If you have ever had the privilege of owning a cat, you know that hairballs are par for the course! As your local Lansdale cat sitter, we clean up hairballs on a daily basis. A hairball is essentially your cat’s fur that she swallowed while grooming herself. Some of the fur passes through her digestive system, but some also gets caught up in her stomach. On occasion, cats will vomit this hair back up. To be honest, when it comes back up it looks like a messy wet, furry cigar in the color of your kitty’s coat.
The passing of a hairball never looks to be a very pleasant thing. If you happen to catch your kitty expelling a hairball you will likely see a lot of gagging and coughing and then… the vomiting. But – we should actually be thankful that our kitties vomit it back up because if they don’t – it can be quite scary. Sometimes a hairball that does not come back up can get lodged in the intestinal tract and require surgery.
There are a few things you can do to help your kitty out in helping reduce her hairballs:
1. Hairball supplements! You can provide your cat with hairball paste or hairball treats to help lubricate the hairball to pass through the digestive system. Personally, I’ve had much more success with the paste/ gel. My cats absolutely love it and will lick it like a treat! There is a huge variety of treats, supplements and pastes on the market. Your kitty might not love every flavor or consistency so give a few of them a try!
2. Groom your cat! Regular brushing and using pet wipes will help cut down on the amount your cat sheds. If she is shedding less, she’ll have less to accidentally swallow while grooming! Most kitties also really enjoy being brushed! They make special brushes specifically designed to help de-shed your cat. I’m not sure if they work but pet stores often sell bathing wipes that are supposed to cut down on shedding as well.
Some cat owners may never see the unfortunate sight of a cat vomiting up a hairball. Cats with very short, smooth coats may have significantly less hairballs. Long haired kitties and cats that groom themselves a lot will definitely see more hairballs.