3 tips to prevent and to avoid hairballs

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Believe it or not, we almost never vomit hairballs. We are maybe fortunate, or then we benefit daily of all the measures which allow to reduce this natural phenomenon.

How do form hairballs ?

When we lick ourselves, the small harshness of our tongue collect impurities and dead hairs. As our papillae are directed to the back, hairs are brought in the direction of our throat, and we swallow them. Most of the time, these hairs get through our digestive system with no problem at all, and go out again with our dropping.

However, it can happen that hairs stay in our stomach and eventually agglomerate and form a hairball. Most of the time, it goes out again by where it entered : we vomit a kind of sausage of agglomerated hairs. But not always…
Zorro giving a bath to Pixie

What are the dangers of hairballs ?

If your cat refuses to eat or becomes lethargic, consult your veterinarian : hairballs can cause constipation, or worse, an intestinal obstruction which requires a surgical operation.

Long-haired cats and old cats are the most exposed to hairballs.

How to prevent and to avoid hairballs ?

  • Make sure that your cat drinks enough : the digestive system works better in a correctly hydrated cat.
  • Verify that his food contains enough fatty acids, especially Omega-3 : fatty acids help the digestive system to “slide » swallowed hairs towards the exit.
  • Brush your cat regularly : it’s the best prevention.

brushing toolsChoose the brush or the comb according to the hair of your cat. For short-haired cats, use a soft brush once a week. We love the Furminator (which exists for long or short hairs) at the seasons turned, when our coat changes. If you have a long-haired cat, our friend Cornelius and Elizabeth advise you here.

Are hairballs frequent at your home ? Have you other tips to prevent them ?

19 thoughts on “3 tips to prevent and to avoid hairballs

  1. Mickey's Musings

    This is a very important post!
    Constipation is serious and our Georgia knows all about it!
    She is prone to constipation and she has lots of loose hairs.
    Good thing she loves to be brushed 🙂
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  2. Sammy

    I don’t get hairballs…….the occasional bit of hair in with the grass that I love to eat then throw up (!) but no hairballs. I do get brushed regularly which may be why no hairballs though!

    Hugs, Sammy

  3. da tabbies o trout towne

    ~~~~~~~ waves two ewe pixie & zorro…for de most part uz boyz R hairball free but daiz getz em several times a yeer….course her willna sit still fora good brushin either ….sew that sure doez knot help…….if her getz mor N three brush swipes…she takes off ~~~~

    heerz two an earthworm eel kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

  4. Summer

    Funny enough, Boodie – our fluffiest family member – does not hack up that many hairballs! Binga throws up fur now and again, but rarely a full hairball, and I’ve had a couple. We are fortunate that it does not happen too often around here.

  5. Canadian Cats

    Great advice for peeps on hairballs. They can be a big pain as I feel really full just before I barf and completely empty when I’m done. I don’t get many. Kali tends to get more than me.


  6. Nellie (who use to be the cat from hell)

    Mes yacks a lot (as mes blogs about it) and that is because mes yacks hair! They never gets to bes hairballs.
    Mes loses lots of hair at sometimes of the year and – of course – mes grooms and then mes yaks!
    Alas, mes does not like it when Mommy grooms mes (mes likes pets but not brushies or combs) And when she tries, mes bites.
    Mes LOVES driving Mommy nuts!
    Great post guys!

  7. caren gittleman

    My Angel Bobo used to get hairballs all of the time because he had thicker fur than Cody. Cody rarely gets them, his fur is rather short. But….we do have a Furminator and Cody loves it!

  8. Mark's Mews

    We are all short-hairs here, and that helps. And so does brushing. Actually, we get so much regular stroking from TBT over the day that there arent many loose hairs left.

  9. Raven

    Hairballs are awful for everyone. We use all those prevention techniques, but with a long-haired kitty they still happen. At least ours get hacked up and don’t get stuck, which can be very serious.

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