An Understanding of Hairballs
There are so many advantages to owning a pet that it would be impossible for us to list them all here.
However, a bundle of hair is not one of them! Cat owners know this delema all too well and have almost certainly come across these sticky clumps of matted fur while walking barefoot around the house. Although the majority of animals can safely ignore hairballs, they should be approached with caution because hairballs have the potential to be fatal in some species.
When compared to rabbits, cats are more prone to suffer from an episode of hairball diarrhea. These two species of mammal use their tongues to pick up dead fur and then swallow it as a method of self-grooming and maintenance of their coats. Because hair is not easily digested, it frequently creates knots in the stomach, which are then regurgitated as vomit. This is because hair is difficult to break down. Because rabbits are unable to vomit the food that they eat, eating hairballs can swiftly lead to dehydration and, eventually, death. If you suspect that your rabbit has a hairball, get immediate assistance from a veterinarian.
They are not typically fatal for cats, but they can be excruciatingly painful and even cause problems if they are not treated. If your cat has a history of creating hairballs, preventative care is absolutely necessary to ensure the animal’s continued good health. The following are some of the most basic preventative measures you can take to avoid getting hairballs.
Regular grooming is necessary, but it takes on an even greater relevance as the temperature rises and your cat loses its thick winter coat. This is because your cat will be more exposed to the elements. Regularly brushing your cat, particularly those with longer fur, will assist in keeping them clean and will reduce the quantity of hair that they will eat after they have been bathed. Even if it may be hot outside, combing your cat on a daily basis will help avoid hairballs and increase the quality of your relationship with them.
Make sure you always have a bowl of fresh water nearby so that your cat may drink whenever she needs to. If your cat is well hydrated, any stray hair that may have inadvertently made its way into its digestive tract can be more easily extracted, and the hair will be able to pass through their systems without the formation of a hairball.
Providing your cat with a food that is rich in fiber can help them maintain a healthy digestive system, which in turn will decrease the possibility that they will develop hairballs. You can purchase food that has been carefully prepared to prevent hairballs in the stomach if your cat has a history of experiencing them on a regular basis.
You can give your cat a lubricant gel or paste if it still has hairballs after you have groomed it frequently. This will prevent the hair from becoming lodged in its digestive track and causing an obstruction. A good number of them are flavored to appeal to your cat’s sense of taste, and some of them even include a probiotic to assist with maintaining your feline companion’s digestive health.
Even though there isn’t much you can do to stop your cat from ingesting hairballs, you should try nevertheless since it will make both of you—your cat and your bare feet in the morning—very happy. If none of the aforementioned solutions are successful in relieving your cat’s ongoing hairball troubles, it’s important to make an appointment with your veterinarian; there may be underlying concerns.