Daily Archives: July 5, 2012

Cats And Hairballs – What You Need To Know

We’ve all heard it from time to time, that dreaded hurking sound that cats make just before regurgitating a lovely hairball onto the carpet, even though the floor is about 2 feet away.  They just have to do it on the carpet (I know I should be nicer, it’s mostly because cats use the carpet because they cannot get a grip on the floor when they start to bring up the hairball).  But when is this a cause for concern and when is it fairly normal?

Cats from time to time will throw up hairballs (they are not coughing them up, they are regurgitating them, they stay in the digestive system until hair is passed either through the bowels or through the mouth, hairballs are not stuck in the lungs as some people may think).

If your cat is throwing up more than once a month, this could mean a disease rather than hairballs.  Some diseases could be: kidney failure, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and many other ailments, so if this is something that happens often with your cat, a trip to the vet would be in order.

Ways to help combat hairballs would be to brush your cat daily.  Cats spend about 10% of their waking hours grooming themselves, so if you get rid of a decent amount of shedding hair by brushing them daily, you are helping to ease the amount of hair they will swallow.

Sometimes people will use Olive Oil in their food (about a half teaspoon) to get the hair to pass through their digestive system and evacuated through their bowels faster.

You can also use hairball treatments.  These can be given as needed.  When I used them, I would smear a bit on the top of Isis’ paw about two hours after she ate.  You want them to have it on as empty a stomach as possible so that it adheres to the fur stuck in their stomach.

If you want to find out more about how to stop hairballs, this is an article that can help.  The only part I would omit is mentioning that dry kibble especially for hairballs is useful.  That part is not true.  Dry kibble doesn’t really do much for hairballs.