How To Treat Hairballs In Cats?

How To Treat Hairballs In Cats
4 Hairball Remedies – Nothing can be done to totally prevent hairballs in cats, but there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood your cat will have hairballs or reduce their frequency.

  1. Groom your cat regularly. The more fur you remove from your cat, the less fur that will end up as hairballs in their stomach. Combing or brushing your cat on a daily basis can be an effective way to minimize hairballs, and it can also provide a fun way for you to bond with your cat. If you can’t get your cat accustomed to brushing, think about taking them to a professional groomer for a grooming and haircut (especially for long-haired cats) every six months or so.
  2. Give your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food, Many pet food manufacturers now make hairball-reduction cat foods. These high-fiber formulas are designed to improve the health of your cat’s coat, minimize the amount of shedding, and encourage hairballs in cats to pass through the digestive system.
  3. Use a hairball product or laxative. There are a number of different hairball products on the market today, most of which are mild laxatives that help hairballs pass through the digestive tract.
  4. Discourage excessive grooming. If you suspect that your cat’s hairballs are a result of compulsive grooming, try to train your cat to do another enjoyable activity instead of licking their coat. This might include teaching them to play with a new toy on their own or finding a fun toy you can play with together.

How can I treat my cats hairballs at home?

Remedies for Hairballs If you have a cat, you’ve likely come across a in your home on at least one occasion. You may have woken up early in the morning to hearing your cat coughing one up. Whether you’ve seen it or stepped in it first, these gooey masses are anything but pleasant.

  • Cats clean themselves frequently.
  • Their rough tongues remove dirt, debris, and loose fur, which they then swallow.
  • Typically, the hair passes through the stomach and without a problem.
  • If a large amount gets stuck, however, your cat can throw it up, producing a hairball.
  • The occasional hairball generally isn’t a cause for concern, and it doesn’t indicate a serious problem.

It’s a by-product of a natural process. However, while rare, hairballs can present dangers if the clump of fur in the cat’s stomach becomes too large to pass or gets lodged in their digestive tract. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help minimize hairball occurrence in cats.

While hairballs aren’t typically dangerous, they’re not pleasant for your cat to cough up. It’s also not enjoyable for you as the owner to hear your cat go through the experience. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help prevent hairballs or reduce their frequency. Their Fur Cats are excellent self-groomers.

If your cat sheds a lot, however, they may swallow a lot of the loose fur, which increases the likelihood of a hairball. You can help to decrease the risk by brushing them periodically. Ideally, you should brush your cat at least once or twice a week. If your cat has long hair, you may want to brush them more often.

Some cats benefit from daily brushing. Some cats enjoy brushing, while others may not. If your cat falls into the second category, consider wearing grooming gloves instead of using a brush. With these pet-friendly gloves, your cat will feel like they’re being petted rather than brushed. If they’re resistant to brushing and petting, you could also consider shaving the hair down.

Use Baby Wipes After brushing your cat, wipe them with a fragrance-free, baby wipe. Alternatively, you can use a damp paper towel. A moist cloth such as these helps to remove any remaining loose fur, which helps to reduce the amount that ends up in your cat’s stomach and reduces the risk of hairballs.

  • Add More Just like humans, cats need fiber to maintain a healthy digestive tract.
  • However, their needs are different from humans and other omnivores, as they typically don’t need plant fiber.
  • Even so, adding some extra fiber to your cat’s diet can help to lower the risk of hairballs by helping to move things through their digestive system better.

Some forms of fiber to add include: Keep in mind that a cat’s fiber needs are much different from those of a human. You don’t want to add too much to their diet, or else your cat may experience some unpleasant side effects. If you’re unsure of how much to add, talk to your cat’s vet.

  • Increase Intake If your cat eats dry food, their diet likely isn’t providing enough water to meet their hydration needs.
  • As such, their digestive system may not be able to function as well as it should.
  • Offer your cat a clean, fresh water source.
  • Many felines prefer running water to still, and they may not like the smell or taste of tap water.

You might consider getting your cat a water fountain to get them to drink more. Canned food may also provide enough hydration to help keep the digestive system moving properly, reducing the risk of hairballs. Lubricate the Digestive Tract Incorporating oil into your cat’s diet can help to lubricate the digestive tract, making it easier for hair to pass through naturally.

  • Add a teaspoon of or melted butter to your cat’s food once a week.
  • Provide your cat with a small amount of canned or occasionally.
  • Another effective option is to dip your cat’s paw into some petroleum jelly.
  • They’ll lick it off, and the jelly will line the digestive tract to help the hair pass through their system.

There are also petroleum-based remedies available that you can periodically feed your cat. Try Formulated for Hairballs If your cat coughs up hairballs regularly, you might consider switching to a diet specifically formulated to help reduce the issue.

  • Many cat food brands have a product to deal with hairballs.
  • The formulas typically include things such as increased fiber, oil, minerals, and vitamins that can help the swallowed hair pass through the digestive system naturally.
  • While you might not need to worry about the occasional hairball, there are some instances in which you should see your vet.

