Hairballs are clumps of fur which accumulate in a cat’s stomach as a result of grooming. Cats tend to groom themselves a lot and the hair gets in their stomachs and intestines. It is indigestible and causes inflammation. As the result the cat gags and throws it up.
Hairballs which are not expelled can result in some serious problems. It can decrease a cat’s appetite, resulting in constipation or cause some serious bowel obstructions.
Though long haired cats are more prone to get hairballs, all cats at some point can develop them. There are some steps that all cat parents should follow to prevent and reduce them.
Prevention of Hairballs in Cats
Below are some of the easiest ways you can prevent the development of hairballs in cats.
It is important to brush your cat’s hair daily. Daily brushing your cat’s fur gets your cat rid of loose hairs. The cat can easily ingest this fur while it grooms itself. So, it is always better to remove this hair before your cat swallows them. Brushing is the best method to prevent the formation of hairballs, especially in the shedding seasons.
Regular exercises and playtime is very important for your cat. It is essential to keep your cat active as exercises keep the cat’s digestive system healthy and ensure that the hair moves through the system and not form clumps.
Water is an important part of a cat’s digestion. Ensure that your cat drinks plenty of water which keeps its intestinal tract hydrated.
Dehydration can have an effect on the cat’s digestion thus leading to hairballs. Keep your cat equipped with fresh water at all times.
Avoid Excessive Grooming by cats
Cats love to groom themselves and will sometimes overdo it if they are bored or stressed. Play and interact with your cat. This will discourage such behavior. Keep your cat busy with other things so that he does not become bored and indulge in excessive grooming.
A good diet is highly recommended for your feline friend as poor nutrition can cause problems with digestion and can thus increase the chances of hairballs. Cats need a high-protein diet. Their bodies may not be able to digest carbohydrate-rich foods. Therefore,
Fiber-rich foods help in moving hair through the cat’s digestive tract. Special diets also contain enzymes which break this hair down. Fiber-rich treats like canned pumpkins are also available and great for your dog’s health.
Catnip or cat grass can provide extra fiber and act as a great treat for your cat. It will thus help them to expel the hairballs out of their system.
Heavier cats are at a higher risk to get hairballs. So, you must also prevent your cat from becoming overweight. However, at some point in time, any cat can develop hairballs. So, it is always a good idea to take steps and prevent any chances of hairballs.
Every cat owner must be aware of these simple steps and take the required action to prevent hairballs. This is a great method to ensure that your cat is healthy and happy!