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Complete guide to Cat hairballs

Cats constantly groom themselves and while doing so they end up swallowing a lot of hair which collect in their stomach in the form of balls. Though there is nothing to worry about as hairballs are quite common in cats yet being a cat owner one must have all the necessary information related to cat hairballs.

Cat hairballs, the by-product of cat grooming are mostly tubular in shape, generally wet and slimy as they are mixed with cat’s saliva or gastrointestinal content. The colour of cat hairballs could be anywhere between yellow to dark brown which often makes them seem like stool or regular vomit.

Reason behind cat hairballs

You must be wondering that all cats tend to swallow hair while grooming themselves yet only some face the issue of cat hairballs. Why so? Well, the answer to this very relevant query of cat owners is that fur is indigestible and hence tends to get tangled into large lumps. However, if your cat’s digestive tract is functioning well then it can easily handle normal amounts of fur passing through it. But if you notice excessive hairballs then it’s important to understand the 2 major causes behind it.

Ingestion of more fur than normal-This could happen due to various reasons like:

  • The cat having long hair.

  • Some cats tend to shed more hair due to some skin diseases.

  • Cats overgrooming themselves due to stress, boredom, or behavioural problems.

GI Tract diseases-The cat’s GI tract might get affected by certain issues like:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • GI lymphoma

  • Internal parasites (worms)

  • Pancreatitis

  • Foreign bodies

  • Food allergies and other adverse food reactions

  • Any condition that slows the movement of material through the GI tract

Cat hairball medicine and treatment

Before opting for Cat hairballs medicine; you must know whether your cat even needs it or not. If your cat is expelling hairballs just once or twice a month then accept it as a normal condition and don’t run for any treatment. If you still worry, then simply opt for some home treatment like:

Cat Hairball Medicines: You can get Hairball-control gels, like Laxatone that act as lubricant to ease the passage of fur through the GI tract. Flavoured options are also available in these so that the cat easily licks it.

Hairball control supplements: Fiber is an essential component for aiding digestion. The hairball control supplements contain high-fiber content that naturally sweeps hair through the digestive system; thus preventing or eliminating the hairballs.

Hairball Treats: If your cat simply refuses any sort of medicine then hairball treats are the way to go. These fiber loaded treats prove as the best hairball remedy as even the most finicky cats love them.

Hairball Control Food for Cats: The above remedies have very well defined the importance of fiber intake for cat hairball reduction. Hence, switching to a high-fiber food for your cat can be the easiest yet most effective way to manage cat hairballs at home.

But if the your cat is having frequent hairballs and showing symptoms like poor appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation then opt for veterinary consultation. The first and foremost thing the vet will check is your cat’s health history and then do a physical examination to know the root cause behind cat hairballs. The tests generally include ringworm cultures, cytology to rule out skin infections, abdominal X-rays or ultrasound, blood work, urine analysis, skin scrapings to look for mites, faecal examinations, a hypoallergenic food trial, or biopsies of the gastrointestinal tract or skin. These tests help diagnose the exact cause behind the cat hairballs and hence the apt medication can be prescribed.

Preventive measures for Cat hairballs

Whether you have successfully overcome the cat hairball issue or luckily have never faced any; taking the right preventive measures is always a good idea so that you never have to face it. Below are some useful tips to prevent cat hairballs:

  • Brush your cat more frequently especially if it has long hair. This simple activity reduces the hair they ingest.

  • Use Hairball-control gel at least two or three times per week for you cat.

  • Give fiber rich diet to your cat.

For any queries or consultation related to cat hairballs, visit MaxPetZ. Our expert veterinarians would guide you with the best cat hairball treatment.

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