It’s rare, but hairballs can grow so large that your cat can’t pass them, or they can get lodged in the digestive tract, creating a blockage. If the hairball is too large, surgery may be required to remove it. You should see your vet right away if your cat:

Tries to but can’t get anything out Is frequently Is having trouble defecating (pooping) Has Has a bloated, hard abdomen Becomes lethargic (tired) Loses their appetite or won’t drink

SOURCES: AnimalPath.org: “Shaving Cats Pros and Cons.”

ASPCA: “Cat Grooming Tips.”Cat Health: “Giving Your Cat Clean and Fresh Water.”Cat Health: “Should You Get Your Cat a Water Fountain?”Cornell Feline Health Center: “The Dangers of Hairballs.”Cornell Feline Health Center: “A Hairy Dilemma.”Feline Nutrition Foundation: “Answers: Do Cats Need Dietary Fiber?”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : Remedies for Hairballs

What can I give my cat for throwing up hairballs?

How to Stop Your Cat’s Hairballs and Vomiting Issues Hairballs are an unpleasant fact of cat ownership, and while it is necessary for cats to expel hairballs, there are steps owners can take to minimize them without compromising their pet’s health. Why Cats Have Hairballs Cats are frequent groomers, and their rough tongues catch loose hair, which is then swallowed.

  • While most hair passes harmlessly through the cat’s digestive tract, some does become matted and stuck in the stomach, where it forms a hairball.
  • When the ball is large enough, it must be vomited away or else it could cause intestinal blockages and impaction, which can not only be uncomfortable, but could be fatal if left untended.

Most cats vomit 1-2 hairballs each month, with long-haired cats or those that groom excessively having hairballs more often. Very frequent hairballs or vomiting without hairballs could be signs of additional digestive trouble, including cancer, and pet owners should take their cats to the vet to be sure there are no underlying problems.

Grooming : The less loose hair there is for a cat to swallow, the fewer hairballs the pet will produce. Daily brushing with the appropriate brush or comb for your cat’s coat will minimize loose hair and collect it before the cat can swallow it. This will also keep more hair off the furniture, and can be a great activity to bond with your pet. Better Diet : Healthy skin and fur will minimize shedding, and diet is a critical component of cat health. A high-fiber diet is best for reducing hairballs, and many cat foods are formulated to help minimize hairballs. Mixing a tablespoon of canned pumpkin into a cat’s food once or twice a week can add more fiber to their diet easily, and will be a tasty treat besides. Hairball Lubricants : Different products are advertised as helping cats more easily pass hairballs through their intestines and into the litterbox, rather than vomiting. Consult a veterinarian for recommendations suitable to your cat’s health and diet, however, before opting for these mild laxatives. Water : Water is a natural lubricant that can help minimize hairballs. Provide plentiful fresh, clean water for your cat, positioning water dishes or cat drinking fountains in several areas so your pet always has easy access to water. This will also hydrate the skin and keep fur in better condition so it does not break and shed as easily. Play : A bored cat may groom excessively, increasing the number of hairballs it creates. Provide new, interesting toys for your pet, as well as other distractions such as time in a cat patio, videos of birds or mice and time playing with you to keep the cat entertained so it will not groom so much. This will also improve the cat’s mental health to keep it happier.

Hairballs and vomiting are never the best part of owning a cat, but by taking appropriate steps, both can be minimized while maximizing the cat’s well-being. : How to Stop Your Cat’s Hairballs and Vomiting Issues

How do you treat a cat with a hairball blockage?

Hairballs are usually harmless – but not always. Here’s when they’re hazardous. Your old Persian cat, Farah, is napping peacefully on your new Persian rug. Suddenly, she bolts up, wide awake and clearly uncomfortable. She crouches, extends her neck, and for a few seconds, retches, hacks and gags in distress.

  1. Then, to her relief (and your dismay), she spits up something scary looking – right on that valuable Persian rug.
  2. What Farah has disgorged is a trichobezoar – a damp wad of undigested hair, moistened by bile and other digestive fluids – that’s commonly referred to as a hairball,
  3. Despite that term, hairballs are rarely globular in shape.

Rather, they are most often slender and cylindrical. According to Joanna Guglielmino, DVM, they are generally similar in appearance to a cigar or sausage, an elongated shape imparted by the narrow food tube (esophagus) through which a hairball passes on its adventurous journey from the cat’s stomach to the outside world.

At first glance, a hairball can be confused with feces,” says Dr. Guglielmino, an associate veterinarian at The Cat Doctor, a Seattle-area clinic specializing in feline health. “But if you’re courageous enough to examine it closely, you’ll discover that its odor is not really foul, only mildly fetid, and it’s apt to be the same color as your cat’s fur.” Regurgitated hairballs are variable in size.

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“They are usually about an inch long,” she says, “but I’ve seen some that are five inches long and an inch thick.” How Hairballs Develop Hairballs are the unsavory by-product of a good, clean habit. As your cat grooms herself, she swallows a lot of the dead hair that has come loose.

