The last thing any cat owner wants to hear in the middle of the night is their cat gagging. Nobody appreciates this “gift” that their cat is most likely leaving on a carpet. The good news though is that the frequency of hairballs can be reduced. The makers of modern cat furniture, The Refined Feline, have gathered a few tips and tricks to prevent hairballs with your cat.
Frequently Groom Your Cat
Cats frequently groom because it’s the only way to keep themselves clean. This daily grooming helps to prevent debris and oils from collecting on their fur and skin. Cats will often ingest a lot of hair as they spend roughly sixty percent of their day grooming! Getting rid of a hairball is natural for cats and often easy enough for them to pass. There may be times when your cat struggles with getting a hairball out, however. Hairballs can get quite large, potentially obstructing or blocking their stomach or digestive tract. Difficulty in defecating, dry heaving, excessive coughing, or a swollen or hard belly are clear signs of trouble. Call an emergency veterinary number right away if you see any of these signs with your cat.
You can help your cat groom themselves to prevent hairballs and reduce the chances of them developing a large one. Nowadays, there is a plethora of brushes available, letting you brush your cat as frequently as they’ll let you. You’ll be astonished by how much hair you collect with just a few strokes and all that hair you gather stays out of their future hairball.
Cats Can Be Hesitant About Being Brushed
Try to sneak a few brushes in when your cat is in a good mood if they normally don’t enjoy being groomed. Remember that every little bit helps! Many cats are simply not used to the scary-looking brushes at first. Let them sniff the brush before you begin and go slow, and they’ll likely get used to it. With every grooming session, try to increase the number of brushes you get in to increase hair collection. If your cat still wants nothing to do with being brushed, try placing some treats nearby to distract them while you get a few brushes in. With all the different types of cat brushes available, you’ll be able to find a brush that your cat tolerates!
If your cat will not permit any kind of brushing, there’s still a few ways you can remove some excess hair. Simply wet your hand with water and run it down your cat’s sides and back. This technique will quickly gather up the stray hairs off of your cat and then all you need to do is rinse your hand. Any cat that is used to being pet shouldn’t mind this method as it’s just a simple petting. Using a washcloth or a paper towel instead of your hand are other options, but your cat may notice the difference in the texture and may not enjoy it as much. You can still prevent hairballs from forming as frequently just by running your damp hand over their coat every day.
Confirm Your Cat’s Diet Is Optimal
If your cat isn’t getting a proper diet, this can increase the amount of difficulties with passing hairballs. Your cat’s hydration should be the main focal point at first. This is one way that helps your cat pass all those hairballs easily. Fresh water should be available to your cat 24/7, through a traditional water bowl or by utilizing a cat water fountain. By using a water fountain, your cat may drink more since most models act like a running faucet. Keep an eye on the water levels to ensure they’re drinking often and that they’re touching their water every day. You’ll want to entice cats to drink as much as possible since most cats don’t keep themselves properly hydrated. Feeding your cat wet food can also increase your cat’s hydration levels. To get even more water into their diet, you can even try mixing the wet food with a little water. If your cat simply won’t eat wet food and prefers dry food, they may have a tough time staying hydrated. This may lead to health issues down the road, so it’s important to stay on top of their hydration and dietary needs.
Your Cat & Those Troublesome Hairballs
There are many methods to help your cat pass hairballs more easily, and one of them is oily pastes. Some cats will eat the paste just on its own but others are more finicky. In those instances, put the paste in a small dish and cover it with your cat’s favorite wet treat to entice them. You can also try adding a small amount of oil to their dry or wet food. Always consult with your veterinarian first before beginning any remedies as it’s important to make sure you’re picking the right kind of oil. If your cat is going through an uptick in digestive issues, your vet can also give you advice on how to alleviate their current issues. And if they’re experiencing diarrhea and other stomach issues, you may be using too much oil. When using your own remedy, always follow the instructions of your veterinarian.
Follow These Tricks To Prevent Hairballs
Having the knowledge to prevent troublesome hairballs will make you, your cat, and your carpet happy. If your cat’s diet is working well, then more frequent brushing should be your priority. If you’re already doing a great job on brushing their coat but still see them struggle with hairballs, then you may need to revisit their diet. These tips and tricks will help keep the hairballs under control and your cat content