Remedies for Hairballs
If you have a cat, there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled across a hairball in your house at least a couple of times. It’s possible that you woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of your cat coughing up a lung. These sticky masses are anything but pleasant, regardless of whether you’ve seen them or walked in them. Cats groom themselves on a regular basis. Their tough tongues scrape dirt, debris, and loose hair from their mouths, which they subsequently consume. Most of the time, the hair passes past the stomach and into the digestive system without causing any problems.
The presence of an infrequent hairball is normally not reason for alarm, and it does not signify the presence of a major condition.
Despite their rarity, hairballs in cats’ stomachs can be dangerous if the clump of fur becomes too large to pass or if it remains caught in the cat’s digestive track.
Remedies for Hairballs in Cats
While hairballs aren’t usually deadly, they aren’t pleasant for your cat to cough up in the first place. In addition, hearing your cat go through this ordeal is not pleasant for you as the owner. To your advantage, there are several things you may do to assist avoid hairballs or minimize the frequency with which they occur. Their Fur Should Be Brushed Cats are terrific groomers in their own right. If your cat sheds a lot, however, it is possible that they will ingest a significant amount of the loose fur, increasing the likelihood of a hairball forming.
- Brushing your cat at least once or twice a week is recommended under ideal circumstances.
- Some cats benefit from brushing on a daily basis.
- If your cat falls into the second type, you might want to consider using grooming gloves rather than a brush on him.
- Consider shaving the hair down if they’re becoming difficult to brush or pet.
Baby WipesAfter brushing your cat, wipe them down with a fragrance-free, hypoallergenicbaby wipe to remove any remaining hair. You may also use a moist paper towel as an alternative. With the use of a damp towel such as this, you can remove any residual loose hairs, which will help to limit the quantity of fur that gets up in your cat’s stomach and lessen the danger of hairballs. Increase the amount of fiber Cats require fiber in order to maintain a healthy digestive tract, much like humans. However, their nutritional requirements differ from those of humans and other omnivores in that they often do not require plant fiber.
Even yet, increasing the amount of fiber in your cat’s food can help to reduce the likelihood of hairballs by assisting in the movement of items through their digestive system more efficiently. Some types of fiber to consider include are:
- Cat grass
- Metamucil (fiber pill or powder)
- Pumpkin or pumpkin powder
- Pumpkin (or pumpkin powder)
It’s important to remember that a cat’s fiber requirements are much different than those of a person. In order to avoid undesirable side effects, you should avoid adding excessive amounts of food to your cat’s diet. If you’re not sure how much to add, consult with your cat’s veterinarian. IncreaseYourCat’sWaterIntakeIf your cat consumes dry food, it is probable that their diet does not include enough water to fulfill their hydration needs. Therefore, their digestive system may not be able to perform at its optimal level of performance.
Running water is preferred by many felines over still water, although they may be put off by the odor or taste of tap water.
Canned food may also provide sufficient water to aid in the healthy functioning of the digestive system, hence minimizing the likelihood of hairballs.
Adding a spoonful of olive oil or melted butter to your cat’s diet once a week can help to keep him healthy.
Another approach is to saturate your cat’s paw with petroleum jelly, which can be quite effective. Their licking will remove the jelly, and the jelly will coat their digestive track, making it easier for the hair to travel through their system. There are also petroleum-based medicines available that you may give to your cat on a regular basis to keep him healthy. Try Cat Food that has been formulated to help with hairballs. If your cat coughs up hairballs on a frequent basis, you might want to try switching to a food that is particularly designed to help alleviate the problem.
It is common for the recipes to add ingredients such as increased fiber and oil, as well as minerals and vitamins, which can aid in the natural passage of the ingested hair through the digestive system.
