Most cat owners will be familiar with the symptoms of hairballs; the hacking, gagging and vomiting. Hairballs may also cause decreased appetite and constipation. Cat hairballs are not normally an indication of a serious health problem but if hacking/gagging continues without resulting in vomiting a hairball, this could be an indication of a blockage. Monitoring the behaviour to see if it persists or becomes more severe will help to determine if it’s just an inconvenience or requires professional veterinary advice.
What causes hairballs in cats?
Cats can spend up to 10 percent of their time grooming themselves by licking their fur and hairballs can develop as a result of your cats healthy and fastidious grooming routine. Your cats tongue catches loose hair which is then swallowed. Mostly hair passes through the digestive tract with no problem, but if some stays in their stomach it can form a hairball.
What you can do to keep hairballs to a minimum
Brush your cat to decrease the amount of hair swallowed and if your cat grooms excessively, try a new toy to engage and distract them.
Feeding a specially developed food for cats with a tendency for hairballs is proven to help stop the build up of hairballs by:
- Key nutrients to help limit excessive hair loss/shedding
- Controls hairballs to safely and gently move hair through the digestive tract
- Blend of nutrients proven to maintain healthy skin and a beautiful coat