How to control hairballs in cats

How to control hairballs in cats

If you live with a cat at home, you will have already realized that grooming is a task that spends a lot of time for this animal. This facilitates their hygiene, but it can also have negative consequences, such as the formation of hairballs. Therefore, we are going to talk about these and tell you how to control hairballs in cats.

How to control hairballs in cats

What are hairballs?

Cat hairballs or trichobezoars are structures that are formed by the spontaneous ingestion of loose hair by the cat when it is grooming itself.

That loose hair ends up being compacted into a knot and forming a ball, although, often, more than a ball, it has a cylinder shape. Even so, the important thing is to know that they can cause very relevant problems in these animals.

Also, what not many people know is that hairballs are not just a cat problem, but are also common in rabbits and even cattle.

Hairballs in cats can be a problem in their own right. Normally, they are expelled through vomiting or through the feces, but sometimes they can pass from the stomach to the small intestine and cause gastrointestinal obstruction. This could lead to even more serious disease and require surgical or veterinary intervention.

Additionally, hairballs can be a sign of other diseases, such as gastrointestinal or skin problems.

When should I worry about my cat's hairballs?

It is always important to keep in mind the control of hairballs in cats, but you must pay close attention when the intake of hair is greater than the evacuation capacity.

In these cases you will begin to notice that the size and number of the trichobezoars are greater, which will make their expulsion more difficult.

To give you an idea, on average, the hairballs that are eliminated by cats through vomit or feces measure between 1 and 1.5 cm. However, when they exceed 2 cm, their expulsion naturally is very difficult.

It is at this moment that the health of your cat is affected, since it can cause total or partial obstructions due to the amount of hair accumulated in any part of its digestive tract.

How to control hairballs in cats

Underlying disease
In the first place, the ideal would be to make a visit to the vet to check if there is any underlying condition that is causing excessive licking that causes the accumulation of hair in the animal’s stomach.

For example, it could be a skin disease that makes you very itchy.

Another disease could be an intestinal inflammation, which causes those accumulations in the stomach when its transit does not work correctly.

When the underlying problem is treated, it may be easier to control hairballs.

Cat hair care
One of the most basic (and important) ways to control cat hairballs is to brush your cat’s fur frequently. With this, you will eliminate loose hairs that he will no longer be able to ingest when grooming.

This is especially relevant in long-haired cats, for which it is also useful to go to professional groomers who leave the perfect coat from time to time.

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