Cats’ Hairball Problems: Understand Them and Learn How to Keep Your Cat Safe

Cats’ Hairball Problems: Understand Them and Learn How to Keep Your Cat Safe

Only a few people have an idea about Cats’ hairball problems. This condition can be a serious health issue leading to intestinal blockages. So, what do we even mean by cat hairballs? What are its symptoms, and causes, and how can we prevent it? This is exactly what we are going to answer in the following article. So, keep reading!

1- What are Cats’ Hairball Problems?

Simply put, a cat hairball refers to a collection of dead hair gathered in your cat’s stomach. This happens during the grooming process. While your feline is grooming themselves by licking, they may have no other options except for swallowing the hair they groom.

Well, self-grooming is healthy and important for cats, but it might also cause another health issue which is hairball. The problem may occur when, as said above, the hair is accumulated in your cat’s stomach. If it passes through the digestive tract, there will be no issue, the issue will not occur.

In most cases, cats get rid of the hairball by vomiting and they tend to appear as thin and tube-like as they pass through the narrow esophagus. This condition may arise in long-haired breeds such as Maine Coons. Also, cats who perpetually groom themselves may suffer from this problem.

2- Cat Hairballs Symptoms

You may suffer to see your cat trying to bring up all the hairballs found in its stomach.  In their attempt to get rid of the hairballs, your cat will start hacking, gagging, and retching. Then your cat will vomit the hairball.

If you notice the following hairball symptoms, you have to immediately call your vet as the outcomes may be life-threatening:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nonstop vomiting, gagging, retching, or hacking without producing hairballs.

3- Cat Hairball Remedies

While there is nothing you can do to entirely stop hairballs in cats, there are some practices that you can follow to reduce hairball frequency:

  • Regularly Groom Your Cat

By brushing or combing your cat daily, you will remove some of your cat’s fur that may end up in its stomach.  If your cat does not tolerate it, consider taking them to a professional groomer for a grooming session as well as a haircut.

  • Feed Your Cat Hairball Formula Cat Food

Now it is possible to find hairball-reduction cat foods. They are designed specifically to maintain your cat’s coat, decrease shedding, and make hairball pass through the digestive system.

  • Do Not Tolerate Excessive Grooming

A cat hairball may be the result of compulsive grooming. Therefore, you have to train your cat not to excessively groom themselves. For example, you can teach them how to enjoy playing with a new attractive toy.

  • Utilize a Hairball Product

You will find many hairball products available in the market. Their main objective is to help hairball pass through the digestive tract.

4- How Many Times May Cats’ May Hairball Problems?

Obviously, your cat will not suffer from hairballs every single day. It happens occasionally such as once a month. In normal cases, hair that your cat swallow has to pass through the digestive system and finally the litter box.

Even if this condition does not happen frequently, you have to contact your vet as this may lead to problems in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, hairball may be a sign of over-grooming. And we know that cats groom repeatedly when they are stressed. This is another potential issue that needs veterinarian supervision.

5- How to Help With Cats’ Hairball Problems?

As a cat owner, you will feel pain and stress to see your cat struggling and gagging. To help your cat, you have just to give them some space and privacy. Your cat now is trying to vomit all the hairballs accumulated in its stomach, so it is normal to do so.

Do not be confused or stressed. Instead, pay attention to your cat until you make sure that they bring up the hairball.

6- When Your Cat Is In Danger?

Occasional hairballs are predictable. However, if your cat perpetually retching and there is no sign of hairball, and if your cat stops eating and has no energy, then the problem here is serious and needs to be taken to the vet.

Other signs that show you the issue is alarming are listed below:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Sensitive stomach
  • Gagging, vomiting, and retching while not producing hairballs

7- Diagnosing Your Cats’ Hairball Problems

Your veterinarian may follow a number of methods to diagnose your cat’s hairballs. These may include a physical examination. In severe cases, your cat will need to take surgery to remove the hairball if growing large.

As we said above, it is normal for your cat to bring up hairballs from time to time. However, you have to get worried if they start doing so each week or more than 48 hours at a time. This may mean that the hairball ends up in your cat’s gut.

Last Words

Hairball is a condition that all cats experience in their lifetime. While it is normal, sometimes the problem may lead to other dangerous outcomes. For this reason, it is highly essential to perpetually notice your cat’s reactions and grooming frequency. You have to be alert to understand what is going on with your cat.

If you want to know how to deal with this condition, and what to do if it occurs with your cat, you have first to be aware of all that is related to hairballs in cats. And check our guide about cats food, to understand more about cats’ nutrition and which human food to avoid from your cat’s diet.

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