How to Get Rid of Hairballs
Cats and dogs are by far the most popular pets. A number of people, all over the world have either a cat or a dog as a pet if not for both. Cats are known to be cleaner and more organized than dogs. They are extremely tidy and tend to get less excited. Not to forget that they are extremely intelligent. They can be made to obey orders easily but have their own mood swings. They are highly communicative creatures.
Like all pets, cats need to be taken care of properly and they should be groomed well. Cats can groom themselves and they do so when they are idle. Kittens and the young cats tend to groom themselves less often than the older ones. This is because the younger ones have a number of other activities to keep them engaged but the older ones do not do much. They just eat and sleep and the remaining time, they end up grooming themselves.
Cats use their tongue to groom themselves. The tongue has spikes which face backwards. With this they tend to remove the dirt, fur tangles and the dead fur. The spikes in their tongue act like a brush. But while grooming themselves, the cat tends to swallow its own hair/ fur. It is not uncommon to see cats spit out a ball of fur. This is called hairballs and it is formed due to the process of grooming. Since the tongue acts like a comb, a lot of loose or dead fur sticks to it. The cat swallows this. As the fur does not get digested, it gets collected in the digestive system. Sometimes it goes out through the excreta but when this does not happen, it comes out through the mouth as hairballs.
This is a very serious condition as the hairballs tend to block the digestive tract. If the cat does not spit it out, it might lead to loss of appetite, constipation, dehydration, coughing, wheezing, loss of weight and even death. It is therefore necessary to get rid of these hairballs before it causes serious damage. Here are some of the ways to get rid of hairballs.
Get rid of parasites and fleas
If there are a lot of parasites or fleas, the cat tends to groom itself a lot more than usual. Make sure to get rid of these fleas. If the cat has fleas, it will itch a lot and the cat will groom itself more often because of this. Keep the cats clean by bathing them regularly using flea soap.
Let your cat be active
An important reason why a cat would groom itself often is because it has nothing else to do. Make sure your cat is active. This will give it less time to groom itself.
A cat will groom itself more often when it is under stress. Change in diet, some kind of allergy or a new pet are some of the reasons a cat might be stressed. Identify the reason and take steps to set it right.
Brush your cat often
Cats which have thick and long fur are more prone to get hairballs. Make sure you brush your cat’s coat everyday. This will lessen the possibility of developing a hairball.
Increase the cat’s intake of fiber
By doing this, the risk of developing a hairball is reduced as fiber helps the undigested fur to pass through the digestive tract rather than blocking it. Barley, oat and flax can help the cat vomit the hairball easily.
A number of products like creams and oils help lubricate the digestive system. These products can also solve the problem to a certain extent.