Are Cat Hairballs Causing Your Cat Vomiting Problems

If a cat is vomiting and there is no hair in it, hairballs probably aren’t the problem.
Hairballs are not a health concern unless the vomiting becomes more frequent or the cat will not eat and acts sick. Occasionally, a large hairball (trichobezoar) will get stuck in the stomach or small intestine and cause an obstruction. If this happens, the hairball will need to be removed surgically. Symptoms will include lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal pain and dehydration.
If a cat is vomiting and there is no hair in it, hairballs probably aren’t the problem.
Once the fur is swallowed, it can be passed through the gastrointestinal tract and come out in your cat’s feces. Or it gets temporarily stuck in the stomach and is eventually vomited out as a hairball. If your cat is passing fur in her feces, you may never even know it. Usually cats expel the hairball through vomit or stool without causing any problem.Don't assume that all hairball vomiting is normal. Check with your veterinarian to determine whether your cat should have further testing.Many owners attribute their cat's vomiting to hairballs, but that's not the only culprit.
There are some simple methods to prevent your cat from vomiting a hairball. They include frequent brushing to reduce the amount of hair your cat can lick and consume, and methods to help alleviate digestion problems. Sometimes, hairballs in the intestines lead to constipation. Once any underlying disease or problem that might lead to frequent cat vomiting is ruled out, veterinarians suggest using a cat laxative to help hairballs slip easily through the intestines. The first tip for helping a cat vomiting from hairballs is to make sure you are brushing your cat daily. If you brush away the loose fur, the cat cannot swallow large amounts of fur. You’ll know your cat has a hairball if he or she gagging or retching, typically a precursor to regurgitation of the hairball. However, there are some dangers and complications posed by hairballs. Intestinal obstructions can be formed if a hairball becomes too large or is unable to be vomited up. This requires immediate veterinary attention. The following are symptoms of an intestinal obstruction:Switching to hairball diets are other options at relieving cat vomiting hairballs. Hairball diets include foods specially formulated with plenty of fiber to help fecal matter pass through the intestines. Hairballs are an unpleasant fact of cat ownership, and while it is necessary for cats to expel hairballs, there are steps owners can take to minimize them without compromising their pet's health.Why Cats Have HairballsCats are frequent groomers, and their rough tongues catch loose hair, which is then swallowed. While most hair passes harmlessly through the cat's digestive tract, some does become matted and stuck in the stomach, where it forms a hairball. When the ball is large enough, it must be vomited away or else it could cause intestinal blockages and impaction, which can not only be uncomfortable, but could be fatal if left untended.Most cats vomit 1-2 hairballs each month, with long-haired cats or those that groom excessively having hairballs more often. Very frequent hairballs or vomiting without hairballs could be signs of additional digestive trouble, including cancer, and pet owners should take their cats to the vet to be sure there are no underlying problems.Reducing Hairballs and VomitingThere are a number of tricks that can minimize hairballs. Even if a cat is not frequently passing hairballs, these techniques can be helpful:Hairballs and vomiting are never the best part of owning a cat, but by taking appropriate steps, both can be minimized while maximizing the cat's well-being.Hairballs are an unpleasant fact of cat ownership, and while it is necessary for cats to expel hairballs, there are steps owners can take to minimize them without compromising their pet's health.Why Cats Have HairballsCats are frequent groomers, and their rough tongues catch loose hair, which is then swallowed. While most hair passes harmlessly through the cat's digestive tract, some does become matted and stuck in the stomach, where it forms a hairball. When the ball is large enough, it must be vomited away or else it could cause intestinal blockages and impaction, which can not only be uncomfortable, but could be fatal if left untended.Most cats vomit 1-2 hairballs each month, with long-haired cats or those that groom excessively having hairballs more often. Very frequent hairballs or vomiting without hairballs could be signs of additional digestive trouble, including cancer, and pet owners should take their cats to the vet to be sure there are no underlying problems.Reducing Hairballs and VomitingThere are a number of tricks that can minimize hairballs. Even if a cat is not frequently passing hairballs, these techniques can be helpful:Hairballs and vomiting are never the best part of owning a cat, but by taking appropriate steps, both can be minimized while maximizing the cat's well-being.Most cats vomit 1-2 hairballs each month, with long-haired cats or those that groom excessively having hairballs more often. Very frequent hairballs or vomiting without hairballs could be signs of additional digestive trouble, including cancer, and pet owners should take their cats to the vet to be sure there are no underlying problems.