Hairballs


January 18th, 2016

Does your cat suffer from hairballs? It’s a very common thing for many cat owners.

Hairballs are caused by the accumulation of ingested hair within the digestive tract. When cats groom themselves they inadvertently swallow hair. This hair builds up in their system causes a bulk to form.

Luckily (although not so pleasant for owners) cats are often able to dispel the hairball safely themselves should it form into mass, by retching and vomiting the hairball up or by passing the indigestible hair through their systems and out the other end.

However, some cats, especially long haired cats and those who are fastidious groomers can struggle with the amount of hair they accumulate and this can cause impaction or severe digestive complications. 

Thankfully there are a few things cat owners can do to help their pet with the dilemma of hairballs and help to reduce the likelihood of hair building up.

Grooming – grooming your cat on regular basis is very important to help reduce the build-up of hairballs. Grooming your cat helps to remove the shed, dead and loose hairs from their coat so that when they groom less hair is likely to digested. A top tool is the Furminator with its flawless ability to remove the shed hair without damaging the top coat.

Feed a hairball specific diet – like humans, fibre helps to keep everything run smoothly for our cats. Cat are of course obligate carnivores but a small amount of good quality fibre can in fact help keep their digestive systems healthy and moving, thus helping to move ingested hair swiftly through reducing a hairball from forming. We love More Hairball, which contains cellulose, vegetable fibres and oils to effectively assist the fight against hairballs and allows the hair to move safely and naturally through the digestive system.

Provide Fresh water – Cats are notoriously fussy drinkers and are renowned for turning their nose up at the water bowl. However water is one of the most important things not only for overall health but also for their digestive system. Drinking water will better help hair move through the digestive system. Did you cats prefer fresh flowing water compared to traditional bowls that can become stagnant? The Cat Mate Water Fountain is a great option, it keeps water flowing using a small motor so you can be tempted by the fresh water.

Treat them with Hairball aids – There are many different hairball aids and remedies now widely available. From tasty treats like the M&C Hairball to the PetKin LickStick these products contain malt extract to make it yummy and cellulose and oils to help cat passes hair matter.

Consult your vet – If you are at all concerned about your cat you should always seek veterinary advisement, especially if hairballs persist, your cat is showing any difficulty toileting, is lethargic, without appetite and is not themselves.