Cats are very clean animals, but they can’t simply hop in the shower when they need to remove dirt or oils from their fur. A cat relies on their tongue for all of their cleaning chores. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of ingested hair, especially as the seasons change and your pet undergoes a major shed. Loose hair accumulates in the stomach or intestines, creating a hair ball. Watching your pets for signs of these internal issues and treating them promptly could help you avoid costly surgeries or a mess on your rug.
Both long and short haired cats can develop these wads of hair, but long haired felines are definitely at a higher risk. When your pet has a full ball developed in its stomach, it may try to vomit it back out. Most cat hairballs become too large to pass through the other end very quickly. Regular vomiting, attempts at vomiting, and general loss of appetite often indicate a blockage. You may notice your pet is worn out or has a hard and bloated stomach as well. If they stop using the litter box, invest in immediate vet attention. Complete intestinal blockages are possible and will threaten the life of your pet.
There’s no need to worry about hairballs if you add a few simple and natural products to your routine. Most commercial hairball treatments are based on petroleum jelly to lubricate the hairball. However, this jelly also blocks vitamin absorption through the digestive system. For long term use, choose natural hairball treatments containing fish oils, psyllium husks to help push the hair through, and other safe ingredients. Brushing your pet daily during the shedding seasons will also minimize the amount of hair they ingest – and the amount of loose fur that ends up on your furniture.