Hairballs aren't fun for cats or their owners, and frequent hairballs can leave both feeling distressed. Cats shouldn't have hairballs on a regular basis, especially if you regularly groom your cat. If your cat is still frequently producing hairballs, it might mean that your cat has a disorder called pica. Keep reading to learn more about this problem and what you can do to combat it.
What is Pica
Pica is an obsessive compulsive disorder where the sufferer feels the need to eat things that aren't food. When cats suffer from this disorder, they can become obsessed about specific types of non-edibles. For example, many cats with pica chew on cables or strings, or pick up loose hair that they find around the house or in garbage cans. While any form of pica is dangerous for cats, if your cat is regularly eating hair, that can contribute to hairballs and intestinal blockages.
There is no known cure for the pica disorder, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do about it. If you suspect or know that your cat eats things that it shouldn't, you should get to work right away in preventing them from doing so.
Your first step is to determine what it is your cat eats. If your cat has hairballs, it's probably hair, lint, or string. Watch your cat carefully for a few days and see if you can catch them in the act. If you do, eliminate the source. Put loose hair in a sealed garbage bag where your cat can't get to it, and make sure to pick up any loose hair you see around the house or on the floor. Sweeping your rugs or carpets is useful for removing trapped hair your cat might otherwise pull out with its claws and eat.
If you've worked to eliminate your cat's ability to access the hair or other type of non-edible thing it's attempting to eat and they're still having problems, it's time to talk to a vet.
Veterinarians can help you to treat this disorder in two ways. The first is simply by checking your cat to ensure that there isn't another reason for their frequent hairballs. For example, an existing intestinal blockage could be preventing them from passing small amounts of hair that they've consumed while grooming.
Alternatively, your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medications for your cat. This can help to ease OCD symptoms, including pica.
Pica can be very dangerous for cats due to its ability to create intestinal blockages. If your cat is regularly producing hairballs, seek medical attention, such as at Veterinary Emergency Services Of Lincoln.Share
5 December 2017
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