in the passage of extra fur through the digestive tract.
These treats also provide your cat with vitamins and minerals to help maintain his or her fur in good condition and decrease hair loss. Finally, in extreme occurrences of hairballs, veterinarians might prescribe medications to alleviate the condition.
When can cat hairballs become dangerous?
Hairballs are quite innocuous in and of themselves. To the contrary, if your cat is walking about the house and frequently retching without showing any signs of having a hairball (and especially if they’ve lost their appetite and are hesitant to eat), you should take them to the veterinarian right away. It’s possible that the hairball has traveled from their stomach to their gut. This is a dangerous ailment that should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your cat exhibits any of the following cat hairball symptoms, you should take them to the veterinarian:
- Gagging, vomiting, and retching over an extended period of time without generating a hairball
- A decrease in appetite
- Constipation or diarrhoea in the cat
- An excessive amount of grass nibbling
- Stomach that is bloated or sensitive
How do cat hairballs get diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnosing cat hairballs, there are a variety of options available to veterinarians. An x-ray or a physical examination may be required. In severe circumstances, surgery may be required to remove the hairball if it has grown to a significant size; however, this can be quite expensive in terms of veterinary expenditures. Asthma symptoms such as constant retching (with no trace of a hairball) and fatigue are also possible. The vet should be able to determine what is causing the problem.
In most cases, it is common for cats to pass hairballs on occasion.
This is a symptom that too much hair is ending up in the cat’s digestive tract and should be investigated.
How can you help prevent hairballs in cats?
Although there is no way to totally prevent hairballs from developing, there are a few things you may do to make the process easier.
The Danger of Hairballs
It is possible for a cat to consume a huge clump of hair, which can obstruct the digestive track and cause death. Here’s how to avoid them in the future. The odd time your generally obedient cat will do something frightening and even a little unpleasant is bound to happen. A calm snooze will be interrupted by her rising to her paws, vomiting convulsively for a second or two, and spitting up what appears to be a moist clump at first view. This is a trichobezoar, or a wad of undigested hair that is frequently known to as a hairball, that the animal has thrown up in the center of your kitchen floor or, even worse, in the middle of your precious Persian rug.
They are frequently thin and cylindrical in form, resembling a cigar or a sausage rather than a round ball.
According to him, however, a hairball that is not disgorged and lingers in the stomach will be circular — “similar in shape to a sponge or a rolled-up sock.” Regurgitated hairballs can range in size from an inch to five inches in length and an inch in thickness, however they are typically an inch long and an inch thick.
- Most of the time, the expelled stuff will have an unpleasant, but manageable, smell.
- In the process of grooming herself, your cat consumes a lot of loose hair.
- The fundamental structural component of the hair, Dr.
- Even while the vast majority of the animal’s eaten hair finally passes through the digestive tract and is ejected intact in the feces, some of it lingers in the stomach and gradually gathers into a wet clump, which is known as a “hairball.” According to Dr.
- This is hardly a cause for concern, except from the annoyance it causes the owner.
- He also points out that a hairball that manages to get into the small intestine and become securely trapped there can be quite dangerous.
- If you have regular hacking fits, it’s probable that they have nothing to do with hairballs.
- The diagnosis of intestinal obstruction is made on the basis of physical examination, bloodwork, X-rays, and sometimes ultrasound, as well as a history of the animal’s pattern of hairball regurgitation (hairball regurgitation history).
- The majority of the time, however, the focus of treatment will be on protecting the intestines over a period of several days of clinical care that may involve the use of a laxative to help move the hairball down the digestive tract.
Goldstein strongly encourages owners not to provide a laxative to their cats without first seeking the advice and supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Eating commercial diets that claim to be useful in avoiding or alleviating such a blockage should be avoided, according to the same guidelines.
Dealing with Your Cat’s Hairball Problem
There is no doubt in my mind that you adore your cat. But what about hairballs in cats? That’s not the case. Take solace in the knowledge that you are not alone in your struggle against the dreaded cat hairballs. In fact, according to a Hill’sstudy, the most common ailment reported by cat parents was hairballs, which accounted for 35% of all recorded cases. Here are some suggestions on how to get rid of those unsightly mounds of hair that make you shudder.
What Are Hairballs?
