There are many great things about being a cat owner. However, living with cats is not without its challenges. Spotting (or worse stepping on) a hairball in your home is one of the unpleasant realities that comes with owning a cat. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to completely eliminate hairballs from your life. However, the good news is that you can take some steps to make your run in with hairballs less frequent.
The first step to decreasing the frequency of your cat’s hairballs is to make sure that they are brushed regularly. Hairballs usually occur if your pet has been grooming themselves. If you brush your cat on a regular basis, this will dramatically reduce the amount of hair that ends up in their stomach. That, in turn, means fewer hairballs. While most cats don’t get haircuts, you may want to consider having your pet’s hair trimmed if they have a particularly long coat.
Other cats will like themselves compulsively as a result of stress. If you think your cat is feeling distressed for some reason, try to get to the bottom of why. It may simply be that they are bored. Indoor cats don’t always get the among of stimulation they need, so they may turn to grooming themselves to stay occupied. However, setting some time aside a couple times a day to engage your cat in some playtime can help you avoid this.
It’s possible that your cat is experiencing an increase in hairballs due to a digestive issue. If they are having a hard time passing the hair in the stomach naturally, they may need a supplement to help them. There are a number of different hairball-related products that you can find at your local pet supply store. Many of these are special laxatives for cats that are having trouble passing hairballs through their digestive tract.
Some cats are simply more prone to hairballs than others. If you’re not sure what’s to blame for your cat’s constant hairballs, talk to your veterinarian. It’s possible that a change in diet can help your cat digest any hair that ends up in the stomach rather than suffering through hairball after hairball. In some cases, an excess of hairballs can even point to a serious medical condition. If the hair in your cat’s stomach is causing a blockage, they will need to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Some signs to look out for include vomiting, lethargy, constipation, and a change in eating habits.
Hairballs can be unpleasant for both you and your cat. Remember, your cat’s hairballs are natural, but they should not be a regular occurrence. If you’re unsure whether or not the frequency of your cat’s hairballs is normal, call our office and schedule an appointment. Our trained veterinarians will thoroughly examine your cat to ensure that they are not experiencing any sort of digestive issues.