Updated: August 4, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Hairballs, those nasty little lumps of hair your cat leaves behind more often than you’d want. Besides the fact that they’re ugly looking and annoying for you, they’re even dangerous for your little furry friend if they accumulate or if she can’t regurgitate them. So let’s find out how can you help your cat get rid of hairballs before they become a problem.
What Are Hairballs and How Are They Formed?
Hairballs are formed when a cat grooms herself and swallows hair. In general that hair goes all the way through the digestive system without any troubles. Sometimes though, part of this fur or hair remains into the stomach and accumulates, even mixing with ingested food.
When they become too big, the cat usually regurgitates them to get rid of them. When regurgitated, since they pass through the esophagus, they take a cylindrical shape which ends up on your floor, carpet or wherever your cat was lying when she had to vomit them. Yeah, we know that’s not a pretty sight, but that’s how cats get rid of them.
Sometimes though, that doesn’t happen and hairballs become a problem for your little furry friend.
If your cat keeps on vomiting without eliminating those hairballs, and you notice that she’s lethargic and doesn’t have appetite, or maybe she has diarrhea or constipation, those are all signs that hairballs are stuck in her stomach and causing troubles.
How to Help Your Cat Get Rid of Hairballs
While there’s no way to prevent hairballs from forming, you can reduce or mitigate hairballs by taking some measures in their diet.
Firs of all and most important, you should groom your cat regularly. Brushing your cat not only reduces the hair ingested by her, but she will most probably love it. On top of that, you’ll be best friends forever, as most cats love to be brushed and scratched.
Another solution to get rid of hairballs is to feed your cat special cat food with a hairball formula. That type of food is made with special ingredients that help reduce shedding in cats and also help hair pass through the digestive system, becoming easier to be eliminated.
There are as well some other hairball remedies available on the market, such as gels, nutritional hairball solutions and products or laxatives, all of them preventing the forming of hairballs and easing their elimination if formed.
No matter if you choose the special cat food or commercial hairball products, it’s important that you groom your cat on a regular basis and vacuum your house often enough to prevent your cat from ingesting hair and forming hairballs as much as possible.