When to See a Vet
While the occasional hairball may not be a cause for concern, there are specific cases in which you should consult your veterinarian for advice. Hairballs can develop to such a size that your cat is unable to pass them, or they can become caught in the digestive tract, causing a blockage. This is quite unusual, but it can happen. If the hairball becomes too huge, it may be necessary to have it surgically removed. If your cat exhibits any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
- The person tries to vomit, but is unsuccessful
- Doesn’t have any problem defecating (pooping)
- Has a swollen, firm belly
- Is overweight. As a result, one becomes sluggish (tired). Has a loss of appetite or refuses to drink
9 Home Remedies for Hairballs
If you’ve ever heard your cat straining to release a hairball, you’re familiar with the sound. You may wake up in the middle of the night or waste your meal because of the retching, choking, and vomiting noises. The paper towels and cleaning sprays are gathered as your poor cat tries to free himself or herself of this alien stuff. 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.
- Balls develop, and when the cat becomes uncomfortable with them, the wad is vomited up.
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian before attempting any of the treatments listed here, especially if your cat is elderly or suffering from a long-term medical condition.
- Brush your cat’s coat every day, especially if he or she has long hair or is going through a shedding phase.
- The second step is to wipe down your cat with a moist paper towel or a baby wipe to complete your grooming procedure.
- If you want to use wipes, make sure to find a fragrance-free brand that is also hypoallergenic to avoid irritating your skin.
- If you see your cat dealing with hairballs, consider adding a small amount of olive oil to his or her diet.
- Allow your cat to lick it off of your hands.
The use of oil throughout your cat’s digestive tract will aid in the elimination of hair from its feces as well as digesting.
Other oils, such as mineral oil, maize oil, or saffron oil, can also be beneficial in this situation.
A teaspoon of butter will do the same function as the oil.
5.Petroleum Jelly is a type of jelly made from petroleum.
Your cat will very certainly lick the jelly away, lubricating the digestive tract in the process.
Do this once or twice a week, if possible.
Give your cat a special treat every now and then by giving him a piece of tuna or a sardine.
7.Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, Peter, Peter.
Fiber-rich pumpkin contains binding properties, which can aid in the transit of stools and hairballs through the digestive tract.
Put a teaspoon or two into their dish of food and stir well.
You may supplement your cat’s meal with a few tablespoons of high-fiber cereal to aid in the digestion of those hairballs.
It is possible to get the same result by mixing a quarter teaspoon of Metamucil or similar fiber product into the meal. 9.Diet Cats benefit from meals that are tailored to their specific metabolic requirements. Select a product that will assist in digestion as well as hairball prevention.
Warning Signs of Problems
The majority of the time, hairballs are innocuous, but they can become a stumbling block. 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. Credit for this article: this on Twitter|this on Facebook|this as an email to a friend
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.
- If your cat finds itself in this posture and does not cough up any mucus on a regular basis, it may be suffering from asthma.
- 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.
- In the event that your cat is having a really difficult time breathing, it may choose to breathe via its mouth.
- 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.
- After each grooming session, sanitize your comb and brush.
- 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.
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Cat parents are well aware of the coughing and retching sounds their cats make, as well as what follows as a result: a smelly hairball on the floor that needs to be cleaned up. It is, without a doubt, the least glamorous aspect of owning a pet cat! While it is impossible to prevent hairballs from forming, there are methods for reducing their frequency. Find out whether cat hairball cures can be effective for your feline companion.
Cats and Hairballs
Unfortunately, hairballs are an unavoidable part of life for the majority of cats and their cat owners. In fact, there is a National Hairball Awareness Day, which is observed on the final Friday in April. (I have to admit that I didn’t get to participate in that event this year!) Hairballs are really the product of good grooming habits, despite the fact that they can be rather unpleasant. It is natural for cats to lick their fur to keep it clean, and their rough tongues trap loose hairs, dander, and dirt, all of which is eventually eaten.
Cats eventually cough out the hairball, which is also accompanied by saliva and bile.
It’s worth noting that hairballs are not truly formed like balls of yarn.
Almost any breed of cat, with the exception of hairless types such as the Sphynx, which have only a little peach fuzz coating their body, can have hairballs.
The lengthier hair of breeds with thick and luxuriant coats, like as Persians and Maine Coons, makes them more susceptible to contracting the disease more frequently.
