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Cat hairball

Cat Hairball

Let’s find out why cats have this problem of hair balls.

Cats have soft fur and when cats groom themselves, they ingest loose hair. This passes down to their stomach and comes out in stool. The stomach of a carnivore can handle fur – the fur of prey animals or its own fur.

But over generations and directed breeding, several cat breeds have come up that have long fur. And some cats with short hair have delicate stomachs that cannot handle fur. So, when a lot of fur collects in the tummy, they come out through the mouth as a hairball, instead of passing out in the stool.

A hair ball is medically known as trichobezoar.

The occasional hairball should not worry you. But if cat throwing up hairballs is more than twice a month, then you might want to take it to the vet for a check up. The vet will check and tell you if the problem is just basic or something else. Some of the signs to look out for include the hairball hacking, which is an awful coughing sound that your cat will make while trying to throw up the hair ball. If cat vomiting is frequent or if no fur ball is vomited out after the hacking, then speak with the vet. The vet can check your cat for feline asthma.

Cat Hairball Symptoms

Some of the signs to look out for include –

  • Lethargy or depression
  • Lack of interest in food
  • Matted and dry coat
  • Constipation
  • Hard stools with hair
  • Cylindrical masses on the floor

Holistic view: If the cat is spitting out too many hair balls, then it means that it probably has an energy imbalance or a basic systematic imbalance. A vet will consider the history of the cat, environment, diet, previous medical problems, family and social issues as well as the personality of the cat. Hairballs could just be one symptom and it might be pointing to a bigger issue.

Prevent Cat Hairball

You can prevent hairballs by brushing your cat regularly. This will brush off the extra dead fur, prevent cat hair shedding and prevent the cat from ingesting hair and then spitting it out later as a hair ball.

Another tip would be to feed the cat special hairball formula food that will be slippery and can help the cat digest the fur and flush it out in its stool. These formulas come in granules and tube-served gels that can be sprinkled on its food.

  Submitted on May 11, 2010  

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