When your cat eats hair, it usually travels through her digestive tract and is discharged through the litter box. However, if the hair collects in the stomach or esophagus and is not digested, she will vomit it up in order to get rid of the excess hair. Hairballs can take on a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the cat, but the majority of the time they are cylindrical in shape owing to their journey up the tiny esophagus. According to Richard Goldstein, DVM, an associate professor of small animal health at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, it is not uncommon for a cat to vomit a hairball every week or two.
She will leave you with a few little presents that will have a color that is practically identical to her fur, but will be somewhat deeper in color due to the food she eats and other gastric secretions produced by her digestive system.
The most typical warning sign that your cat is ready to spit up a hairball, however, is a loud retching and hacking sounds that precedes it.
Why Is My Cat Eating Hair?
Don’t worry, your cat isn’t considering her coat as a noon snack just yet. Cats swallow hair because they are self-groomers, which means that they maintain themselves clean by licking their own faces and bodies. If you’ve ever been the receiver of a cat’s affectionate kisses, you’re probably already aware that their tongues are very harsh. That roughness provides a means for your meticulous pet to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair from her coat, letting her to maintain her sleek and clean appearance without the assistance of a person (unlike most dogs, for instance).
It is for this reason that hairballs must be expelled in some way or another.
Are Some Cats More Likely to Get Hairballs Than Others?
Generally speaking, long-haired cats such as Persians and Maine Coons are more prone to hairballs than their short-haired counterparts. This is due to the fact that they have more hair than their short-haired counterparts.
Hairballs may also become more prevalent when the weather heats, since all cats prefer to lose their heavy winter coats as the season progresses. Some cats just groom themselves more frequently than others, making them more prone to developing hairballs as a result of this.
Are Hairballs in Cats a Health Issue?
It is dependent on the situation. Hairballs in cats are a natural–if not particularly enjoyable–way for a cat to relieve herself of hair that has been lodged in her stomach, and they are quite normal on occasion. However, if they occur frequently, or if you notice or hear your cat retching, vomiting, or coughing without the sight of a hairball, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. The presence of constipation, an unusual amount of hair in the stool, a loss of appetite, and lethargy are all indications that your pet may be suffering from hairballs.
- Additionally, if you see an increase in the amount of hairballs or notice your cat grooming itself more frequently than normal, this might be an indication of a more serious skin problem that you should consult your veterinarian about immediately.
- In addition, your veterinarian may urge that you have an ultrasound or x-rays taken to ensure that there are no obstructions that might injure your cat.
- It is possible that a laxative will help to evacuate the hairball in less severe situations, however laxatives should only be used under the supervision of a veterinarian.
How Can You ManagePrevent Hairballs?
There are three things you can do to assist your cat’s hairballs be as little as possible. Grooming your cat will help to prevent shedding in the long run. Regular brushing sessions will prevent your cat from eating loose hair as a result of its own grooming behavior. Your brushing will not prevent your cat from grooming herself, but it will help to lessen the amount of hair she consumes. Grooming sessions with you also have the added bonus of serving as a bonding activity for you and your animal companion!
As with any product, however, consult with your veterinarian before beginning a regular regimen to ensure that it is appropriate for your cat’s needs.
Added natural fiber is included in a hairball control cat food’s balanced nutrition to assist your cat in moving hair naturally through his digestive system while also nourishing your cat’s skin and coat to minimize shedding, according to the manufacturer.
Hills® Science Diet® for Cats with Hairball Issues provides the following options for cats with hairball issues:
- Science Diet® Adult Hairball Control is a prescription-strength hairball control product. Science Diet® Adult Hairball Control Light is recommended for cats aged 1 to 6. Science Diet® Adult Hairball Control is formulated for cats aged 1 to 6 who have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Science Diet® Ocean Fish EntréeScience Diet® Savory Chicken Entrée Science Diet® Adult 7+ Hairball Control and Science Diet® Adult 7+ Hairball Control are two canned food options for cats that prefer canned food or who are on a combined wet-dry diet schedule. Science Diet® Adult Urinary Hairball Control is recommended for older cats that battle with hairballs. Science Diet® Adult Urinary Hairball Control Cat Food helps to maintain the overall health of the urinary system in cats. In addition to the dry powdered version, there is a canned food version that promotes the health of the entire urinary system.