This is because tiny backward-slanted projections (papillae) on the surface of her rough tongue propel the indigestible hair down her throat and into her stomach. While most of this hair eventually passes through the animal’s digestive tract and is excreted intact in the feces, some of it remains in the stomach and gradually accumulates into a wet clump – the hairball.

According to Dr. Guglielmino, kittens and young cats are less apt to develop hairballs than older cats that, as well-experienced groomers, are likely to spend a good portion of their waking hours busily licking their coats. Some cats are, by nature, more fastidious than others in their grooming habits.

  • Long-haired breeds – such as Persians and Maine Coons – are at significantly greater risk than short-haired breeds.
  • And the development of hairballs is more frequent in seasons of the year when cats shed their coats.
  • Appropriate Concern It’s not uncommon, says Dr.
  • Guglielmino, for a cat to “upchuck” a hairball once every week or two, and that’s nothing to worry about.

However, if your cat is lethargic and refuses to eat for more than a day or so, or has had repeated episodes of unproductive retching, you should consult your veterinarian without delay. It’s possible that a hairball, instead of being regurgitated, has passed from her stomach into her intestine and is creating a potentially life-threatening blockage somewhere within the digestive tract.

Or it’s possible that the frequent hacking has nothing at all to do with hairballs. It may instead be a sign that the animal is suffering from a serious respiratory ailment, such as asthma, in which case emergency treatment would be necessary. Diagnosis of intestinal blockage, says Dr. Guglielmino, is based on physical examination, bloodwork, radiography and a history of the animal’s pattern of hairball regurgitation.

If a blockage is detected, surgery may be the only way to remove the hairball. More often, therapy will center on protecting the intestine through several days of clinical care that includes intravenous rehydration and the use of a laxative to move the hairball through the digestive tract.

  • This extended supportive care, she notes, can cost between $300 and $400.
  • Reducing the Risk To minimize and possibly prevent the development of hairballs and their complications, Dr.
  • Guglielmino recommends the following: – Get your cat accustomed to a daily brushing and combing.
  • If the animal won’t allow it, take her to the veterinarian or a reputable groomer for a haircut once or twice a year.

This is especially effective in long-haired breeds. – Feed her a hairball remedy – usually a mild petroleum-based laxative – once or twice a week. In addition, she advises, keep the floors of your home free of thread, paper clips, twist-wraps, and other materials that, if ingested, can become dangerous hairball ingredients.

Are hairballs painful for cats?

Signs and Symptoms – A feline’s gut is designed to process fur, its own as well as the fur attached to prey animals, and as such we should not really see repeated hairballs in a healthy cat. If you have noticed your cat bringing up hairballs or coughing like they are going to, then a trip to the vet is sensible.

The most common signs observed by owners include: ● Retching/gagging ● Vomiting – food and/or mucus and/or hairballs ● Reduced appetite ● Constipation ● Weight Loss ● Changes in Bowel Movements ● Distended Belly If your cat shows any of these signs repeatedly for more than 24 hours please see your veterinarian.

In the severest of situations a hairball can cause a blockage of the intestine. Symptoms may then include repeated vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort and will require urgent veterinary attention.

Does wet food help with hairballs?

Does wet food help with hairballs? – Yes, they do. Wet food aids in the passing of hair through the tract because it’s easy to digest, which means it passes through the body quickly, not allowing hair time to form a ball. Therefore, cats that are on a diet of just wet food will have reduced hairballs.

How long do hairballs take to pass?

It can take a feline around 48 hours of regular gagging and retching to expel a hairball.

Can I give my cat Vaseline for hairballs?

2. Hairball Laxatives – Another common remedy is hairball laxatives, typically petrolatum-based (think Vaseline) or oil-based, that is also meant to help a cat pass swallowed hair in their stool. We suggest the oil-based hairball laxatives, but only once a week (not daily). Oil-based hairball laxatives can be harder to find than the petrolatum-based products.

Do hairballs make cats sick?

3. Can hairballs make a cat sick? – Although it’s rare, occasionally the hair that accumulates in a cat’s stomach forms a mass that’s too big to pass into their feces or be vomited up like normal, causing an obstruction, which can result in constipation.3 Large hairballs can also pass into the small intestine and become lodged there, creating an,3 In either case, this is a serious, potentially fatal condition that can only be treated with surgery.3 Signs of a hairball blockage include lethargy, appetite loss and either unproductive dry-heaving, retching, or vomit that doesn’t contain hair.3 Your kitty should see a vet ASAP if you notice these symptoms.

What does a vet do for a stuck hairball?

Download Article Download Article Hairballs are a relatively common problem in cats, though typically your cat should only bring up 1 a week or so. If your cat seems to be having trouble with a hairball, you can try a home remedy, such as a hairball paste or even petroleum jelly.

