If you’re a cat owner, you’ve likely dealt with your cat coughing up hairballs. If your cat is struggling with a hairball, it can sound terrible and be distressing to you and your cat. So how do you prevent hairballs?
- Brush your cat regularly. When you remove more of your cat’s dead coat, less of it is ingested. Of course, if you have multiple cats, be sure to brush all of them, as cats tend to groom each other.
- Try food designed to reduce hairballs. Many new cat foods are on the market that claim to reduce hairballs. Most of them work by incorporating extra fiber which helps your cat digest the hair, and keeps it moving through the digestive system until it’s eliminated in the litter box.
- Try a cat laxative (like laxatone) or product designed to prevent hairballs. Hairball products can help your cat move hair through its system more readily. Some of these products are laxatives which help your cat eliminate hairballs rectally. Most of them are mineral-oil based and not absorbed by your cat. They also come in a variety of flavors – you may have to try several to discover which one your cat prefers.
TIP: Coconut oil can help your cat eliminate hairballs, it’s natural and they love the taste. Consult with your veterinarian, however, to see if this natural option is appropriate for your cat. Only a licensed vet can tell you whether a particular treatment is recommended for your cat. If your vet agrees, then find out how much to give and how often.
Not a laughing matter
Hairballs, while very common, must be taken seriously. Cats can develop intestinal blockages that can be quite serious. Pay attention to your cat’s overall health and behavior. If your kitty is struggling in the litter box or isn’t passing feces, or feces is very hard – seek veterinary care. Your cat could have a hairball blockage.
Do you have any tips on preventing hairballs you can share? Let us know in the comments!