CAT CARE

HAIRBALLS IN CATS

Cats groom themselves daily and, as a consequence of swallowing a lot of loose dead hair, they form hairballs and may develop digestive problems.

Because of these hairballs cats often vomit. Learn what causes this problem and how to avoid it.

How do hairballs form?

Cats lick themselves to clean themselves, and they do so compulsively until they are sure they are 100% clean. In some cases, wounds or lesions may appear caused by the roughness of the tongue.

There is no problem if the cat can eliminate these hairballs. This usually happens through the faeces, sometimes spitting or even vomiting. But in some cases, the balls get “trapped” in the stomach or intestine and cause the cat pain, discomfort and even irritability.

If the animal experiences nausea, a swollen abdomen or weakness and these symptoms persist, it is likely that they have formed hairballs or the animal has some other digestive problem. In these cases it is advisable to take the animal to a veterinarian for examination.

If the cat is vomiting hairballs this can be a symptom that something is not right in its digestive system, or more specifically in the intestines. When the animal does not defecate normally hairs accumulate.

If the cat is prone to forming  hairballs, this situation may be related to its diet.

In addition to the dry cat food, tinned cat food must be added to lubricate the digestive system and avoid what is known as “inflammatory bowel disease.” This condition is becoming more and more common  due to the amount of dry ingredients included in the cat’s diet (rice and other cereals).

1. Provide a healthy diet

The veterinarian or Mecovet assistant can recommend the appropriate quality and quantity of food for your cat. It is important to alterrnate dry cat food with high protein canned food.

2. Comb your cat regularly

If your cat has long hair, as is the case of the Persians or Angoras, you should comb your pet once a week. You should get your cat used to this from an early age so that it sees grooming time as play time or affection and not an unpleasant ordeal. This will reduce the amount of hair your cat swallows while grooming. You can find appropriate combs and brushes at Mecovet.

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