  • Give your cat products to move and prevent hairballs. For example, try hairball paste, hairball remedy treats, and hairball control cat food.
  • Take your cat to the vet if they’re losing weight, lethargic, or hacking regularly without any sign of a hairball.
  • Prevent future hairballs by staying on top of your grooming efforts. Depending on your cat’s breed, you may need to brush them every day.
  1. 1 Give hairball paste to your cat to get the hairball moving. This type of paste acts as a lubricant for the hairball, and it is specifically made for cats. You just place a little bit on your cat’s paw, and it will lick it off.
    • Use a small strip of the paste on the cat’s fur. If your cat shakes it off its front paw, try smearing it lightly underneath the front elbow.
    • Hairball pastes come in fun flavors your cat will likely enjoy, such as salmon. You may be able to just put some on a plate for your cat to lick.
    • In most cases, you’ll need to give your cat multiple applications of the hairball paste. Treat your cat with the paste twice a day for 3 to 5 days until the hairball passes.
  2. 2 Use a 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) of petroleum jelly for a cheap option. This home remedy can act as a laxative for your cat, which can help move the hairball. Apply the jelly to a paw so your cat can lick it off. Try to rub it in a little so the cat can’t shake it off.
    • If your cat shakes it off, try placing it in an area that’s more difficult for it to shake off, such as underneath the front leg.

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  3. 3 Give your cat 4-6 hairball remedy treats to prevent future hairballs. You can find several brands of dry hairball remedy treats at your pet store. These treats may help your cat pass its hairball, but they work best for preventing future hairballs. Follow the package directions on how many to give your cat.
    • These are an easy solution because there’s no messy paste or gel. Your cat will often just chomp them down.
    • Once your cat passes its hairball, continue to give it the hairball remedy treats to prevent future hairballs.
  4. 4 Try a hairball control cat food for a long-term solution. Changing your cat’s food may help with the current hairball. However, it’s more likely to help prevent more in the future. Look for one that claims “hairball control.”
    • This foods employ different methods to treat hairballs, such as increasing fiber or omega-3 fatty acids in the food.
  5. 5 Add a spoonful of canned pumpkin to your cat’s food. Pumpkin contains fiber that may help your cat pass the hairball. Mix it in with canned food, so your cat is more willing to eat it.
    • Other fiber options you can try include wheatgrass powder, coconut fiber powder, or psyllium seed husk powder. Mix a 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) or so into the cat’s wet food.
  6. 6 Pour a 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon (1.2 mL) of olive oil in your cat’s food. Mix it in with wet cat food or even a bit of dry cat food. Olive oil acts as a mild laxative, which helps move the hairball.
    • While you can use this treatment every once and a while, try not to use it weekly. Your cat’s body prefers meat-based fat sources.
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  1. 1 Watch for loss of appetite. If your cat suddenly stops eating, pay attention, particularly if it lasts for more than a day. That’s a sign your cat needs to go to the vet to help determine what’s wrong.
    • Not eating could be a sign your cat’s digestive system is blocked by a hairball.
  2. 2 Notice if your cat hacks without bringing up a hairball. If your cat is continually hacking but not producing anything, that could be a sign your cat has a blockage in its digestive system. Pay particular attention if your cat hacks without production several times in one day.
    • You should also check to see if your cat is defecating. If it’s not, then it definitely has a blockage and needs to be seen by a vet.
    • Alternatively, your cat may have diarrhea because it can’t get much around the blockage.
  3. 3 Check the cat’s stomach and energy levels. Place your hand on the cat’s stomach. If it feels harder than normal, that could indicate a blockage. Your cat may also seem really lethargic, like it doesn’t have the energy to do much.
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  1. 1 Take your cat to the vet if it’s exhibiting multiple symptoms. If your cat is severely blocked, home remedies may not cut it. In fact, blockages can lead to death if left unchecked since your cat won’t be able to digest food.
    • Plus, the problem may not be a hairball, and you’ll need your vet to diagnose it.
  2. 2 Expect a physical examination. The veterinarian will begin by using their hands to exam the cat. They may feel the cat’s stomach, for instance, to see if it’s hard. They’ll also inspect the cat visually.
    • During this time, the vet will likely be asking you questions about the cat’s medical history and its recent symptoms.
  3. 3 Be ready for diagnostic tests. Your vet will likely want to do blood work. They may also perform X-rays or an ultrasound on your cat. These tests can help your vet determine if and where your cat has a blockage, so they can decide on the best course of treatment.
  4. 4 Be prepared for the cat to stay at the vet for a few days. If your cat does have a blockage, the vet will likely keep it at the clinic. They’ll give your cat a laxative to see if it relieves the blockage, while monitoring the cat’s digestive progress closely.
    • If the blockage isn’t serious enough for the cat to stay, your vet will make recommendations for home remedies, such as mineral oil.
  5. 5 Discuss the possibility of surgery. If your cat has a blockage from a hairball, it may need surgery to remove it. Your vet will let you know if your cat’s situation is serious enough to warrant surgery.
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  1. 1 Notice how your cat hacks. Cats with asthma have a specific kind of hacking position. Generally, they crouch down and extend their neck forward while they are hacking. Pay attention to see if your cat uses this position.
    • If your cat gets in this position and often doesn’t produce anything when hacking, that could be a sign of asthma.
  2. 2 Listen for a cough rather than a hack. While cat coughing can seem like hacking, it will likely have more wheezing to it. It can also sound like a “dry” or “wet” cough, but it may seem like your cat is hacking up mucus and then swallowing it.
    • Your cat may stick its tongue out while coughing.
  3. 3 Pay attention to signs your cat is having trouble breathing. Your cat may seem to get “winded” more easily than normal. You may even hear wheezing-like breathing after it runs around a bit.
    • If your cat is having a particularly hard time breathing, it may breathe with its mouth open.
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  1. 1 Groom your cat daily until its coat is under control, if it has hairballs. Hairballs are often avoidable! Your cat gets hairballs from eating its fur as it grooms. If you brush away that fur, your cat won’t eat it. If your cat currently or recently had hairballs, groom it daily until the grooming brush collects little fur. You can then adjust your grooming schedule to fit its coat length.
    • Your cat may have a build up of shed hair, which is causing its hairballs.
    • Even short-haired cats shed and need grooming!
  2. 2 Comb and brush long-haired cats daily to avoid hairballs. Work the comb through the fur first, then go over it with a brush. Not only will this help prevent hairballs, it will also keep your cat’s fur clean and unmatted. Give your cat lots of love when you groom it, and offer it a treat so it views grooming more positively.
    • Clean your comb and brush after each grooming session.
  3. 3 Brush short-haired cats twice a week to control their coat. Even short-haired cats shed, so they need to be regularly groomed. This helps avoid hairballs and keeps their coat shiny. During grooming, give your cat lots of pets to make the experience more pleasant. You should also give the cat treats to reward it.
    • Remember to clean your brush after each grooming session.
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Some cats with hairballs groom themselves too much. Try providing toys and playing with them, as they could just be bored. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

