Why do cats get hairballs? When hairballs happen in cats we can get a little nervous, ‘are you okay?’ ‘are you dying?’ The sounds they make can make us as their owners nervous, but hairballs are a part of cat life. So what causes them? Let’s find out!
According to Pets MD, “When your cat grooms himself, tiny hook-like structures on his tongue catch loose and dead hair, which is then swallowed. The majority of this hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hairball. Usually, your cat will vomit the hairball to get rid of it. Because hairballs pass through the narrow esophagus on the way out, they often appear thin and tube-like, rather than round.”
I get it…but this is getting excessive
Although hairballs are routine for your cat, the size and density may make you uncomfortable. To help your cat have less hairballs, consistent grooming and brushing of their hair will help. When you brush them you help take away some of the loose hair they may have otherwise ingested. Keeping their diet consistent can also help as well as there are special shampoos you can use. Maine Coons and Persians on average have more hairballs than the average cat because of the thickness and length of their coat.
There are even snacks that say they help with hairball control, like these from Temptation Treats.
Are you crying wolf again or is this serious?
Hairballs are actually quite normal for cats as they self-groom themselves, leaving less work for you to do. Cats on average hack up one hairball a week. Less tactful than you cleaning out your hairbrush to put in the trash, but as cats use their tongue to groom themselves they end up digesting hair. Hairballs are a natural part of a cat’s life, however there are things to look out for which may indicate your cat isn’t at optimum health.
According to Hill’s Pet, “Other signs that hairballs might be a health issue you should discuss with your vet include constipation, an extraordinary amount of hair in stools, a loss of appetite, and lethargy. Additionally, if you start to see the number of hairballs increase, or you see your cat grooming more often than usual, it might be a sign of a larger skin condition that you should speak to your vet about.”
What has your experience been with hairballs? What has worked for you? Tell us below? Want to stay up to date with our posts and what we have going on? Come subscribe, at http://eepurl.com/cBE1Jn