Your cat–and you–do not have to put up with a lot of hairballs any longer. It is possible to say goodbye to hairballs by combing your cat and choosing a high-quality diet that will maintain her coat healthy while also allowing the hair to go freely through her digestive tract.
Kara Murphy is a model and actress who lives in New York City. Kara Murphy is a writer who works as a freelancer in Erie, Pennsylvania. She has a cat named Olive, who, fortunately, does not produce hairballs.
How to help a cat with hairballs
Given that you want your cat to be a joyful, cuddle-worthy bundle of fun, it might be heartbreaking to witness your pet coughing and choking on a hairball. Despite the fact that hairballs are unpleasant to hear and see, the occasional occurrence is nothing to be concerned about. If your cat’s hairballs are becoming more frequent, or if your cat is exhibiting other indications of illness, it may be time to visit the veterinarian. A good pet insurance policy may be able to assist you in covering the costs of treating your cat’s issue hairballs.
Why do cats get hairballs?
Cats can spend up to 50% of their awake time grooming and grooming themselves. Their mouths are equipped with barbs that face backwards and function as a comb to comb through their fur. As a result, they remain clean, keep their coat, remain cool, comfort themselves, and even form bonds with the other cats in their immediate vicinity. Some of the hairs will enter the cat’s mouth as a result of this combing action. Most of the time, they are ingested by the cat and excreted in its feces together with its food.
- As a result, feline feces frequently contain fragments of their hair from grooming activities.
- Due to the fact that it cannot go down into the gut, the hair is forced to migrate upwards instead of downwards in a sausage form.
- It might take a cat up to 48 hours of frequent gagging and retching before a hairball is completely expelled.
- During the spring, when your cat is shedding its winter coat and performing more grooming to clean the hair, hairballs are the most usual occurrence.
What can you do to help a cat with a hairball?
It’s crucial not to become overly concerned at the first hint of a hairball forming. It’s difficult to specify how many hairballs a cat should produce in a healthy amount of time because this differs amongst various cat breeds. Depending on the expert, a hairball per week or fortnight is nothing to be concerned about, whilst some believe that one or two hairballs per year is a better indication of a healthy cat. Keep track of your cat’s routine and keep an eye out for any changes in their hairball frequency, since this might be an indication of an underlying health concern.
The majority of the time, a cat will be able to remove a hairball on their own without assistance.
Keep an eye on your cat from a safe distance to ensure that they bring up the hairball so that you may dispose of it properly. If your cat is having difficulty passing a hairball, there are a few options that may be effective:
- Laxatone An oral gel that aids in the binding of hair in your cat’s stomach, making it simpler for the hair to travel through the digestive tract
- Diet for hairballs
Some cat meals are specifically made to aid in the prevention or management of hairballs. These meals often have a high amount of fiber, which helps to ensure that food and hair pass through the intestines in a constant stream.
- Medications on prescription Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on whether prescription-only meals or supplements would be acceptable for your cat’s nutritional needs. Laxatives These should only be administered under the supervision of your veterinarian.
Can hairballs be prevented?
Despite the fact that it is impossible to prevent your cat from ever having a single hairball, it is feasible to minimize the frequency with which they occur if you can reduce the amount of fur that travels through your pet’s digestive system. Your pet’s coat will be more manageable if you groom them on a regular basis. This will reduce the amount of hair your puss consumes as a result of their typical grooming activities. If your cat is of a long-haired breed, the likelihood of him developing hairballs is increased, and you may wish to brush him on a regular basis.
By distributing food consumption throughout the day, you may avoid overwhelming your cat’s digestive tract and creating constipation.
Mats and tangles can grow in your cat’s fur, so brushing him regularly can help prevent this from happening.
In order to keep your cat healthy, avoid overfeeding them with goodies, keep them busy by playing games and exercising, and make sure they aren’t exposed to a stressful atmosphere.
Hairballs and older cats
As cats get older, their bodies become less effective at a number of critical functions, including digesting. The digestion of older cats is frequently slower, which can result in constipation, which allows hairballs to build along with the rest of their faeces. Elder cats also groom more frequently than their younger feline counterparts, who are too preoccupied chasing butterflies and climbing the drapes to think about grooming themselves. Mature cats put in the effort to keep their coats in good shape, but they also ingest more hair as a result of doing so.
