How to Handle Your Cat's Hairballs

Cats have been known for centuries for their ability to groom themselves. What’s not so pleasant, however, is the fact that this grooming can sometimes result in hairballs. If you’re a cat owner, then it’s important to understand how to handle your cat’s hairballs and what you can do to help prevent them from happening in the first place. Let’s take a look!

What Are Hairballs and Why Do They Happen?

A hairball is a clump of fur that gets stuck in your cat’s digestive system. This happens when they groom themselves and ingest the fur they brush off. Some cats are more prone to hairballs than others, but most cats will experience this at some point or another. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help reduce the occurrence of hairballs.

Preventing Hairballs

One of the best ways to prevent your cat from having too many hairballs is by brushing them regularly. Brushing helps remove dead fur and reduce shedding, which means less ingested fur and fewer hairballs overall. Additionally, there are special diets available with added fiber that help move the hairs through their digestive system faster so they don't get stuck in their stomachs as much. It's also important to make sure your cat stays hydrated—a well-hydrated cat will be less likely to form hairballs because water helps move things along in their digestive system. 

Treating Hairballs

If your cat does produce a lot of hairballs, it may be necessary for you to help dislodge them from their stomachs with something like petroleum jelly or a commercial product made specifically for removing hairballs from cats' systems (these products usually come in liquid form). You can also give your cat foods that are high in fat content, such as canned tuna or salmon—the fat will act as a lubricant and help your cat pass the furball out naturally.   Finally, if none of these methods seem effective or if you notice your cat hacking up more than one or two hairballs per week, it might be time for a visit to the vet—some medical conditions can cause excessive amounts of shedding which could lead to an increased number of hairball incidents.

No matter how much we love our cats, no one wants to deal with those pesky little fur-filled clumps that show up on our carpets every once in awhile! Thankfully, by following some simple steps and taking preventive measures, you can dramatically reduce the amount of times you have to clean up after these unwanted guests. Regular brushing sessions combined with specialized diets and plenty of fresh water should do wonders for keeping those pesky balls at bay! So don't put it off--start brushing today!

Related Articles:
Reducing Cat Shedding: A Short Guide
Reducing the Risk of Cat Hairballs
How to Reduce Cat Shedding

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