Cats groom themselves often to keep themselves clean and we love them for it! But, for some cats, the process of grooming their coats often leads to hairballs forming. These are not always cause for alarm, but it is true that they are an inconvenient for your cat and that they can lead to health issues that are best avoided!
Some cat breeds are more prone to developing hairballs than others because of their dense or long fur. In their case, hairballs are common consequences of constant grooming. Help your cat out by brushing and combing its coat at least once a day! This will lessen your pet’s intake of fur, yet maintain its coat clean and looking fabulous and can even end up as a pleasant activity for you to share together and strengthen your friendship!
There are also instances in which the reasons might not be as natural: excessive shedding and compulsive grooming are two often encountered situations that lead to hairballs forming. It is best to take your cat to the vet, who can prescribe something for its condition. Excessive shedding can be an underlining sign of sickness and should not be ignored! As for an alternative for pets suffering from compulsive grooming, redirecting their attention towards other activities in order to minimize the bad habit is the best manner in which you can solve the problem. Distract your cat’s attention with a new toy or different playful activities and it will eventually lessen the time your cat spends grooming itself.
A change of diet would also benefit cats that are troubled by constant hairballs. Specialists believe that consuming wet food is better than feeding your cat dry kibble, because cats are carnivores who naturally thrive on a high protein diet instead of a carbohydrates based one. After all, cats are not genetically inclined to eat grain based foods, so it is best to feed them low quantities of carbohydrates!
As an addition to wet food, seek products based on fibers that are commercialized for the purpose of preventing and treating hairballs. Many brands offer treats for cats which contain higher quantities of protein than their regular food. This is believed to stimulate transit and therefore make it easier for cats to naturally eliminate the hair they ingest while grooming. However, one must remember that these products do not show results in all cats and that there is also medication a veterinarian can prescribe for such issues. Generally, these consist of laxatives that will ease the elimination of ingested hair and prevent hairballs from forming. It is important not to attempt feeding your cat human medication and to always solicit a vet’s advice before deciding on any course of action!
If your cat frequently suffers from hairballs, your vet will likely recommend you include hairball ‘treats’ regularly in your cat’s diet – these are widely available in petshops or online. A popular such product in Purina ONE Hairball Formula.
Whether you decide to take your cat for a specialized check-up or you prefer to try other methods, make sure to always monitor your cat in such situations! Vomiting hairballs every once in a blue moon is a natural phenomenon for a cat and should not worry you over much!
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