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.