If your cat regurgitates a hairball or two on a monthly basis, and does not display other symptoms, there is no reason to involve your vet. In this situation, the most helpful thing you can do is clean up the hairball from your home and engage in general prevention techniques.
4 Preventative Steps to Take Against Hairballs
Want to stop your cat from getting hairballs, or at least decrease the frequency of the hairballs? Try one -- or several -- of these techniques:
1. Help Your Cat Groom: Cats, especially as they grow older, will spend a tremendous amount of time grooming themselves. Help reduce the amount of hair that your cat is ingesting by brushing or combing your cat regularly. This will help to eliminate some of the shedding fur that your cat is ingesting.
2. Special Foods: Some specially formulated foods prevent against hairballs. These foods have extra fiber in order to promote healthy coats and prevent against the shedding and loose hairs that lead to the formation of hairballs.
3. Distract Your Cat: If your cat is overly absorbed in grooming, and is getting hairballs as a result of too much fur being ingested during this grooming, you could try providing your cat with extra attention or a special toy as a distraction. Good grooming is very important for pets, but obsessive grooming is not healthy.
4. Remedies and Additives: You can also try providing your pet with special additives to their diet, in the form of mild laxative-like substances that will help the hairball pass smoothly out of your cat’s body. Be careful of laxatives that have mineral oil, which can sap valuable vitamins from your cat.
Unusual Situations: Surgery
It is quite unusual, but worth mentioning that if a hairball will not come out of your cat’s body, it can cause blockage to the stomach, intestines, or colon and result in the need for surgery to extract the hairball.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.
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