Ways to Prevent Hairballs
Every cat owner bolts awake in the middle of the night from hearing their cat start to gag. Cat owners know this “gift” will most likely end up on the carpet, but the overall frequency of hairballs can be reduced. Here are a few ways to prevent hairballs from The Refined Feline, makers of modern cat furniture.
Grooming Your Cat Can Prevent Hairballs
The only way cats keep themselves clean is through near constant grooming of their coats. This frequent grooming helps to prevent oils and debris from collecting on their skin and fur. This method of cleaning ends up collecting a lot of hair, as cats will spend about sixty percent of their time grooming! For most cats, passing a hairball is natural and usually easy for them. However, your cat may struggle with getting out a hairball on occasion. Hairballs can tend to get pretty big, causing obstructions or blocking their digestive tract. A swollen or hard belly, difficulty in defecating, excessive coughing, or dry heaving are definite signs of trouble. If you notice any of these side effects with your cat, call an emergency veterinary number right away.
To reduce the chance of your cat developing a large hairball, you can help them groom themselves. The availability and variety of cat brushes make it easy to find one your cat will enjoy. You can then brush your cat as frequently as possible. You will end up collecting more hair than you ever imagined with just a few strokes! It also helps to minimize cat hair on everyday items. And remember that every hair you collect stays out of their belly!
Many Cats Are Uncomfortable Being Groomed
If your cat is not overall pleased with being brushed, attempt to sneak a few brushes in when they’re in an affectionate mood. Every brush stroke helps! Many cats are wary of the scary-looking brushes, at least initially. But if you go slowly and let them sniff the brush, they’ll likely get used to it. Over time and with every brushing, aim to increase the number of strokes you can get in. If your cat still dislikes being brushed despite different techniques, try placing some treats on the ground to distract them for a minute while you get some brushes in. There are a bunch of different cat brushes available so you should be able to find one that your cat enjoys!
If your cat still refuses any kind of brushing, there’s still an opportunity for you to remove some excess hair. Try wetting your hand with water and running it down your cat’s back and sides. This method will easily and quickly pull up any stray hairs off of your cat, and then you can simply rinse your hand. This will feel the most familiar to your cat since it’s basically petting them to begin with, so any cat shouldn’t mind it. You can also use a washcloth or a paper towel over your hand, but your cat may realize the difference. Running your damp hand over your cat’s coat every day can work wonders to prevent hairballs and decrease the amount of stray hairs around your house.
Switch Your Cat’s Diet
Cats having difficulties with passing hairballs could be caused from a poor or improper diet. Making sure your cat is properly hydrated will help to pass all the hairballs they’re dealing with. Ensure there is fresh water available 24/7, either in a traditional water bowl or by buying a cat water fountain. A water fountain may help your cat to drink more since it’s a lot like a running faucet. Maintain the water levels and ensure the water is as clean as possible with frequent bowl cleansing, and confirm that your cat touches their water every day. Cats don’t typically drink a lot of water on their own or to keep themselves properly hydrated. If you want to increase the amount of water they ingest, try feeding your cat wet food as well as the dry food. You can add even more water by mixing it into the wet food as well. If your cat prefers dry food and that’s it, they may become dehydrated more easily which can lead to issues over time.
Help Your Cats With Their Hairballs
To help your cat pass hairballs more easily, you can give them a variety of oily pastes. Most cats are pretty finicky when it comes to additives, but some cats will eat the paste right from the tube! If your cat is more finicky, you can cover the paste with your cat’s favorite wet treat or food to help disguise it. You can try adding a drop of oil to their food as well but always consult with your veterinarian before giving your cat anything extra. It’s important that you’re picking the right kind of oil as some can help or hinder. If your cat is experiencing a rise in digestive issues, your vet can also give you advice on how to increase the dosage. This can help prevent you from using too much oil and causing diarrhea and other stomach issues. So, be sure to follow the instructions of a veterinarian when using your own remedy, no matter how harmless the product may be.
Follow These Tips To Avoid Hairballs
Knowing how to prevent hairballs will make you, your cat, and your carpet happy. If you feel your cat’s diet is at an optimal stage, then maintaining their coat should be your priority. If you’re already brushing them quite frequently and still see them struggle with hairballs, then it may be time to change their diet. Thankfully, these tips will help decrease the hairballs and keep them under control.