How to Get Rid of a Hairball in a Cat's Stomach
Every time cats groom, they swallow stray and loose hair into their stomach, forming a wad. If they swallow too much hair at once, clogging the digestive system, it could cause the cat to lose appetite, form blockages which can cause constipation or choking. Most of the hairballs accumulated in the stomach are eventually ejected from the body through regurgitation. However, if the hairballs are too large to pass, it may require medical procedures to surgically remove the hair wad. What can we do to help our cats get rid of hairballs?
Cats are prone to hairballs due to the unique structure of their tongues. When your cat grooms himself, tiny hook-like structures on the tongue catch loose and dead hair, which is then swallowed. The majority of this hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But, if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hairball. Your cat will typically vomit the hairball to get rid of it; however, it can move out of the stomach into the intestinal tract, and in rare cases, cause an obstruction. Because hairballs pass through the narrow esophagus on the way out, they often appear thin and tube-like, rather than round. The primary symptoms of hairballs are periodic hacking, gagging and vomiting. Hairballs may also cause decreased appetite and constipation.
How often do you notice cat hairballs on the floor? Is it daily? Weekly? Both are common, but that does not mean it’s normal. In this article, you will learn the most effective methods to get rid of hairballs in cats.How does this work to help your cat get rid of hairballs? Essentially, it’s a way of adding a large amount of fiber to your cat’s diet. Since fiber helps stools pass, this homemade wheat bran recipe is a great way to help your cat pass hairballs through the digestive tract.Your kitty is fastidious about grooming and cleanliness. This aspect of feline self-sufficiency has an unfortunate side effect. As your furry friend licks herself clean, she swallows the loose hairs that get caught on her spiky tongue. Ideally, these hairs pass through the stomach and intestines to be eliminated in bowel movements; sometimes, however, they don't pass through. Fur can get tangled together and accumulate in your cat's stomach, forming hairballs. Such masses don't pass into the intestines to be expelled with stool, so your kitty has to vomit them up to be rid of them. The vomiting generally begins with dry-heaving and hacking sounds that eject a wet, elongated mass of hair with little or no actual vomit. The gagging and the resulting wad of hair distinguish "hacking up a hairball" from other types of vomiting.Cats are about the cleanest pets man can have, but with their daily grooming comes one major disadvantage- hairballs. When cats groom themselves, loose and dead hair gets attached to their tongue and is then swallowed. Most of the swallowed hair can actually pass through the digestive tract without causing any problems. However, some of the fur stays in the stomach and small intestines where they accumulate to form hairballs. These hairballs cause inflammation of the gastric linings and in order to get rid of them, the hairballs are eventually vomited by the cat.How to prevent hairballs? Cat's need moisture! And get it through their food. Give them plenty of wet food (or even better... Raw)... and limit dry food (or get rid of it all together!). A cats GI track is designed to digest food in 2-3 hours, allowing hair, fur, and feathers to be digested and "out the other end" quickly. When we feed our fur babies kibble, this slows down the process to about 12 hours.