Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hairballs in Cats: Prevention Is the Answer

Hairballs in cats are an all too common problem for cats as well as their cat parents. No cat or owner wants to deal with a gross hairball find on the floor but, it is part of life with a cat. So, what causes these nasty hair byproducts and how do we prevent hairballs in cats? Let's first look at what causes hairballs.

Hairballs in Cats
Felines are by nature very clean animals. They give themselves and other cats in the home daily baths. When a cat grooms herself or her fellow felines dead hairs on their coats get stuck on the tinny bumps that line their tongues. These hairs then get swallowed and end up in their stomachs. Normally these hairs pass on through their digestive tract. However, when the hair gets stuck in their stomachs, a hairball is formed.

The only way a feline can get this mess of fur out of their stomachs is to cough it up and out. To do this, you cat will sit or stand in place making retching, coughing, and vomiting noise until the hair ball comes out. Owners find these long, tube shaped, off color, messes of hair on the floor. Hacking up a hairball is a normal part of life for a cat.If your cat acts like she is trying to product a hairball but with no results, this can indicate a medical problem for your feline friend. Occasionally, hairballs get stuck in you cats stomach or intestines and form a blockage. In addition to your cat making retching noise without producing a hairball she may also have a lack of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, or constipation. If you suspect you cat has a hairball causing a blockage in your cat, take her the Veterinarian quickly. Only a Veterinarian will be able to deal with this life threatening condition.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to prevent you cat from having a hairball. The best way to prevent her from producing a nasty hairball is to brush her coat daily. By brushing her coat, dead hairs are collected on the brush. Thus, these hairs in up on the trash can instead of your cats stomach.

Long hair cats are most likely to develop hairballs. Consider not only daily brushing of your long hair cat but taking her to the groomer every six months. A trained groomer can shorten her hair there by leaving less hair to get stuck in your cats stomach during her normal grooming.

By following these simple preventive measures, you and your cat will be hairball free. No more retching for her and no nasty finds for you. Best of all, there is no need for expensive hairball treatments.

Justin Hayes is a cat aficionado from Dallas, Texas. His interests range from cats to UFO's and everything in between.
To lean more about how to prevent hairballs in cats and treatment options for hairballs visit his article:
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