Hairball Remedies for Cats
Although many people think that frequent hairballs are a normal issue for cats, they are not. Hairballs are a sign that your cat's digestive tract is not functioning as it should. If your cat has hairballs more than once every six months, something is wrong. Hairballs are often called furballs.
What are Hairballs in Cats?
Cats groom themselves regularly. Their tongues are barbed so they tend to swallow any loose hair. This hair would normally pass through the cat with no problems but sometimes large amounts accumulate in the stomach and form a hairball. The cat will force itself to vomit to bring the hairball up. The cat may eat grass to help the process of vomiting.
Why Some Cats have more Hairballs
Long haired cats, such as Persians, are naturally more prone to having hairballs than short haired cats mostly because the longer hairs are less likely to pass through on their own.
A poor diet, a low quality cat food, is a major contributing factor. Poor quality food means more shedding. Cats are true carnivores; when fed a food that is high in corn the cat sheds more.
Stress is another contributing factor that increases a cat's shedding, and of course more shedding means more furballs.
Home Remedies to Prevent Hairballs
One of the simplest things a cat owner can do is to offer their cat a better cat food, one with more meat and less filler. Please note that some low quality foods offer “Hairball formulas” but the quality of the food is still relatively low so many cats still experience hairballs even when on these special foods.
Regular grooming can also remove the loose hairs before the kitty swallows them.
If your feline is having problems with hairballs on a regular basis you might offer some supplements in its diet. There are many products available at pet supply stores that you can feed to your cat. Some cats love the taste of these others do not; you can put it on your finger and put your finger in your cat's mouth and wipe it off onto the roof of your cat's mouth. Giving this remedy once a week should help the fur pass through your cat.
Some people find a half teaspoon of canned pumpkin fed once a week is also good. This is not the same as pie filling. You can measure out the entire contents and freeze, unthaw one piece a week to add to your cat's canned food.
A non-petroleum jelly can also be given in a pea sized amount once a week.
Fish oil has been shown to have benefits in reducing hairballs in cats, feed no more than 1 teaspoon once a week, just pour it over a small amount of dry kibble.
Providing cat grass in the house will help your cat to vomit when it needs to thus relieving hairballs.