If you have a cat, you’re undoubtedly fairly familiar with the routine of dealing with hairballs. Cats with arched backs and crunched shoulders are more prone to hacking, retching, and choking than those with flat backs. If you’re listening in on the distressing sounds, it might feel like it takes a long time, although it usually just takes a few seconds to complete. And then, all of a sudden, the hairball appears. You may both take a deep breath of relief—except for the fact that you still have to clean up after yourselves.
- Every step of the process, from preparation to cleanup, is generally straightforward.
- When my cat picks the tile floor rather than the soft carpet for her hairball moment, I’m always grateful to her for her decision.
- Consider the following scenario: your cat’s cough is chronic, and you’ve noticed additional symptoms such as discharge from the eyes or nasal passages.
- If your cat is vomiting on a regular basis, whether or not they have hairballs, you should take them to the veterinarian.
Hairballs can be problematic if they do not pass through the digestive tract and become lodged in the intestines. Cat owners who are concerned about their cat coughing up a hairball may question how to assist their cat in doing so. Unfortunately, a hairball obstruction can be dangerous and may need surgical intervention to remove it. If you find that your cat is particularly sluggish, or if you see that your cat has had repeated coughing and retching episodes that have not resulted in a hairball, you should call your veterinarian immediately.
Find a veterinarian in your area by using ourVet Clinic Finder.
How to Prevent Hairballs in Cats
While there is nothing you can do to totally prevent hairballs from occurring, there are some things you can do to assist reduce their frequency.
Although cats are generally adept at grooming themselves, brushing them on a regular basis can help remove loose hairs, dander, and debris that would otherwise get ingested and produce a hairball. However, there are certain cats that are not like of being brushed, and it is important to understand why. If this is the situation with your cat, the following suggestions may be beneficial:
- Allow your cat to smell and become acquainted with the brush before beginning
- If possible, brush your cat at quieter moments of the day rather than when they are eager to play
- An interactive game will help you tire out your cat before grooming him. Remember to be patient, brush softly at start, and lavish plenty of praise and a reward on your dog.
It may take some time, but eventually, your cat will come to appreciate the additional attention he or she receives during brushing time.
Discourage Excessive Grooming
Cats who groom themselves excessively are more likely to ingest more hair, which can result in more hairballs.
Make an effort to break up long grooming sessions with a game or a good hug if your cat is spending an excessive amount of time grooming. You may also want to provide your cat with a new toy or otherwise make their day more interesting if they are grooming excessively out of boredom.
Routine Vet Visits
While a check-up will not prevent hairballs, it is an excellent opportunity to speak with your veterinarian about your cat’s grooming habits as well as any concerns you have regarding hairballs. It also assists your veterinarian in detecting health concerns in your cat early on, when they can be more easily treated and the outlook for your cat can be better.
You should see your veterinarian for ideas on hairball remedies that may be suitable for your cat’s needs. The following are some examples of the possibilities available:
- Formula for Hairballs Cat Food – You may purchase a brand of cat food that has been specifically developed to help decrease hairballs. These foods are often heavy in fiber, which aids in moving hair through the digestive system more easily, and they include fatty acids, which assist to maintain healthy skin and fur. Supplementing your cat’s food with pet-safe fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkin or fish oil, might be beneficial in increasing the amount of fiber and fatty acids in your cat’s diet. In addition, your veterinarian may have recommendations for homeopathic treatments that you may use to supplement your cat’s diet to assist in moving the extra hair through the digestive tract. Products for Hairballs – There are a variety of treatments available on the market that are meant to minimize hairballs, ranging from soft chews to gels and pastes. Many of them are moderate laxatives that make it easier for hairballs to flow through the system.
It is possible that these cures will not be successful for all cats, but depending on your situation, they may be worth attempting. The material contained in this article is intended solely for educational and informative reasons and should not be construed as a substitute for professional advice from your veterinarian in any way.
