If your cat isn’t acting how they usually do and don’t want to eat, sleep or play, they are usually somewhere in your home grooming themselves. They care a lot about their coat and appearance, so they simply won’t tolerate any dirt, debris, tangles or any dead or loose hair. As a result of their cleanliness, they will end up swallowing a large amount of hair. Most of it will pass through their digestive system without any problems. However, it can come back up in some cases. If you ever wondered about your cat’s hairballs, here are some of the basics.
Besides the mess they make, the gagging, wheezing and coughing sounds your cat makes while throwing up a hairball can also be disturbing. But beyond the inconvenience, your cat’s hairballs can also be indicative of certain health problems.
Your cat’s rough tongue helps them lift dead or loose hair, and brings it back toward their throat. You might notice when cleaning up their litter box that some of this hair passes through them just fine. But if they end up swallowing too much hair, it can’t be easily digested, regurgitating the hair is their only option.
Other than the retching and gagging reflexes, your cat can also show symptoms of decreased appetite, lethargy, and having trouble in their litter box, like suffering from diarrhea or constipation. If this is the case, then please seek a veterinary in Courtice as soon as possible.
Despite being called a hairball, they aren’t generally in a round shape. They are usually elongated, and tube-like since they need to make their way up through the esophagus. You can also see that it is mostly made up of hair, but you could also see food particles and some other stomach contents.
Some cat owners fear that their cat’s hairballs are a sign of something more sinister. If they are happening all the time, we recommend getting them examined as soon as possible. Sometimes, hairballs can lead to gastrointestinal problems, including obstructions that need to be fixed by surgery. Your cat’s hairballs could also be caused by allergies or skin disorders.
Long haired cat breeds can be at a higher risk for developing hairball problems. One of the best ways to lessen how much hair they consume is to maintain brushing and combing their fur often. Grooming them is also a great way to bond with them as well.
In addition, you might need to look at their diet for some clues. Switching your cat to specially formulated foods can help improve their coat and skin qualities, reduce how much they shed, and might help by adding more fiber to help with digestion.
Spending some extra time with your fluffy friend can help them reduce any stress or anxiety, which might be what is causing the over-grooming. Make sure that they always have an engaging environment, a lot of toys, and some extra attention and love.