How to Prevent Hairballs

Every cat owner responds to the sound of their cat starting to gag, even in the middle of the night. But the frequency of hairballs can be reduced, helping you from buying carpet cleaner after every “gift” your cat leaves you. The Refined Feline, makers of modern cat furniture, have some tips and tricks on how to prevent hairballs.

How to Prevent Hairballs

Groom Your Cat From the Start

Cats groom themselves frequently as this is their only way to keep their coat clean. This repeated cleaning helps prevent oils and debris from collecting on their skin and fur. On average, a cat will spend sixty percent of the day grooming, which means they can ingest a lot of hair! For most cats, passing a hairball is natural and relatively easy for them. However, there can be times when your cat has difficulties with getting out a hairball. The hairball itself can become fairly large, obstructing or blocking their digestive tract or stomach throughout the process. A very firm or swollen belly, excessive coughing, dry heaving, or difficulty in defecating are clear signs of trouble. If you see any of these symptoms with your cat, call an emergency veterinary number right away.

To prevent excessive hairballs and decrease the chance of your cat developing a large one, you can help them with their grooming. There are many types of brushes available nowadays and you can brush them as often as they’ll let you. You’ll be amazed by how much hair you’ll collect with just a few strokes of the brush, and every hair collected from brushing stays out of their belly.

Many Cats Aren’t Used To Being Groomed

If your cat is wary of being brushed, attempt a few brushes when they’re in a responsive, affectionate mood. Every brush stroke helps! Many cats aren’t familiar with the scary-looking brushes, but if you go slowly and let them sniff the brush first, they’ll likely get used to it. With every brushing, aim to increase the number of strokes that you can sneak in. If your cat still refuses being brushed, try placing some treats on the ground as a distraction while you brush your cat. There are many different types of cat brushes available, making it possible to find one that your cat tolerates!

If your cat simply won’t put up with any brushing, there’s still a good chance to remove some excess hair. One fast trick is to wet your hand with water and run it down your cat’s sides and back. This pulls up any stray hairs off of your cat quickly, and all you have to do is just rinse the hair off. This will also feel the most like regular petting, so any cat that is used to getting attention shouldn’t mind it. You can use a paper towel or a washcloth instead of your hand, but your cat may feel the different texture. Just using these methods every day or when you can on your cat’s coat can work wonders to prevent hairballs.

Your Cat’s Diet May Need to Change

If your cat isn’t getting the proper nutrition they need, this can also cause difficulties with passing hairballs. Ensuring your cat is hydrated will help ease all the hairballs they’re dealing with. Make sure you provide fresh water 24/7 either in a traditional water bowl or by using a cat water fountain. A water fountain mimics a running faucet which may entice your cat to drink more. Make sure you see your cat touch their water every day, and keep an eye on the water levels. A lot of cats typically don’t drink enough water to keep themselves hydrated enough. Providing wet food can also help increase the amount of water your cat ingests. Mixing more water into the wet food will also help boost your cat’s water intake on a daily basis. If your cat only eats dry food, they may struggle staying hydrated in the long run, which can lead to potential health issues.

Help Your Cats Pass Hairballs More Easily

There are a variety of oils and pastes that you can feed your cat to help them pass hairballs more easily. Some cats will eat the paste right from the tube but most will need more coaxing. For those finicky cats, you can mix the paste with your cat’s favorite wet treat or wet food. You can add a small amount of the oil to their food too, but you should consult with your veterinarian first. You’ll want to make sure you’re picking the right kind of oil for your cat’s overall diet. If your cat’s digestive issues are increasing, talk with your vet for advice on how to up the dosage. And remember that using too much oil can cause diarrhea and other stomach issues. Be sure to follow the instructions of a veterinarian when using your own remedy to keep a healthy basis for your cat’s diet.

Follow These Tips To Prevent Excessive Hairballs

Understanding the ins and outs on preventing hairballs will make you, your cat, and your carpet happy. If your cat’s diet is ideal, then extra brushing of their coat should be your priority. If you’re already brushing them weekly but still see an excessive amount of hairballs, then it may be time to evaluate their diet. Hopefully, these tips can keep the hairballs under control.