No cat owner enjoys the site of seeing their poor kitty vomiting up foam and moist balls of hair. Though hairballs are a notorious cat trademark, they have the potential to cause serious health problems.
Hairballs are created due to activities like grooming, where hair enters the digestive system. Although the feline digestive system is unable to digest hair, a diet with a good amount of fiber, fat, and oil will allow some hair to pass through. When there is too much hair that enters the digestive system, or if a cat has a lack of fiber, fat, and oil in his diet, this is when hair is vomited out of the system in the form of a hairball.
Now this may seem all fine – a hairball will be vomited out, cats are known for this; so what’s the big deal? Well, hairballs can have serious health implications that include:
• Eliminating appetite
• Acting as a cork in the intestinal tract, leading to a serious infections
• Causing diarrhea or constipation
• Inducing vomiting all year long
• Requiring surgical removal (severe cases)
As a cat owner, what can you do to help ease the stress of hairballs in your cat?
• Groom your cat more often
• Provide a high quality diet, rich in essential vitamins and minerals
• Administer a vet-approved oral lubricant 2-3 hours before a meal
• Feed your cat ½ tsp of butter daily
• Rub Vaseline onto the roof of your cat’s mouth or onto his fur
• Offer a pinch of psyllium powder to your cat
Of course, every cat is different. You may need to try different products and remedies for different cats. When unsure about a product or remedy, always consult your vet.