Advertisement Article Summary X To help your cat cough up a hairball, give it 1/2 teaspoon of petroleum jelly, since the jelly will act as a laxative to help your cat pass the hairball naturally. Alternatively, smear its paw with some hairball paste, which you can buy from a pet store.

Then, when it licks its paw, it will swallow the paste and dislodge the hairball. You can also add a spoonful of canned pumpkin to your cat’s food, which can help because pumpkin contains fibers that encourage digestion. If you don’t have pumpkin, try using a small amount of olive oil instead. For a longer-term solution, purchase cat food labeled “hairball control,” which is designed to combat hairballs.

If your cat loses its appetite for more than a day or is continually hacking without bringing up a hairball, take it to the vet to check if it’s suffering from something more serious. For tips on how to tell if your cat is having difficulty breathing, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 241,073 times.

What happens when a cat has a stuck hairball?

Your Cat Has Hairballs: Should You Worry? Published on February 6, 2020 When your cat hacks up a slimy fur sausage of a hairball, you may be disgusted or annoyed (especially if you’re bare foot or a favorite rug is involved). You may also wonder whether that’s normal.

  • An occasional regurgitated wad of hair isn’t cause for alarm, but frequent hairballs might mean your cat has an underlying health problem, such as anxiety, allergies, or an imbalanced gut microbiome (the community of bacteria in the digestive tract).
  • Domestic cats spend,
  • It’s a healthy activity; grooming is how cats stay clean, but it’s also soothing.

Because of the hook-shaped protrusions ( papillae ) on their tongues, they end up swallowing a lot of the loose hair they lick out of their coats. Hair is made of keratin, a protein mammals can’t digest, so most of the fur cats swallow is passed along, unprocessed, and eliminated with the stool.

The cat has developed a digestive tract that, when it is healthy and working correctly, can handle normal amounts of fur without problem,” says, (When cat parents send poop samples to AnimalBiome for, they’re sometimes alarmed at seeing clumps of hair in their cats’ poop. But that’s actually normal.

AnimalBiome has processed thousands of samples of cat feces, and according to Chief Science Officer, Holly Ganz, “I can tell you that there is a lot of hair in there.”) ‍But some of the ingested hair can remain in the cat’s stomach and form a ball—the technical term is a trichobezoar,

  • If this hairball formation is too big to pass into the intestines, it’s regurgitated instead.
  • Traveling through the esophagus on its way back out squeezes the ball into more of a bullet or sausage shape.) ‍Hairballs happen either because the ingested hair can’t move easily through the cat’s digestive tract or because the cat is taking in too much hair for the digestive system to handle.

(What about dogs? It’s rare for dogs to have hairballs, but,) Frequent hairballs may be a sign that the digestive system’s ability to move material along—its motility —is impaired. Reduced motility means that your cat’s food and moisture don’t progress through the intestines the way they should, and digestion suffers.

But another important aspect of proper motility is that it limits the amount of time that pathogens and antigens are in contact with the intestinal walls. When these substances aren’t properly cleared away from the lining of the gut, the resulting bacterial overgrowth can interfere with the body’s absorption of nutrients.

‍We know that : changes in the way the intestines move material along can cause changes in the gut microbiome, but the microbiome also greatly influences the motor function of the gut. For example,, are produced when beneficial bacteria in the gut ferment complex carbohydrates.

