Your Cat’s Hairballs

You’ve probably seen a few hairballs in your day if you’re the proud owner of a cat. Have you ever wondered why hairballs occur, or if there’s any way to help your cat experience fewer of them? Read on as your Pleasanton, CA vet tells you all about your feline friend’s hairballs.

Why Do Hairballs Form, Anyway?

Tiny barbs lining your cat’s tongue pick up a lot of loose hair while she’s grooming herself. This hair is swallowed, and most of it moves through Fluffy’s digestive system and is expelled in the feces. Some of that swallowed hair, though, stays in the gut and clumps together in the form of a hairball. The hairball is eventually regurgitated, along with some stomach fluid.

Can I Help My Cat Cough Up Fewer Hairballs?

Yes, there are two major steps you can take to help minimize your cat’s hairball production. First, feed her a quality diet—this keeps the coat in peak condition and reduces shedding. You can also groom your cat yourself on a regular basis using a high-quality brush. This will trap much of Fluffy’s loose fur in the brush itself, meaning that she swallows less hair overall. It’s unlikely that you’ll eliminate hairballs entirely, but you’ll make things a lot easier on yourself!
Want a recommendation on a great diet choice for your feline friend? We’re here to help. Call your vet’s office to learn more about the best food for Fluffy.

Do Hairballs Present Any Risk to My Cat?

No, the occasional hairball is a normal part of life for cats and shouldn’t cause your pet any harm whatsoever. It certainly doesn’t look pleasant, but the occasional hairball hack-up is nothing to worry about.
If you’ve noticed your cat coughing up hairballs frequently, it’s worth a trip to the vet’s office. A medical issue like skin infection or parasitic infestation could be causing your cat to shed more, swallowing more hair and resulting in more hairballs. Additionally, it’s important to have your cat examined immediately if she’s vomiting on a regular basis. If your cat is gagging and retching but not producing a hairball, rush her to the vet’s office—she could be choking on a foreign object or the hairball itself!

Would you like to know more about your cat’s grooming or nutritional needs? Set up an appointment with your Pleasanton, CA veterinary clinic. We’re here for you!

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