It’s a question that many cat owners will ask themselves; Why Does My Cat Get Hairballs?
If you have a cat, you already know that most cats are meticulous groomers. A cat will groom numerous times a day and, inevitably during that grooming process, will swallow loose fur. The majority of that fur will go through the complete digestion process. Some fur, however, may become stuck in your cat’s stomach, forming into a ball that your cat will eventually throw or spit up.
No one likes hairballs. Not your cat. And you most likely don’t like seeing or cleaning up the aftermath of a hairball.
How do you know your cat has a hairball?
Your cat will likely give you warning signs that a hairball is forming and is getting ready to come out. Some telltale signs that she’s not feeling well include a decrease in appetite, constipation, diarrhea, gagging, and lethargy. If your cat begins showing such signs, contact your veterinarian to determine if the situation warrants a visit.
How To Prevent Hairballs
Groom your cat regularly.
Cats groom themselves meticulously, usually on a daily basis. Those cats at the biggest risk of hairballs have long fur, like the Persian. However, regardless of your cat’s breed, you can help prevent your cat from ingesting too much fur by grooming her on a regular basis. In addition to helping prevent hairballs, you’ll find grooming is an ideal time to bond with your cat.
Keep water separate from food.
Consuming plenty of water can help your cat cut down on hairballs. Experts recommend placing your cat’s water bowl in a separate location from her food dish to encourage more drinking. Make sure to provide plenty of clean, cool water.
If your cat starts exhibiting signs of a hairball, mix a small amount of canned pumpkin into her food. The pumpkin helps to digest the excess fur. If you’d rather try something else, you should be able to find an anti-hairball product, usually in gel or paste form, that you can give to your cat regularly. If you have questions, consult your vet.
Turn your cat’s attention elsewhere.
Some cats have an almost obsessive-like interest in grooming, which will increase their likelihood of developing hairballs. If you notice your cat grooming excessively, find something else to grab her attention. Give her a new toy or play with her. Find something that allows her to not be so fixated on her grooming.
Should You Be Worried About Hairballs?
It’s not uncommon for your cat to get hairballs, but if the problem persists then you should always contact your vet to see if there is an underlying problem that you are not aware of. A health check up is always advised if you notice changes in your pet, or you are concerned about their health.