How to Get Rid of Fur Balls
When you find your favorite feline companion coughing – it’s not the time to search the house to see where they are hiding the cigarettes. Most likely they are coughing up a fur ball, matted lumps of fur that accumulate in a cat’s stomach.
Cats are fastidiously clean creatures, and while that is an admirable thing, their avid grooming, licking and preening for hours on end makes them swallow quite a bit of loose fur, even more so if they are long-haired breeds and especially in spring and autumn during molting season. Usually these fur balls, also called hair balls, make their way through the cat’s digestive tract and are eliminated daily during kitty litter duty. But if a cat has a weak digestive system or poor nutrition that affect bowel movements, these fur balls will be eliminated in the opposite direction by vomiting, sometimes atop your favorite sweater or dining room rug!
Unless your cat is hairless, they will always be at risk for fur balls, but there are a number of steps to take to prevent their reccurence:
(1) Groom your cat daily by brushing or combing their fur, especially if the cat has long hair. This will remove the amount of loose hair that your cat swallows during their daily grooming ritual.
(2) Feed your cat a “fur ball control” balanced diet that is high in fiber, fats and oils which will help maintain a healthy digestive system and encourage regular elimination.
(3) Be sure your cat always has access to clean, fresh water, another important element in keeping their digestive system working properly to eliminate fur balls in the feces rather than by vomiting.
(4) Feed your cat a fur ball control medication as directed by your veterinarian. Pet stores also carry formulas like Laxatone and Petromalt. Sometimes just adding cod liver oil or tuna oil to their food once every few days basis does the trick. One teaspoon of oil per 10 lbs. of weight is a sufficient amount.
(5) Don’t overfeed your cat or let food laying around after mealtime. Cats need periods of fasting throughout the day to allow their food, and any accumulated fur in the digestive system, to process through for eventual elimination.
In most cases, fur balls are not dangerous. A regular regimen of daily brushing, an appropriate diet and fur ball medication can work wonders in helping eliminate the fur ball problem. But if you notice your cat hacking up fur balls and losing his appetite or becoming listless, contact your vet immediately to check for possible blockages in the cat’s digestive system.