  1. ‍When a cat’s gut bacteria populations are out of proportion or key beneficial bacteria are missing, we describe the gut microbiome as imbalanced.
  2. An imbalanced gut microbiome is one of the factors that can lead to, and chronic inflammation of the digestive tract can severely disrupt motility.
  3. If you want to learn more about your own cat’s gut health, order our at-home,

You’ll receive a personalized report that includes actionable insights, with diet and nutrition recommendations based on your cat’s unique microbiome composition. Because microbiome testing can identify problematic groups of bacteria and detect imbalances early, you may actually be able to prevent certain health problems in your feline by making changes in their diet.

  • Do big cats get hairballs? Even though big cats—like lions and leopards—groom themselves the same way house cats do and have the same bristly tongues,,
  • On the other hand, hyenas, a cousin of the cats, are able to digest bones but not hair, and solve this problem by in the wild.
  • Cats who retch up a lot of hairballs may be ingesting an abnormal amount of hair because they’re grooming too much.

Excessive grooming can be —in response to a sudden change in the cat’s environment, for example—but it may also point to allergies, food sensitivities, or that cause itching. Cats may also react with aggressive licking when a part of their body is in pain.

So if you think your cat is grooming too much or too vigorously, check in with your veterinarian (DVM). Pictured: Bug the cat had hairballs often. After completing AnimalBiome’s supplements, his loving human reported that he occasionally has a hairball, but nothing like before. If a hairball gets stuck somewhere in the digestive tract, the resulting blockage can be life-threatening.

Gastrointestinal blockages require prompt surgical intervention, so if your cat has any of these symptoms of a possible blockage, see your veterinarian immediately:

repeated unproductive retching lethargy lack of appetite constipation

(Coughing is sometimes misinterpreted as hairball-related gagging. Coughing may indicate asthma or other respiratory issues, so it’s important to consult your veterinarian if your cat has a cough.) Pictured: Bug’s four inch size hairball that needed to be surgically removed by his veterinarian.

Regular brushing or combing helps remove loose hair and is especially helpful for long-haired cats and older cats. Feeding multiple small meals rather than one or two big meals per day can help prevent dead hair from building up in the gastrointestinal tract. Don’t give your cat any sort of laxative without first consulting your veterinarian.

Figure out what is really going on with your cat’s gut. Restore your cat’s gut health right away. Test and begin restoring your cat’s gut health. If you liked this article, please consider sharing it. : Your Cat Has Hairballs: Should You Worry?

Should I take my cat to the vet for a hairball?

A cat hairball can cause major problems – Hairballs aren’t always a simple complication. Sometimes instead of passing or vomiting the accumulated hair, it gets stuck. Hair blockages seldom form in areas between a cat’s esophagus, stomach, or intestine. The Cornell Feline Health Center cautions pet owners to contact their veterinarian if they notice these symptoms.

Multiple episodes of unproductive retching Lethargy Vomiting

These symptoms sometimes indicate that your cat is suffering from a blocked intestine. That’s an infrequent worst-case scenario, but your cat requires professional attention to rule it out. Your veterinarian will perform diagnostic tests and may keep your cat under observation for several days.

Does olive oil help cats with hairballs?

To prevent your cat from vomiting up hairballs, add one teaspoon Star Olive Oil to your cat’s food once a week. The oil lubricates the cat’s digestive system, allowing the hairballs to glide through unnoticed.

When should you go to the vet for hairballs?

Signs and symptoms – The most common signs observed by owners include:

Retching/ gagging Vomiting – food and/or mucus and/or hairballs Reduced appetite Constipation

If your cat shows any of these signs repeatedly for more than 24 hours please see your veterinarian. In the severest of situations a hairball can cause a blockage of the intestine. Symptoms may then include repeated vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort and will require urgent veterinary attention.

Can cats suffocate from hairballs?

The Danger Of Cat Hairballs: What You Need To Know • 2022 Ruffle Snuffle Hairballs aren’t the most pleasant things for a cat owner to have to deal with. Not only does it sound pretty awful to hear your pet hacking up this lump of fur, but then they go and leave it on the floor and walk off.

  1. Dealing with the odd hairball here and there is fine and a normal part of cat ownership.
  2. But, have you ever considered what is actually going on here and whether your cat may bring up more hairballs than they should? A large hairball ( known as a trichobezoar ) can cause a blockage in a cat’s intestinal tract and cause your cat to choke to death.

Hairballs are going to happen. We can’t stop them but we can keep an eye on how often they are produced and whether our cats struggle to bring them up. Ignoring the issue could lead to unseen medical issues with simple fixes. At their worst, ignored hairball issues could lead to impaction and even death.

Are hairballs an emergency?

Are Your Cat’s Hairballs a Sign of a Health Problem? Cat owners know that their felines will cough up the occasional hairball, but what does it mean if they are doing so several times a week? Small piles of vomit mixed with fur are often mistaken for hairballs, so owners aren’t concerned about a possible underlying problem.

Allergies Pain Fleas Intestinal blockage Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

If your cat is grooming herself more than usual, she may have a flea problem, arthritis pain, or food or environmental allergies. As your cat ingests excessive amounts of hair, some may not pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and form into a hairball.

