Hairballs are a common occurrence for our feline friends, especially for long haired cats. Hairballs can cause vomiting, constipation and can act as a foreign body causing gastrointestinal obstruction. In general, cats are very fastidious self cleaners. During normal grooming, the cats rough tongue picks up loose hairs which are swallowed. These swallowed hairs are then either passed with feces or stay in the stomach and form hairballs. Once hairballs have formed in the stomach, cats will try to expel them by gagging and vomiting. Rarely, cats will lose their appetite, lose weight and become lethargic. Since hairballs can cause discomfort for cats, prevention is key. Preventing hairballs is safe, easy and effective. Preventing hairballs or at least reducing their frequency can be accomplished by:
1. Administering an oral lubricant every two to three days. The lubricant allows hairballs to easily pass through the gastrointestinal system.
2. Groom your cat regularly to remove excess fur.
3. Discourage excessive grooming if your cat grooms compulsively.