Updated: Aug 7, 2019
By: Catherine West, MCC Practice Manager
Hairballs are not only disgusting to us humans, they can also cause serious health problems. Cats have tiny hook-like structures on their tongues. When they groom themselves, these hooks catch loose, dead hair and it is swallowed. Most of this hair passes, but if it culminates in the stomach, then hairballs are formed.
The best thing for your cat is to work towards a solution where hairballs pass through the system and are not vomited up.
We suggest a few things:
It is important to brush your long haired cats regularly. If you have a long haired cat that will not tolerate brushing, doing regular lion or Persian cuts is a wonderful way to avoid hairballs.
2. Adding Water to the Diet
Cats are terrible drinkers. While you may see them attempting to drink and you may think they are getting enough water, it is highly likely your cat isn't consuming enough. Unlike dogs, their tongues do not scoop water. We recommend feeding wet food and adding a little water to it. The hydration will assist in digesting the hairballs.
This is a lubricating formula that does wonders for cats who struggle with hairballs. It is an over the counter medication and is given orally. For effectiveness, you should give 1.5 cc a couple of times a week. Feel free to call the clinic for more information on this product.
4. Hairball Formula Dry Foods
Here in the clinic, we try to focus mainly on wet foods, however, we do feed Purina One Hairball Formula as our dry food. Contrary to what you may think, hairball formulas do not dissolve hairballs. It is just a high fiber food which aids in digestion.
The most important thing to note here is that vomiting is not normal and should be treated to rectify whatever is causing it. If your cat is vomiting a visit to the clinic might not be a bad idea because vomiting can be a symptom to much larger problems than hairballs.
Pictured above is our beloved clinic cat, Nigel. As you can see, he is a floof ball and sometimes struggles with hairballs.
If you have any questions about your cat and hairball treatments, give us a call!