25 Mar Treatment and Prevention of Hairballs
The feline species is one of the most meticulous on the planet. They spend countless hours grooming and cleaning themselves. This process is repeated before naptime and upon wakening. The cat is not only interested in cleaning himself, but also in removing all of the loose hairs from his coat. The cat’s tongue is very rough, and each tiny little barb is efficient at removing hair. This is a very normal process for a cat to engage in, and the feline body is very capable of processing small amounts of digested hair. In some instances, too much hair can be ingested, causing the animal to become sick. The cat will begin to cough, wheeze, and make other strange noises in an attempt to cough up the excess hair that the body cannot digest.
Hairballs are discomforting to the cat, as well as a mess to clean up. The acid from the stomach that accompanies the hairball usually stains whatever surface it has landed upon, making it a costly incident as well.
One of the best preventions of hairballs is to avoid an excess of loose hairs. Proper daily brushing of your cat’s hair coat will loosen and remove these hairs, preventing them from ending up around your home and in your cat’s digestive system.
There are many potential treatments for the occasional hairball. One old trick that has worked for many a coughing feline is using Vaseline. Smearing a tiny bit of this product on to the top of a cat’s front paws will initiate the animal to lick it off quickly. The Vaseline will lubricate the passage of the hairball as well as confine it to a smaller ball, making the cat more comfortable in passing this excess hair. This treatment is only recommended for the occasional hairball, and should not be used often.
There are many over the counter products specifically designed for hairball control. Dietary changes are an easy place to start. There are many formulas of cat chow designed to help digest the hairball, usually this involves adding extra fiber to the food. Some other home remedies include adding one teaspoon of canned pumpkin mix into their regular food. Some cats have allergies to certain commercial pet foods. Vets have access to formulas that are low allergen products. Consult your vet to see if this is your cat’s problem.
There are also laxative type mediations that can be implemented, but be sure to use them as directed and not for prolonged periods of time. Cat Lax is one type of laxative that your veterinarian can provide, and has been found to be quite successful.
If your cat is vomiting daily and no hairball treatments seem to be working, consult your veterinarian. There may be other problems that your cat is dealing with. Making an appointment to see your cat’s healthcare professional may end feline discomfort, as well as your finding unexpected messes when you wake up.