If a cat has an occasional hairball, that usually isn't usually a cause for concern, but frequent hairballs can cause obstructions and can be indicative of underlying health issues. For instance, some cats may overgroom and ingest more hair due to anxiety, infected anal glands, allergies, and flea infestations. If a cat has any digestive issues, then hairballs may not be able to work their way through the gastrointestinal tract; and in rare cases, a veterinarian may need to remove the obstruction with an endoscope. Here are three ways you can help prevent hairballs in your cat.
Use Calming Pheromones
Some cats can develop psychogenic alopecia, a stress-related disorder, where a cat licks themselves compulsively. Grooming behaviors help release endorphins, so cats who are stressed or anxious may groom to self-soothe. Work with your vet to get to the heart of the anxiety issue. Your cat may be stressed due to lack of enrichment, being held or petted more often than they'd like, or due to other pets in the household. If you cannot pinpoint an exact cause, your vet may recommend calming pheromones. These products can be purchased in spray bottles or diffusers; they are meant to emulate the natural pheromones a mother releases to calm kittens.
Brush Your Cat Regularly
Your cat will be less likely to develop hairballs since you will be collecting lots of loose hair with a brush. Some breeds, like Maine Coons and Persians, may need more maintenance than say domestic short-haired cats; but even if your cat has short hair, you should get him or her used to regular brushing. Some cats do have sensitive skin and do not like undercoat rakes, so you may want to look for massage brushes or brushes with soft bristles.
Ask Your Vet for Dietary Recommendations
Some cats may be allergic to certain proteins and can develop inflammation and constipation. Hairballs that would normally be excreted may further contribute to constipation and make your cat uncomfortable. If your cat has any allergies or food sensitivities, your vet can prescribe hypoallergenic food products. Your vet may also prescribe supplements, like digestive enzymes, to aid digestion and improve constipation that may be caused by hairballs. Products with fish oil ingredients can be good too since fish oil can prevent skin issues and reduce shedding. Lastly, you might consider adding cat grass to your cat's enrichment activities. Cat grass can increase intestinal motility and act as a laxative so that hairballs can more easily pass through the digestive tract.
Reach out to an animal hospital today if your cat is producing more hairballs than normal. A veterinarian can help you get to the root cause of the problem. For more information, contact an animal hospital near you.Share
10 January 2023
Hello, I’m Manuel. I would like to discuss the various services offered by veterinarians. Animals are creatures that do not always clearly convey when they are sick or in pain. Regular vet visits can ensure your pets are not quietly suffering from a medical condition without showing signs of a problem. Vets check the pet’s vitals and check for subtle signs of a problem to determine if additional diagnostic tests are required. I will explore the diagnostic process vets use for each health condition or injury. My site will also cover information about common treatments used for pets. Please visit again soon.