Have you been stepping on too many hairballs in the middle of the night? All cats, short and long haired, develop hairballs naturally as a result of the grooming process. Grooming is an important part of a cat’s normal daily beauty routine because it removes loose hair and dirt from their coat. Since they groom themselves many times a day, the hair can build up into an indigestible wad in the stomach that later comes out through vomiting.
Why does my cat have hairballs?
Your cat’s sandpaper like tongue removes loose hair during grooming. Some of this hair passes through the digestive tract and is excreted through the feces. However, excess hair ends up in a cylindrical shaped wad bound together with slime and sometimes little bits of food. Hairballs can remain lodged in the digestive tract and turn into an intestinal blockage if they do not pass.
However, cat hairballs are not necessary. Usually they point to an imbalance in your kitty’s system. Your feline might not be hydrated enough or might have some kind of imbalance in their digestive tract. Under-hydration is common for cats who eat only dry food. When a cat is well-hydrated, hair passes through the digestive tract easily. If your cat is shedding too much and this forms a wad inside, this might also be pointing to a food allergy.
What is a good treatment for hairballs?
A diet that is high in fiber minimizes the formation of hairballs because fiber sweeps loose hair through the digestive tract. A moisture rich diet and plenty of available fresh water are also important steps for any cat owner who wants to prevent hairballs.
Another option is to add some lubrication into your daily feeding routine to help hairball and debris pass through the cat’s digestive tract. Never use petroleum jelly or mineral oils. Omega-3 oils are the best option. Not only do they improve the skin and fur of your cat, but they also help the hairballs to pass through. Finally, everyday brushing and grooming is a must to keep your cat’s coat and digestive tract healthy. Any hair that you throw away when brushing is hair that does not get ingested by your cat.
Though hairballs are a normal part of a cat owner’s life, if you take these steps to prevent them, you will have less clean up and a healthier kitty.