If you have had to deal with hairballs, you definitely know they can be quite unpleasant. Furthermore, hairballs can cause issues for your pet, most notably, intestinal blockage. Cats are naturally meant to groom themselves, and this is how hairballs develop. What happens is when cats are in the process of grooming themselves, their tongues catch the loose, dead hairs. There are tiny hook-like structures on the tongue that make this possible and easy.
The cat ends up swallowing these hairs that easily pass through the digestive system. There is no issue with much of the hair going through the digestive system successfully in most cases. However, there are times the hair stays in the stomach and forms a hairball. Typically, the cat will have to vomit the hairball to rid of it from the stomach. Needless to say, cleaning it up is often disgusting.
Not all cats will have hairball issues. It tends to occur in the long-haired cat breeds, mostly Persian and Maine coons. The cats with long hair spend more time grooming and basically swallowing a lot of hair or fur. With that said, if you are not prepared to clean hairballs on a regular basis, some remedies can help with reducing or even eliminating them altogether.
As we get to that, there are signs which will indicate your cat has hairballs. Common symptoms include gaging and retching followed by vomiting of the hairball. However, you should call the veterinarian if you notice any of the below signs. They could be an indication of a more severe and potentially life-threatening intestinal blockage.
- Constant vomiting, gagging, and retching without letting out a hairball
- Lack of appetite
Natural remedies for hairballs
While you cannot completely eliminate hairballs in cats, there are few ways to reduce the frequency of their occurrence naturally. We have shared notable ways to reduce the likelihood of hairballs in your cat.
When you remove much of the excess fur from your cat, there will be less of it to form hairballs in the stomach. You can make it a habit to brush your feline friend daily as a way of reducing hairballs. But if you can’t do the brushing, take the pet to a professional groomer for better grooming at least every six months.
Discourage compulsive grooming
Some cats are obsessed with grooming and will do it almost all the time. If you think this is the cause of the hairballs, try to redirect her attention. Train your cat to spend time doing other enjoyable activities instead of grooming. For instance, you can introduce new toys for the cat to play with or even spare some time to play with her.
The best cat hairball remedies
We have talked about some ways you can naturally reduce the likelihood of your cat having hairballs. But that might not be enough to combat this unpleasant problem. There are some products that are designed to reduce to a bare minimum the occurrence of hairballs in cats. On that note, here are some recommended cat hairball remedies to rely on.
Vetoquinol Laxatone: An oral hairball lubricant gel for cats
Not all the products you see online will work and produce positive results. That said, the Vetoquinol Laxatone does an excellent job at helping to prevent the formation of hairballs. The product lubricates the cat hairs to make it easy for them to pass through the digestive tract quickly, hence stopping the formation of hairballs. Cat owners like this product mostly because it’s gentle on the kitty’s tummy and will not cause discomfort. It’s also made of food-grade ingredients.
Nutri-Vet Cat Hairball Support Paw Gel
The Nutri-Vet Hairball Support Paw Gel can be both a long term and short term remedy. It provides relief in the short term by lubricating the hairs. This basically prevents the formation of hairballs. With time, it may significantly reduce the frequency of their formation or completely do away with them. Remember, it lubricates the hairs and, for that reason, prevents them from sticking together. When the hairs have fallen apart, it’s much harder for a hairball to form. The gel is not made of artificial colors or flavors that may hurt your cat in the long run.
Dechra Cat Lax Cat hairball remedies
If you are looking for a hairball remedy that will not have you breaking the bank, this is the one. It’s quite an affordable hairball remedy and still offers excellent performance. While it effectively gets rid of the hairballs, the product is also packed with vitamins and nutrients that are good for your kitty. For instance, it consists of vitamin E and Cod liver oil, both of which are nutrients that promote healthy skin. It will help your cat have healthier skin that doesn’t fall off easily to form a hairball.
TOMLYN Laxatone Hairball Remedy Gel for cats
This easy to administer hairball remedy might be what your cat needs to keep those hairballs at bay. Its tasty flavor makes it easy for cats to simply lick it. Furthermore, it’s an all-around solution that can both prevent and eliminate the hairball problem. For starters, it lubricates the already ingested hairs, paving the way for a smooth pass through the digestive tract and eventually in the stool. Secondly, it consists of omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids to promote healthy skin in cats.
Vet’s Best Cat Hairball Relief Digestive Aid
Some cats are picky and will not take anything suspicious. This chewable hairball remedy allows cats to take it in the form they enjoy. Furthermore, you can place your trust in this product, considering a number of experts have vetted it. It’s designed to be extremely gentle on the tummy while maintaining its efficacy. If your cat has a hairball problem, administer it daily for positive results. It’s best suited for cats that are over 12 weeks old.
It’s difficult and disturbing to watch a cat vomit furballs every now and then. They make life uncomfortable for not only the cat but also the owner. Thankfully, there are remedies to this problem, as shared above.