Grooming cats reduces the chance for hairballs.
If hairballs are the bane of your cat-owning existence, you are certainly not alone. Not only are the messy things icky, they sometimes can lead to great harm in cats. If your little one rarely -- or never -- coughs them up, though, it's no cause for alarm.
First, face the feline facts. Hairballs are common and develop because of how cats groom. As cats lick their fuzzy bodies, the tongue’s tiny barbs pull off excess hair, explain veterinarians. Inevitably, cats swallow some hair. Ideally, it passes through the body and ends up in stools, but hairballs form when hair instead wads up in the belly. The cat vomits to expel the wad, digested food, saliva and gastric secretions.
Cat hairballs are more than a nuisance! They result in worry (for us), discomfort (for him), and cat vomiting (yuck!). (The next page, is full of advice on eliminating hairballs in cats.)And you'd be right. These cats really do need a bit of assistance in the grooming department. If left to their own devices, they will end up matted right down to the skin, and throwing up hairballs on your favorite rugs regularly. Maine Coon cats, and other long or medium-haired cats, are prone to hairballs. How does this happen? They are very clean and tidy animals. They groom themselves meticulously. Watching a Maine Coon groom himself, you may think "There's no way he's going to get all that fur!"If you’re a pet parent with a cat, hairballs are the bane of your existence. These icky regurgitated wads are unsightly and just plain gross. Some cats are more sensitive or prone to developing hairballs than others. There are several ways you can treat and prevent this condition. Here are the facts about hairballs.The short answer is that they swallow their fur when grooming themselves. Even shorthaired cats can be afflicted by hairballs in cats. How and why does this happen?“Numerous cats, especially those with long hair, will occasionally vomit up hairballs and not show any clinical signs, which may be completely normal for your cat,” said Barr. “ If there seems to be an abnormal amount of hairballs produced, then steps should be taken to prevent the pet from ingesting large amounts of hair or to help the hair move through the GI tract before it accumulates together.If you believe your cat is feeling sick due to a hairball it is important to see your veterinarian right away. They may prescribe medication or give treatments that can help cats deal with the discomfort associated with hairballs.“There are over-the-counter medications that are designed for cats with hairballs to aid in digestion,” said Barr. “As always, if there are concerns for your cat's health, please call your veterinarian for guidance.”