Hairballs: The Icky Mess

It is a stereotype that all cats get hairballs. But is it true? We have all seen movies or cartoons that poke fun at cats hairballs. But what are hairballs, really? And why do they happen? Are there ways to prevent them? Have no fear, answers are below!

Hairballs are a direct result of your cat’s grooming routine. When a cat grooms its coat, a tiny, hook-like structure on its tongue catches stray hairs. Your cat then swallows them. That doesn’t sound appetizing to us of course. But to a cat, it beats an actual bath!

What goes wrong in all of this is when the hairs don’t pass all the way through the digestive tract as they should. Sometimes, hairs will stay in the stomach and form—you guessed it—a hairball. In order to rid the stomach of said hairball, your beloved cat will then throw up on your favorite piece of furniture or that beautiful white rug.

Though that’s how they occur, you can help prevent hairballs from forming. While hairballs can’t 100% be avoided, there are three great ways to prevent them.

  • Groom your cat regularly. If you brush your cat, you remove the stray hairs. So the chances of your cat having a hairball are significantly reduced. It’s that easy.
  • Find the right food. Some cat foods now come with a specialized “hairball formula,” to help prevent hairballs from forming. These foods work by making them shed less, therefore reducing the risk of hairballs.
  • Use a hairball laxative. These mild laxatives will help pass the hairballs through the digestive tract. It might not be the most appealing remedy, but it works.

Hairballs can be annoying, but there are ways to prevent them! This will make both you and your pet happy.

Do you have any other tips on how to prevent hairballs? Share them with us!

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