Consider professional grooming for your cat to reduce shedding. Play frequently with your cat, to reduce boredom and stress-related grooming. Brush your cat regularly, as often as daily for long-haired cats. Amp up your grooming routine during the shedding season. Encourage your cat to drink more water to help keep the GI tract functioning properly. Talk to our team about supplements, treats, and diets that may help your cat.

The most dedicated cat owners may not be able to eliminate hairball development, especially in long-haired breeds, but following these tips can greatly reduce your cat’s risk. for help if you have any questions or concerns about your cat. : Are Your Cat’s Hairballs a Sign of a Health Problem?

Should I give my cat butter for hairballs?

Cats begin grooming themselves as early as they are in the kitten-hood, usually around the 4th week after birth. By the time they are 5 weeks of age, mutual grooming becomes prevalent if they are placed in a litter with other cats. This behavior can continue into adulthood.

  1. Cats may spend 30 – 50% of their day grooming themselves or/and other cats.
  2. Every time cats groom, they swallow stray and loose hair into their stomach, forming a wad.
  3. If they swallow too much hair at once, clogging the digestive system, it could cause the cat to lose appetite, form blockages which can cause constipation or choking.

Most of the hairballs accumulated in the stomach are eventually ejected from the body through regurgitation. However, if the hairballs are too large to pass, it may require medical procedures to surgically remove the hair wad. What can we do to help our cats get rid of hairballs? Commercial Remedies: You do not really need to do anything if your cat coughs up a hairball most of the time.

Melted butter – this is one of the best hairball remedies for cats since they love dairy and fat. The fat serves as a lubricator for the hairballs to pass. “A half-teaspoon of melted butter once a day for a few days (and no longer). should do the trick.” ( Home Remedies for Cats with Hairballs )Petroleum jelly – Most of the cats like the taste of petroleum jelly, but some may not fancy it. What you can do is smear some on their paws or nose, so they will lick it off while grooming. Take 1/4 teaspoon of petroleum once a day for 4 consecutive days.Other over the counter treatment – there are other choices you can get from over the counter that provide lubrication for better and easier passage.

Whichever commercial remedy you choose depends on your cat’s preference or how their body reacts to them. Some cats may find a particular remedy more interesting or effective than others. Brush Your Cat: Brushing up your cat can create a valuable time for you to bond with your furry.

Cats lose hundreds of hair each day, so giving it a good brush can highly reduce the amount of hair ingested by your cat, especially for long-haired breeds such as Persians or Himalayans. Use a proper comb for your cat and pair it with a damp washcloth that can be used to wipe down the loose hair after a grooming session.

Add Some Fiber: Sometimes a high fiber diet will just do the trick to diminish hairballs or accelerate the passage of a hairball. You can look for a high fiber food or simply supply some grass for your cat. Boost up your cat’s overall health: A high level of physical activity and a good, balanced diet help fortify your cat’s body and build a stronger digestive system.

If your cat is overall sedentary, engaging your cat in some physical activities can get its system moving more actively. Check with your vet: If hairballs become a constant nuisance and your cat continues retching daily or even several times a day, experiencing diarrhea and losing appetite, it is imperative that you get your cat seen by a veterinarian.

Hairballs can cause blockages in the throat, stomach or intestines, so finding an appropriate remedy for your cats can help them relieve their discomfort and prevent hairball related health issues. Sources: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/home-remedies-for-cats-ga7.htm http://www.allsands.com/pets/cats/cathairballre_wwv_gn.htm http://www.liabc.com/articles/whydocatsgroom.pdf Subscribe to Love Meow Newsletter for more cat stories

Does drinking water help with hairballs?

How to Stop Your Cat’s Hairballs and Vomiting Issues Hairballs are an unpleasant fact of cat ownership, and while it is necessary for cats to expel hairballs, there are steps owners can take to minimize them without compromising their pet’s health. Why Cats Have Hairballs Cats are frequent groomers, and their rough tongues catch loose hair, which is then swallowed.

While most hair passes harmlessly through the cat’s digestive tract, some does become matted and stuck in the stomach, where it forms a hairball. When the ball is large enough, it must be vomited away or else it could cause intestinal blockages and impaction, which can not only be uncomfortable, but could be fatal if left untended.

Most cats vomit 1-2 hairballs each month, with long-haired cats or those that groom excessively having hairballs more often. Very frequent hairballs or vomiting without hairballs could be signs of additional digestive trouble, including cancer, and pet owners should take their cats to the vet to be sure there are no underlying problems.

