Three Ways to Prevent Hairballs

Cats naturally ingest some of their own hair while grooming. Most of it is supposed to come out in the feces, but sometimes it may be regurgitated in the form of a hairball. Use these tips from a River Oaks veterinarian to cut down on the presence of these unsightly remnants.

Good Grooming

Helping your cat groom herself can go a long way toward reducing hairball production. Brushing with a proper grooming comb will remove loose hair, reducing the amount your cat swallows. Many cats even end up looking forward to their regular grooming sessions—they can be very relaxing, and great bonding time between feline and owner!

Good Diet

A good diet will keep your cat’s skin and fur healthy, limiting the amount of loose, excess fur that is shed. In addition, specially-formulated cat foods are available that help move hair through your cat’s digestive tract, allowing it to be excreted properly in the feces. Ask your River Oaks veterinary professional if one of these hairball-prevention diets is a good idea for your cat, and be sure to ask for tips on gradually introducing your cat to a new food.

Lubricating Products

There are several commercially-available lubricating products on the market that are designed to help lubricate your cat’s intestinal tract, allowing hair to move through smoothly. Most are petrolatum-based, and are available at most pet supply shops. Due to their oily nature, many cats aren’t thrilled about swallowing these products—ask you vet if they might be right for your cat, and about how to entice your cat into taking them.

If your cat’s hairball production seems excessive, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with your vet. Sometimes, excessive hairballs can be a sign of skin problems or intestinal issues. You need to get your cat examined and rule out any medical concerns from the outset.