Saturday, February 7, 2009

How to treat hairballs in cats

Most cats are fastidious creatures. They groom their fur, clean their toes, and wipe their faces after every meal. This grooming causes many cats to perform a disgusting little ritual of choking and coughing until the offensive hairball ends up on the carpet. Cats are just doing what's natural by expelling the ball of fur.

I'm tasked with cleaning up these lovely little "cat presents." Somewhere along the way, my wonderful family decided covering the hairballs with a paper towel was sufficient. Like a little red flag, it's my notice that the cat has done something that is just too gross for anyone but Mom to clean up.

If you're like many cat owners, cleaning up hairballs ranks pretty low on the cat care scale, right along with dumping the cat box. It's a nasty chore despite the actions of the cat being a wholly natural body response to an accumulation of hair in the stomach. Since hair itself isn't digestible, the cat's stomach reacts by emitting digestive juices that cause the cat to expel the hairball. There are many remedies, all of them relatively simple and inexpensive. Sometimes, your cat just might need a little help!

Brush your cat

Once of the best ways to prevent a hairball from even happening is to grab a pet hairbrush and brush your cat's fur. This is a ritual that so many cats love. Quality time with Mom! Regular brushing helps remove the cat's loose fur and will often reduce the incidence of hairballs. Once or twice a week if sufficient for short haired animals. Long haired cats should be brushed daily to prevent excessive hairballs.

Special foods

Some cat food manufacturers have created chow and treats to help keep things moving along kitty's digestive tract. These special foods include a lubricant and fiber to aid your cat's passing of any offensive hairballs. Some cats just love the food while others have increased vomiting or other reactions. I'm personally not a fan of hairball remedy cat chows, but then I not a fan of cat chow. There are many other choices to alleviate excessive hairballs rather than switching the animal's entire diet.

To read more about treating hairballs in your cat, click here