Grooming : The less loose hair there is for a cat to swallow, the fewer hairballs the pet will produce. Daily brushing with the appropriate brush or comb for your cat’s coat will minimize loose hair and collect it before the cat can swallow it. This will also keep more hair off the furniture, and can be a great activity to bond with your pet. Better Diet : Healthy skin and fur will minimize shedding, and diet is a critical component of cat health. A high-fiber diet is best for reducing hairballs, and many cat foods are formulated to help minimize hairballs. Mixing a tablespoon of canned pumpkin into a cat’s food once or twice a week can add more fiber to their diet easily, and will be a tasty treat besides. Hairball Lubricants : Different products are advertised as helping cats more easily pass hairballs through their intestines and into the litterbox, rather than vomiting. Consult a veterinarian for recommendations suitable to your cat’s health and diet, however, before opting for these mild laxatives. Water : Water is a natural lubricant that can help minimize hairballs. Provide plentiful fresh, clean water for your cat, positioning water dishes or cat drinking fountains in several areas so your pet always has easy access to water. This will also hydrate the skin and keep fur in better condition so it does not break and shed as easily. Play : A bored cat may groom excessively, increasing the number of hairballs it creates. Provide new, interesting toys for your pet, as well as other distractions such as time in a cat patio, videos of birds or mice and time playing with you to keep the cat entertained so it will not groom so much. This will also improve the cat’s mental health to keep it happier.

Hairballs and vomiting are never the best part of owning a cat, but by taking appropriate steps, both can be minimized while maximizing the cat’s well-being. : How to Stop Your Cat’s Hairballs and Vomiting Issues

Is dry food better for hairballs?

How to Pick Out a High-Fiber Cat Food – Several pet food manufacturers have added fiber to their formulations to create “hairball” diets that work well for some cats. Look for dry diets with a crude fiber percentage of around 8-10% and canned options in the 2-4% range, but keep in mind that crude fiber does not account for insoluble fiber sources.

What happens if a cat can’t cough up a hairball?

When can cat hairballs become dangerous? – In and of themselves, hairballs are harmless. However, if your cat is wandering around the house and repeatedly retching with no sign of a hairball (and especially if they’ve lost energy and are unwilling to eat), then take them to the vet immediately.

Prolonged gagging, vomiting, retching without producing a hairball A drop in appetite Lethargy Cat constipation or diarrhoea Excessive nibbling on grass A swollen or sensitive stomach

Can I give my cat Vaseline for hairballs?

2. Hairball Laxatives – Another common remedy is hairball laxatives, typically petrolatum-based (think Vaseline) or oil-based, that is also meant to help a cat pass swallowed hair in their stool. We suggest the oil-based hairball laxatives, but only once a week (not daily). Oil-based hairball laxatives can be harder to find than the petrolatum-based products.

Can I give my cat olive oil for hairballs?

You know that disturbing sound: your cat struggling to expel a hairball. The retching, gagging, and vomiting noises can wake you at night or ruin your lunch. As your poor cat struggles to rid him or herself of the alien product, you run for the paper towels and cleaning sprays.

  1. Hairballs, or trichobezoars (tricho-, meaning “pertaining to hair” and bezoar, meaning “a mass trapped in the gastrointestinal system”) occur after cats attempt to groom themselves.
  2. Licking at the coat causes hair to be swallowed and delivered to the stomach.
  3. Balls form and when they become uncomfortable, the cat vomits up the wad.

Many cat owners think hairballs are a fact of life, but you can stop these occurrences using a home remedy. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian before trying the techniques below, especially if your cat is elderly or dealing with a chronic illness.1.

Brushing Shedding is the underlying cause of hairball formation, so removing loose hair from your cat is critical in eliminating hairballs. Brush your cat every day-especially if he or she is long-haired and during shedding periods. Your cat will learn to love these grooming sessions, and you may find it relaxing as well.2.

Wipes You can finish your grooming session by wiping down your cat with a wet paper towel or a baby wipe. This will help pick up remaining loose hair. If you use wipes, be sure to choose a fragrance-free brand that is hypoallergenic.3. Olive Oil Adding olive oil to your cat’s food can ease digestion and help pass the hair naturally.

If you see your cat struggling with hairballs, consider adding a bit of olive oil to his or her food. Never force oil into the mouth, though, as you could send it into the lungs. Allow your cat to lick it up. A teaspoon of olive oil every week or so should do the trick. Oil throughout the digestive system will help your cat eliminate hair in its stools and aid in digestion.

This should cut down on stomach aches associated with hairballs. Other oils, such as mineral oil, corn oil or saffron oil can also help.4. Butter up! A teaspoon of butter will work like the oil. Melt it in the microwave and drizzle over your cat’s food once a week.5.

  1. Petroleum Jelly You can trick your cat into relieving his or her own problems by applying a bit of petroleum jelly to a paw.
  2. Your cat is sure to lick the jelly away, lubricating the digestive track.
  3. This will help make feces elimination more comfortable, thus removing hair in the cat’s digestive tract.

Do this once a week or so.6. Go Fishin’ Many canned fishes have natural oils, and they are often packed in oil as well. Give your cat a special treat with a bit of tuna or a sardine occasionally. You can share your lunch by draining the oil from a can and putting it on your cat’s dinner.7.

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater Did you know that canned pumpkin can help pets pass obstructions? Fiber-loaded pumpkin has binding qualities and can assist in the passage of feces and hairballs. Be sure to choose pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar. Just mix a teaspoon or so into their bowl of food.8.

More Fiber An increase in fiber is good for anyone’s diet, and cats are no different. You can add a few tablespoons of high-fiber cereal to your cat’s food to help process those hairballs. A quarter teaspoon of Metamucil or another fiber product can be added to the food for the same effect.9.