Cats are prone to hairballs, which can build up in their digestive systems after they groom themselves. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of hairballs in cats and keep them healthy.
From brushing your cat regularly to providing a healthy diet, I will share tips on keeping your cat healthy and free of hairballs.
Table of Contents
Understanding Cat Hairball
A cat hairball, technically known as a trichobezoar, is a mass of fur and other indigestible material that forms in its digestive system. It usually develops when the cat licks its coat or ingests loose fur (dead hair) while grooming.
What Are Its Causes
Cats are naturally fastidious groomers, and the primary cause of frequent hairballs is excessive grooming. Cats groom themselves by licking their fur with their rough tongues.
The fur they swallow while licking their coats accumulates in their digestive tract or stomach and forms a ball-shaped mass, which their gastrointestinal tract does not move.
Other causes of a cat’s hairballs include an improper diet, lack of exercise, or obesity. If left untreated, they may potentially cause a life-threatening blockage.
Older cats usually have more hair and more chances to accumulate hairballs than young kittens. Therefore, they are typically seen more often in long-haired cats but can occur across all breeds.
How Do You Know If Your Cat Has a Hairball?
One of the most common signs that a cat has a hairball is coughing or hacking up a wad of fur. If your cat is experiencing coughing or hacking but cannot cough up the hairball, take it to the veterinary doctor for an examination and a possible treatment plan.
Other common signs that may indicate a hairball include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, constipation (intestinal blockage), or diarrhea. In rare cases, you may be able to see the hairball in your cat’s stool. If you notice any such signs, contact your vet right away.
Most Effective Ways To Prevent Hairballs in Cats
Cat owners know that keeping up with regular grooming is a must for healthy cats. So here are some tips to minimize hairballs in cats.
Groom Your Cat Regularly To Help Remove Loose Hair
Grooming your cat helps remove loose and dead hair and dirt from its coat, so get it accustomed to brushing. The more you brush your cat, the less grooming your cat will have to do.
They will look and feel better afterward; regular baths can help keep mats at bay. So pop together the proper supplies and give your feline friend the care it deserves by bathing it whenever its coat needs extra attention.
Brush Its Fur Daily To Reduce Shedding
One easy way to keep your cat’s coat from residence everywhere in your home is to brush it daily. Not only will this reduce the number of stray hairs, but it can also benefit your cat’s health and well-being.
Brushing helps distribute the natural oils found in its fur, leaving it silky and glossy. Also, it removes any dead hair before it can fall out on its own – reducing mess for you to clean up! It also stimulates new hair growth, creating a thicker coat and decreasing shedding.
Regular brushing or visits to a professional groomer can reduce hairballs in otherwise healthy cats. Best of all, brush time with your cat can be a fun bonding experience for both of you—win-win!
Feed Your Cat a High-Quality Diet
It is of the utmost importance for cat owners to provide their furry friends with high-quality food to keep them healthy and happy. It ensures your pet gets the nutrients it needs and keeps its skin and coat in good condition.
Cat food should be rich in omega 3 to prevent hairballs. So when in doubt, remember to feed your cat quality meals like canned pumpkin and fish oil to give them the energy and nourishment they need and help them maintain a glossy coat and healthy skin year round!
Keep Your Cat Hydrated
As pet parents, ensure your furry companion gets all the hydration it needs. Unfortunately, cats are notorious for not drinking nearly enough water.
As they seldom show signs of thirst until they are extremely dehydrated, we, as pet owners, must ensure they stay hydrated to prevent hairballs.
Ultimately, we want what’s best for our felines, so providing them with quality and sufficient hydration is essential for their overall well-being! Providing fresh, clean water for our furry friends is the easiest thing we can do, ensuring that they lead happy and healthy lives.
With proper attention paid to everyday hydration habits, you can be sure you’re doing your part in helping ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Book Regular Checkups
As the proud human parent of a furry feline, there is nothing more important than your cat’s health and well-being. And just like humans, cats can significantly benefit from regular preventive care.
While it’s possible to recognize and detect early warning signs that something might be wrong on your own, most cats are very good at concealing their pain and distress. That’s why it is crucial to take your cat to the vet, not only to ensure that it gets all necessary vaccinations promptly but to allow the vet to discover any illnesses or injuries that are not apparent.
During checkups, your vet can do a thorough physical exam, including blood work and necessary diagnostic tests. In addition, they can offer advice on nutrition, behavior problems, and parasite control, providing the best healthcare for your beloved pet!
With proper preventive care from both—you as a caregiver and them as a medical provider—our loving cats will have happy, healthy lives!
From knowing how often to bathe your cat to feeding it a nutritious diet, you can reduce the amount of shedding in different ways.
Following these tips and taking your cat for regular vet checkups will keep its fur healthy and looking its best.