It’s possible that making a few changes to your cat’s food or using an anti-furball laxative would solve the problem.
When should you be concerned about your cat’s hairballs?
When it comes to your pet’s health, hairballs may be extremely dangerous – even deadly in some circumstances. The formation of an extremely big hairball may prevent your pet from regurgitating it, which will result in the hairball continuing to expand and eventually causing a blockage in the digestive tract. So, when should you be concerned about your cat’s hairballs and when shouldn’t you?
If your cat is producing hairballs more frequently than once every two weeks or so, you should consult your veterinarian. A clue that your pet is overgrooming as a result of stress, a skin problem, or an allergy can be seen in this behavior.
A higher level of grooming can result in increased hair consumption and the development of hairless patches. Customers with Purely Pets insurance can contact the 24-hour Vet Helpline if they are concerned.
Bile accompanying the hairball
Immediately contact your veterinarian if you see a greenish liquid accompanying your cat’s hairball. This might be an indication of pancreatitis, which should be treated as soon as possible.
Taking more than a few days to pass a hairball
Hairballs should not last more than a day or two in a cat; if your cat has been gagging for an extended period of time, consult your veterinarian to determine if there is a problem. For starters, continuous gagging and retching might cause dehydration in your feline companion.
Lethargy and lack of energy
The production of a hairball can cause cats to become sluggish, but it can also indicate a more severe condition, so if your cat becomes really drowsy or refuses to eat, you may want professional assistance.
Constipation or diarrhoea
Stools that are coming in too slowly or too rapidly are both indicators that your cat’s digestive tract is under stress and needs to be treated.
Change in appetite
This is just another indication that something is wrong with your cat’s stomach. You should get your cat’s hairball examined if it happens at the same time as the retching. However, it is always better to be on the safe side and have it looked at.
Swollen or sensitive stomach
When your cat’s stomach feels sore, it might be an indication of discomfort or pain, which could be caused by a hairball in his digestive tract. Interested in learning more about feline health? Read our blog post on the five most prevalent feline health concerns for more information.
What do vets do to treat hairball problems?
If you have to take your cat to the vet because of a hairball-related problem, the veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and maybe an X-ray to determine whether an enormous hairball is the source of the problem. Most of the time, treatments and drugs will suffice, but in extreme circumstances, surgery may be necessary to remove the hairball completely. Surgery in the case of an emergency is laden with danger, underscoring the significance of visiting your veterinarian as soon as you discover a problem so that it may be addressed before the need for surgery arises.
- Peritonitis is a common side effect after surgery, and it can be deadly.
- Your veterinarian may decide to administer an injection to your cat that will trigger vomiting, which may aid in the removal of the stool.
- A method such as this should never be used to make your cat ill at home.
- It’s possible that your pet insurance coverage will cover this.
- For example, a gut problem might be at the base of the problem if the cat’s feces are not adequately cleaning out the stomach.
- If your cat is unable to properly pass hair through his digestive tract, it is likely that other stuff in his intestines is also becoming stagnant.
Inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease can be caused by a disruption in the balance of gut flora.
Managing the cost of hairball treatment
Suppose your cat has emergency surgery to remove a hairball that has been lodged in their digestive tract. In this situation, the prognosis is not only perilous for them, but also extremely expensive for you. It is possible that the expense of surgery and vet care will run into thousands of pounds – causing you to be concerned about money at the same time as you are really concerned about your pet. Fortunately, in the great majority of instances, surgery is not required, and the hairball may be treated with non-surgical procedures and drugs instead of surgery.
Why insure with Purely Pets?
Purely Pets provides pet insurance that is customized to meet your specific requirements and preferences. Because you may choose from 15 various levels of coverage with our insurance, you can determine how much you want to pay and what sort of coverage is best for you and your pet. In the event that your cat becomes unwell, our pet insurance guarantees that you can give them with the best possible treatment while not having to worry about the financial side of things. The majority of pet insurance policies cover vet bills ranging from £1,000 to £15,000, as well as special diets, supplemental therapy, boarding fees, and vacation cancellation.
Please contact us for more information.
The advantages, features, and discounts given by insurance policies and the types of coverage selected may differ depending on the insurance scheme or cover selected and are subject to underwriting conditions.