Hairballs are a pretty hairy dilemma for our cats. Hacking up a big wad of hair doesn’t sound appealing…at all. Unfortunately, sometimes cats have to deal with this less than ideal situation. If you weren’t aware Hairball Awareness Day wasn’t too long ago. Yes, this is actually a thing. Cat lovers everywhere united at the end of April to spread the message of prevention against hairballs. In case you missed the memo, we got you covered. Here are a few simple steps you can take to help your kitty.
Step 1: Stop the Shedding
To make sure the yack attack doesn’t come back aka vomiting up a hairball, it all begins with grooming. First order of business is to stop the shedding. Yeah, easier said than done, but there are ways to reduce it. Cats tend to over-groom themselves during peak shedding seasons and the excess hair becomes ingested. Not only that, but the hair gets on the furniture and in every nook and cranny. Be sure to brush your cat daily to remove dead, loose hair. This can reduce the amount of hair that your cat is swallowing and prevent blockages from occurring. Consider taking them to professional groomers as well if they won’t cooperate.
Step 2: Amp Up the Fiber
Fiber doesn’t just come in a cereal box or granola bars for humans; it is something our cats need as well. Many cat foods and treats are specially formulated with an increase of fiber to help with hairballs. Another trick to try is adding pumpkin to your cat’s meal once or twice a week. The fiber in the pumpkin helps the clumps move through the system. Always be sure to consult your vet before making any changes to your cat’s diet.
Step 3: Use a Hairball Remedy
Edible gel products or soft chews are just a few hairball remedies you can find in the market. Your local store, online, or a specialty pet retailer will likely have these available. These products will help reduce hairball formation and control existing hairballs.
Step 4: Keep Your Cat Active & Hydrated
Keeping your kitty active and hydrated is essential to maintaining a healthy skin and coat. Obesity is common in cats and that is something that you want to avoid. But with exercise can come dehydration. Water helps flush out the hair preventing it from clumping in the stomach. Place water bowls around the house and to be sure your cat is staying completely hydrated.
Step 5: Consult a Vet
If the signs still persist and your cat still seems to be hacking up hairballs, consult your veterinarian to discover the best steps to take to alleviate the problem. They will likely recommend a supplement to prevent clumping and can find the answers you need.
By following these five steps, you can help your kitty be hairball free!