What Are Hairballs?
A hairball, or trichobezoar, is a ball of undigested hair that is stuck in the stomach or small intestine. However, they are not all ball-shaped. Some are sausage shaped and more difficult for the cat to expel. Normally, the wad of hair will pass through the cat’s stool. However; the more hair, the greater the chance of it becoming lodged in the cat’s digestive tract.
How Do Cats Develop Hairballs?
Cats develop hairballs when they clean themselves by licking. Cat’s tongues have rough surfaces made of backward slanting papillae. Much of the hair can’t be dislodged, and the cat is unable to spit it out. As a result, loose fur is swallowed and eventually leads to gagging, retching, and vomiting of hairballs.
Hacking, retching, gagging
Loss of Appetite
Are Hairballs Dangerous?
While hairballs are often a normal routine, they can potentially be dangerous. If the hairball becomes large or dense enough, it may block the intestinal tract so that the cat is unable to hack or vomit it out. If this occurs, it may need to be removed by surgical means. Hairballs can potentially reach the size of a baseball.
What You Can Do:
Groom Your Cat: Since there’s no reason to stop your cat from licking, brushing your cat is the most helpful way to prevent hairballs. The more fur you remove from brushing, the less the cat will have to consume. You can check out various Cat Grooming Products. You can also learn more about Grooming Your Cat.
Products: If brushing just isn’t getting the job done, there are various products to help the cat easily discard the hairball. These products, which are pleasant tasting to cats, can be fed in paste form or applied to your cat’s paws to allow your pet to lick it off.
1. SHED-STOP for Cats reduces or eliminates hairballs in cats, while promoting healthy skin and a glossy coat.
2. Laxatone is a laxative and hair ball remedy.
3. Laxatone Tuna Flavor is a laxative and hair ball remedy in a tuna-flavored gel that your cat will love.
4. Cat Lax is for the elimination and prevention of hair balls in cats.
Diet: A diet that is high in fiber may also aid in the digestion of chronic hairballs. Used on a regular basis, it can prevent reoccurring hairballs.