Cats and hairballs are practically synonymous. It is very common for cats, especially those with long hair to have hairballs. How do you know if your cat is having a more serious problem with them?
If your cat has longer hair and grooms himself excessively, he may develop a hairball problem. It is possible for a hairball to become stuck in a cat’s throat. This will become uncomfortable until the cat is able to get rid of the hairball.
This however is not as dangerous as a hairball getting stuck in the intestines. If this happens, it can cause a blockage that will prevent the cat from being able to urinate or have a bowel movement. If you cat has been vomiting or coughing excessively and is showing signs of lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite, he may have a blockage due to a hairball and should be seen by a vet immediately.
It is a distinct possibility that just the ingestion of hair due to normal grooming is not the problem. If your cat is experiencing difficulty with hairballs, there may be an underlying cause that your vet can investigate.
If you are concerned about your cat’s hairball problem the best medicine can be prevention. Regular brushing of your cat’s coat can help remove loose hair and cut down on the amount of hair your cat ingests.
There are also products on the market which can help your cat groom himself. There are brushes that you can actually mount on the floor or wall which will allow your cat to groom himself without using his tongue. In addition, you can look for cat food that is specially formulated to help prevent the formation of hairballs.
If you are using these preventative methods and your cat is still suffering from problems with hairballs, even if you do not suspect an obstruction, it would be a good idea to seek the help of your veterinarian. He can advise you on how to help your cat and even prescribe medication if other methods of prevention have failed. It is a good idea to take care of hairballs before they become a more serious problem.