Cats: how to prevent the formation of hairballs
The cat is a feline dedicated to the constant cleaning of its coat, which it performs from puppyhood by imitating the maternal ritual, by which the mother, by licking her kittens, takes care of them, both in terms of removing dirt and physically stimulating, during lactation, urination and defecation.
The timely to grooming operations facilitate the removal of excess hair and any debris deposited on it, resulting in the formation of "hairballs" that are potentially dangerous to the cat's health.
This phenomenon is most frequent during moulting periods, both in long-haired and short-haired cats, The cat that is accustomed to licking itself, ingests the excess hair which then accumulates inside the stomach.
Generally the boluses are expelled through feces or vomiting, but it is not always an automatic process, sometimes certain remedies must be used to induce their expulsion and before that, it is good habit to prevent the formation of these annoying "balls of hair."
How to prevent the formation of hairballs?
- Add insoluble fiber to your cat's diet in the form of a complementary feed made from malt dough and fresh grass, which is helpful in regularizing intestinal functions. To facilitate feeding, spread the paste directly on the cat's paw, inducing ingestion. Appropriate wet treats can also be used, temporarily reducing (not eliminating!) the intake of dry food
- Never forget the water in the bowl, it is important that the cat hydrates and drinks frequently
- Offer him catnip, which provides an extra supply of fiber, helping gastrointestinal transit
- Pull the cat daily, so that dead hair is removed and prevented from being ingested.
- Prevent the cat from becoming bored, a domestic cat tends to lick itself more to fill moments of sedentary and boredom, almost becomes compulsive grooming, therefore, it is recommended to enrich the environment with stimulating games.
To understand whether the cat is forming "hairballs" it is necessary to check its coat, if it has large losses it will probably tend to form boluses; it is useful to observe the feces, and the potential presence of hair in them.
The most common symptoms are:
- Vomiting fits, with the intent to expel the fur tangle
- Vomiting, it occurs in a fine, tubular form
- Dry cough
- Apathy and inappetence
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Bad breath, due to digestive difficulties.
If you experience the following symptoms, especially if they are long-lasting, contact your veterinarian to understand the origins of the malaise and to begin targeted therapy to avert potential risks.
- Bowel obstruction or constipation
- Dehydration and dizziness due to attempts to expel fur or due to lack of appetite and thirst
It is therefore a good habit to observe more rules during shedding periods (in spring and fall), monitoring the hygiene and health of the furry animal's coat, if you are unable to brush its coat, contact a professional groomer, who will perform the cleaning, and can dispense useful tips to reproduce at home.