Account # or Apply for an account Credit Balance: $0
855 908 4010

Everything You Need to Know About Hairballs

 by michelle on 04 Jul 2014 |
No Comment

What are hairballs?


A hairball, like the word implies, is a ball of hair that is a natural result of your cat’s healthy and meticulous grooming routine.


How do hairballs form?


There are tiny hook-like structures on your cat’s tongue that catch loose or dead hair while your cat is grooming himself. This hair is then swallowed. Though the majority will pass through the digestive tract with no problem, some can remain in the stomach forming a hairball as a result.


What are the common symptoms?


The only way your cat can rid the hairball is by vomiting. Because of this, you should expect hacking, gagging, or retching.


Do some cats produce more hairballs than others?


Hairballs are more frequent in long-haired cats, cats that shed a lot, and cats that groom themselves compulsively. Younger cats will initially produce less hairballs, but as they get older and become more adept groomers, you can expect the amount of hairballs to increase.


Are they dangerous?


Even though cleaning up your cat’s hairballs probably isn’t your favorite thing to do, it’s good to know that your cat is riding them from their body. If your cat is vomiting, gagging, or hacking without producing a hairball, they could potentially have a life-threatening intestinal blockage. These symptoms, combined with lack of appetite, lethargy, constipation, or diarrhea, are all reasons to contact your vet immediately.




It’s a definite that your cat is going to groom themself, and although nothing can be done to prevent hairballs completely, there are things you can do to keep them to a minimum.


1. Brush your cat regularly.

image source

The more fur you can remove from your cat, the less that will end up in their stomach. By combing or brushing your cat daily, you can both minimize hairballs and bond with your cat.


2. Feed your cat “hairball formula” cat food.

image credit

There are several brands that are designed to reduce hairballs. These formulas tend to be higher in fiber, and contain ingredients to improve the health of your cat’s coat.


3. Try a hairball product.

image credit

There are a number of products available most of which are mild laxatives to help hairballs pass through the digestive tract.

4. Engage your cat.
If your cat grooms themself excessively, you should try distracting them with a new toy or activity.


Join the Conversation

* Please enter your name.
Email address will not be published
Please enter a valid email address.
* Please enter your comment.
Image Verification
'Please enter security code.