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…
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.
Choose 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 ?