4 Natural Remedies for Cat Hairballs
You’ve probably stumbled across (or worse, walked on) one of these sticky tubular heaps of grossness if you’ve ever had a cat in your home at any point in your life. In any case, we’d rather spend our time snuggling with our cats than wiping their hairballs off our floors and feet. In the event that your cat has a hairball, what should you do? Fortunately, there are methods to avoid these paws-itively disgusting gobs of hair from forming in the first place!
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.
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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.
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.
- Because of our efforts, hairballs are no longer a problem for our cats (and for our floors, too).
A Hairy Dilemma
Hairballs are often considered innocuous, however this is not always the case. This is when they become dangerous. Farah, your elderly Persian cat, is quietly snoozing on your newly acquired Persian rug. Suddenly, she leaps to her feet, wide awake and visibly uncomfortably so. When she crouchs and stretches her neck, she vomits, hacks, and gags in agony for a few brief seconds, then stops. Afterwards, much to her relief (and your dismay), she vomits something frighteningly similar to what she had swallowed – straight into that priceless Persian carpeting.
Hairballs are rarely spherical in form, despite the fact that they are referred to as such.
The elongated form, according to Joanna Guglielmino, DVM, is due to the narrow feeding channel (esophagus) through which a hairball travels on its adventurous voyage from the cat’s stomach to the outside world, which gives them their common name.
Guglielmino, an associate veterinarian at The Cat Doctor, a feline health clinic in the Seattle region that specializes in feline health, “At first look, a hairball might be mistaken for feces.” “However, if you’re brave enough to study it closely, you’ll realize that its stench is not very nasty, but rather pleasantly fetid, and that it’s likely to be the same color as your cat’s fur.” The size of regurgitated hairballs varies from person to person.
- The average size is one to two inches in length, she explains, “but I’ve seen some that are five inches in length and an inch thick.” What Causes Hairballs to Form Hairballs are an undesirable by-product of maintaining a healthy, clean lifestyle.
- This is due to the fact that microscopic backward-slanted projections (papillae) on the surface of her rough tongue force the indigestible hair down her throat and into her stomach, causing her to vomit.
- In the opinion of Dr.
- Some cats are naturally more conscientious about their grooming than others, and this is reflected in their behavior.
- Hairballs are more common throughout the seasons of the year when cats lose their coats, as well as during the winter months.
- Guglielmino, it is not uncommon for a cat to “upchuck” a hairball once per week or two, and this is not cause for concern.
- Alternatively, it is conceivable that a hairball, rather than passing through her stomach, has traveled into her intestine and is causing a possibly life-threatening obstruction somewhere along her digestive track.
As an alternative, it might indicate that the animal is suffering from a significant respiratory condition like as asthma, in which case immediate care would be required.
Guglielmino, the diagnosis of intestinal obstruction is made based on a physical examination, bloodwork, radiography, and a history of the animal’s pattern of hairball regurgitation, among other things.
More often than not, treatment will focus on protecting the intestine through many days of therapeutic care that may involve intravenous rehydration as well as the use of a laxative to move the hairball down the digestive system.
Taking Steps to Reduce the Risk Dr.
– If the animal won’t let it, take her to the veterinarian or to a professional groomer once or twice a year for a haircut.
Keep the flooring of your home free of thread, paper clips, twist-wraps, and other things that, if consumed, might turn into harmful hairball components, according to her advice.
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.
Your Cat Has Hairballs: Should You Worry?
A hairball made of slimy fur sausage may make you feel uncomfortable or upset (particularly if you’re wearing bare feet or your beloved carpeting is in danger of being destroyed). You could also question if this is a common occurrence. Even if your cat regurgitates a single hairball every now and then, it might be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition, such as nervousness or allergies. Hairballs may also indicate an unbalanced gut microbiota in your cat (the community of bacteria in the digestive tract).
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.)
What To Do If Your Cat Has A Hairball & Make Sure Your Furry Friend Is Comfortable
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.
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 some natural remedies you can 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 teaspoon of pumpkin puree to your cat’s food will 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.
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.