How to control hairballs in cats? Is it even possible to fight hairball formation? Of course it is. Even though hairball is quite normal thing for cats, it somehow distracts them and it sure bothers you especially if he vomited your new carpet.
What are hairballs? As the name says, hairball is a ball of hair. Actually it is a ball of hair, saliva, gastric juice and some other ingredients. But mostly hair. Hairballs are forming in a cat’s stomach. How does hair get there? Cats like to groom by licking themselves. They do it a lot, as you may probably already noticed. And this is when they swallow their own hair. Hair goes down their throat to their stomach and there they are – forming another hairball.
most some cases hair just goes through their stomach and is eliminated from their body through a natural path. But there is another one natural path, too. If hair in his stomach gets too crowded, together with gastric juice they can form a hairball, which cannot take their road down to their intestines. In this case, hairball will travel up. Back to cat’s throat, and this is when coughing and vomiting begins. Khe, khe, kheeeeoooouuuwwwwweee…. At this is how it’s done.
How can we help our cat to control hairballs?
There are some things to do to prevent hairball formation.
- activity – is your cat active? This is a fact that active cats have better health, cats with better health have better working stomach, better working stomach can more easily eliminate hairballs.
- grooming – groom your cat time after time (better every day, but who are we kidding here?). You remove your cat’s old hair by grooming him, thus preventing it from being swallowed and forming hairballs.
- laxatives, gels and others – those come in small tubes and are containing ingredients that help your cat’s stomach to eliminate hairballs. Note, that those laxatives are not for daily use, but you can give them to your cat as a preventive measure now and then. Always read instructions though.
- hairball control food – some food producers add soluble and insoluble fibres that help to eliminate hairballs. Mostly they are added to food that is designed for indoor cats, as they are more exposed to this problem. See above at activity section why it is so. However, if your cat is grooming himself with intense, probably you will still need to use some laxatives as those fibres will not be able to control hairballs alone.
From own experience. My cat has hairballs mostly during spring. It is time when most of cats are shedding and so fur is everywhere and is ingested easily. All the other times this problem don’t bother him at all. Ask why? I think one of most important things is activity. Activity is what makes cat healthy and activity is the best thing to prevent hairball formation in cats. However, do not underestimate power of other things mentioned above.