Hairballs in Cats
Hairballs in Cats
For the most of cats, shedding comes as a completely natural way of regulating the density of their fur, and is especially important for the outdoor cats when the seasons are changing. Thus, outdoor cats change their fur twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, because they need less hair in the summer and more hair in the winter. For indoor cats, this process of shedding can last all year round, but with a lesser intensity. Shedding can increase an appearance of hairballs that are a normal byproduct of cats grooming. Hairballs are formed from dead hair in a cat’s stomach, and rarely cause too much problem for the cat. However, some long-haired breeds, such as Persians and Maine Coons, are especially prone to form hairballs, which can cause different gastrointestinal problems. Sometimes, hairballs can cause constipation, diarrhea, or ongoing vomiting that can be a sign of a life-threatening blockage. The article “Hairball Control: What You Can Do” suggests the measures to prevent the problem of hairballs from going too far.
Hairballs in Cats
We do not suggest you use homemade products containing butter or oils, because they can bring about other digestive problems, or be absorbed by the cat’s system before they have a chance to work. There are a number of effective ways you can help your cat deal with hairballs. Used routinely, they can help keep hairballs from forming:
• Grooming – Because cats are always grooming themselves, many owners do not realize that their cat will readily accept and appreciate brushing to remove loose hair. Brushing is the fastest and easiest way to reduce hair ingestion, and it also helps keep it off your furniture. There are many specialized cat grooming tools, including:
o The Dual-Sided Brush teases out snarls and tangles with the pin brush side, and use the bristle side to bring out the shine of your cat’s coat.
o Ergonomic Brushes is designed to conform to your hand and wrist movement.
o The Love Glove enables you to lift away cat hair with soothing strokes.
• Fiber – Other hairball remedies are available to add bulk and moisture to your cat’s stool, making it easier to pass:
o Cat grass grows fast and is easy to care for. It costs very little, and provides a renewable resource of enjoyment for your cat. A chemical-free,
controlled source of fiber, indoor cat grass is a worry-free option.
• Laxatives – Petroleum-based laxatives and hairball remedies, flavored to make them palatable for your pet, coat the swallowed hair and stool, allowing it to pass through your cat’s digestive system.
o Laxatone and Petromalt Hairball Remedy lubricate the colon and the outside of the stool, preventing water from being reabsorbed from the feces and
softening the stool.
• Water – Nothing is more important to your cat’s digestion than fresh, clean water. To optimize water intake, provide water in the fashion your cat prefers:
o If your cat likes running water, the Drinkwell Fountainis the perfect solution. It continuously recirculates water at the flow rate you set.
o If your cat likes to drink from a pool, Le Bistro water-cooler style waterer provides a one gallon continuous reservoir. You cat’s bowl will
always be fresh and full.
Anyway, hairballs cannot produce a huge problem for the cat. Actually, it is rarely the case. But if the cat is constantly vomiting and has problems with its appetite, then it is time to go to the vet, because the hairball can hold on to the intestinal tract and make a blockage. Apart for grooming, as the most efficient way to reduce hairballs, a good and balanced diet can make a big difference. Balanced diet has to contain all the products intended by nature for this little carnivore, like meat, fat and a small amount of vegetables. According to veterinarians and based on cats’ biological constitution, a diet without grains is most suitable for cats. If we apply regular brushing and all other preventive measures, then there is a little room for worry, and our cat can happily and safely go through any seasonal changes.