Hair balls from cats are definitely not fun for cats or humans at all! They are also very messy to clean up. They cause serious health problems such as intestinal blockage in your cat. Cats will never stop licking their fur because of grooming instincts they can’t control so how are we supposed to control the hair balls in cats?
What is the Cause of Hair Balls?
Hair balls are actually a sign of healthy hygiene despite the fact that they are very gross for us humans to clean up. Cats have little cups on their tongues that act as little spoons or scoopers that collect dry skin and fur as they lick themselves for grooming or nervousness. Unfortunately, the cats swallow this. More common than not, cats can digest this stuff with no problem at all. However, if hair is trapped in the cat’s stomach it may become a hair ball. The only way to get rid of the hair ball is if the cat throws it up. Hair balls tend to take on the shape of a cat’s throat almost like a skinny tubal shaped substance.
The breeds that suffer from hair balls the most are any or even all cats that are long haired breeds. Cats whom are very picky about being clean or that do it out of just being nervous suffer from hair balls even more than others. They groom themselves very often causing them to swallow the hair and the dead skin more a lot more often. A lot of cats do not suffer from hair balls as kittens but rather as adult cats. As kittens, they don’t really know how to get the fur off their bodies or clean themselves too thoroughly. This method is perfected more as adults and that’s when the messiness comes in to play for them. That’s when humans get to have fun by cleaning it up also.
Cats Hair Ball Symptoms:
Seeing with your eyes and hearing a cat hacking up a hairball can be pretty unpleasant for anybody. Some symptoms are hacking, retching, and gagging. Shortly after all that glamour the cat will usually vomit up their hair ball.
Hair balls can cause many serious issues with the cat’s health so be aware and contact your vet if you notice the following symptoms:
-Hacking, retching, and gagging without a hairball eventually being thrown up by the cat
-Loss of appetite
Remedies for Cat’s Hair Balls:
There is no such thing as 100 percent hair ball preventative remedies for cats. There is a way to control or lessen hair balls in your cat but not total elimination of the hair balls all together.
Groom your cat as often as possible. If you remove some of the cat’s fur then that leaves a lot less fur for the cat to remove and swallow on their own while grooming and licking themselves. Brushing is a great way to spend time with your cat as well as bonding and it also gets rid of loose hairs so your cat won’t fill the need to lick them causing them to be swallowed in to their stomach followed by health issues. If your cat does not like to be brushed consider taking your cat to a groomer’s shop on a regular basis. Your cat can get bathed and get a haircut. Which helps create less loosened fur. For longer haired breeds this is good to do once every 6 months or so.
Feed the specialized hairball formula to your cat. There are a lot of varieties of cat food that have begun to create hair ball prevention formulas in them. Higher fiber helps maintain the health of your cat’s fur so the cat has minimal grooming to do on their own. This also usually takes care of the loose hair and keeps the fur even more clean. No more shedding for you to deal with caused by your awesome cat!
There are laxatives and hair ball treatments available to purchase and use on your cat. Most of these treatments that have been developed are simply gentle laxatives to help move the hair ball along through the digestive system without incident.
If you witness your cat compulsively licking their coat and or grooming themselves, turn your cat’s attention to something else such as a toy or even some human bonding time, maybe even do some brushing just to keep them distracted.