Symptoms, Prevention & Remedies
When your cat grooms himself (or herself), he catches loose and dead hair or fur that he swallows. Most of the fur passes all the way through the digestive tract and is eliminated, But some can stay in the stomach forming a hairball. Ultimately, this leads to the cat vomiting the hairball. That leaves a mess, you have to clean up, and that’s not fun.
Symptoms of Hairballs in Cats:
You will likely see and/or hear your cat hacking, gagging, and retching, which normally leads to your cat vomiting the hairball. However, if you notice the following, contact your veterinarian. These next signs could indicate life-threatening blockage:
- Ongoing vomiting, gagging, retching, or hacking without producing a hairball
- Lack of appetite
Home Prevention Strategies and Remedies:
- Monthly feeding of canned sardines
- Add oil from oil-packed tuna to cat food
- Add safflower oil to cat food (1-2 tbsp)
- Brush cat thoroughly, daily, and follow with a rub down using baby wipes to remove loose fur
- Add 1-2 tbsp of unsweetened canned pumpkin to cat food for added fiber
- Mix ½ tsp of Metamucil (unflavored) with water and pour it on cat food twice daily. This contains psyllium seed husks that absorb water into the stool, helping fur pass through the intestines.