The furry cats with their fur.

What are hairballs?

Cats naturally keep themselves very clean and in the process of self grooming they often end up swallowing a lot of their loose and dead hair, forming tufted balls in their stomach commonly known as hairballs. Feline tongues anatomically have barb-like features that trap loose, previously shed hair. On swallowing,  the hair mixes with the saliva, gets ingested and accumulates as a ball in the stomach. Most times the hairballs are harmless and easily pass through the digestive system without a problem. On other times, if not through the stool, the cat will vomit up the trapped hair.

Which cats are more likely to develop hairballs?

Generally, all cats develop hairballs at some point in their lives. However, breeds with long fluffy hair and felines with constant grooming sessions are more prone to hairballs.

Symptoms of Hairball Problems

  • Lethargy-your cat will be slow, sick, and uninterested in its normal activities.
  • Hacking, Coughing, and Gagging
  • You cat constantly trying to regurgitate the hairball, but unable to expel it from its mouth.
  • Weight Loss
  • A decrease in the appetite could be a possible sign of hairball formation causing a digestive tract obstruction.
  • Change in Bowel Movements
  • Frequent diarrhoea or constipation might be the result of the digestive tract obstruction due to the hairball formation.
  • Distended Belly
  • An unusual swelling on your feline’s stomach due to the accumulation of hairball


At-Home Treatments

Sometimes a simple treatment that you can perform yourself is all your precious furry needs to feel better. Here are a few techniques:

  • Give your cat oils or butter. A little oil or butter to ingest will lubricate the intestinal system and help pass the hairballs through the stool
  • Use Hairball Gels. These treatments lubricate your cat’s stools and ease the passage of it through the alimentary canal. They can also help regulate your feline’s digestive tract.
  • Specially designed treats can help your cat get rid of a stubborn hairball

Surgical Options

If a hairball is causing a dangerous obstruction and the cat is unable to pass it on its own, you will have to rely on surgery. Be sure to contact your vet as soon as you think something is wrong and remove the obstruction as soon as possible to prevent any further complications.


How to Prevent Hairballs

  • Brush your cat’s fur daily. Regularly grooming your cat, means there is less loose hair to be swallowed.
  • Keep your cat hydrated. Adequate hydration makes it easier on their digestive tract. The liquid hydration keeps it lubricated and running smoothly.
  • Felines are carnivores and it is difficult for them to sustain on a carbohydrates. Give your cat a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Poor nutrition will cause digestive issues and increase the likelihood of hairball formation.
  • Feed your pet supplements that will improve their digestion. There are several formulas that encourage your cat’s digestive tract to pass the hairball instead of regurgitating it.
  • Give your cat catnip or cat grass. This treat can provide extra fibre for your feline which helps them expel the hairball.