Have you ever wondered what a hairball is exactly? Is it just a bunch of undigested hair? What causes them and should you worry when your cat coughs one up? Keep reading for answers to common questions about cat hairballs.
What is a hairball?
Hairballs are caused exactly how you think they are. When cats groom themselves, small pieces of hair will attach to their tongue and get swallowed. Most of the hair that is swallowed gets digested, but some of it stays in the stomach to form a hairball. Hairballs can cause hacking, vomiting, lack of appetite, constipation and diarrhea. It’s not fun hacking up one of those gross hairballs! They can also be caused by a moisture-deficient diet or a problem in the GI tract. If you see that your pet is having excessive hairballs, a visit to the veterinarian might be in order.
Are hairballs harmful to cats?
Have you ever seen a cat vomiting and appearing uncomfortably ill only to find a yucky pile of hair (and liquid) on your dining room floor? Yes, that’s how it happens. The cat’s body is smart enough to try to eliminate this unwanted hair from the body, but in some cases it’s not a pretty or pleasant experience for anyone. In most situations hairballs are not a huge issue. For cats that groom very frequently or have long hair there could be cause for alarm if the hairballs become too big for the cat’s digestive track. This can cause a blockage that could become life-threatening.
Products recommended for hairballs support
There are a few things you can do to support and lubricate your cat’s digestive tract. To promote your cat’s healthy ability to pass ingested hair use a product like Essential Pet Hairball Paw Paste for Cats. This product is incredibly easy to administer and has positive results. You can also help by grooming your cat on a regular basis. This is especially helpful for long-haired breeds and cats that groom often. Use a grooming brush to help eliminate loose hairs. If you know that your pet excessively grooms him or herself, intermittent use of a hairball paste and help with grooming should definitely do the trick.
Click here for Hairball products from 21st Essential Pet: http://21stessentialpet.com/subcategory-cat.asp?sc=5.