Wednesday, February 3, 2010 12:58 PM

Preventing Hairballs

Some cats never seem to suffer from hairballs, while others are prone to this problem. There is no explanation for this, since all cats use the same method to clean themselves, although long-haired cats are especially susceptible to this problem.

If you have several cats, chances are at least one will have issues with hairballs. Normally, these indigestible masses will be vomited or passed in the feces uneventfully. For most cats, this is the case, but for those who either repeatedly vomit or become constipated, you will need to take steps to prevent these yucky clumps from becoming large enough to cause distress.

Grooming your cat is a necessity. Removing loose hair, preferably on a daily basis, will go a long way to keeping your cat from swallowing too much in the first place. If you make this a pleasurable bonding experience, both you and your cat will look forward to this daily ritual. In fact, she may even ask for it!

Don't believe the claims of dry cat food manufacturers that their brand controls hairballs. This is untrue, and dry food will only add to the problem. No cat should eat that stuff, anyway, but especially not a cat with a propensity to forming hairballs. Feed only homemade or premium canned food, and add a little warm water or broth to it to increase its water content. Add a bit of olive oil twice a day to your cat's meal to help move small masses along without incident; don't use mineral oil, as this has no nutrient value and actually can deplete fat-soluble vitamins by encapsulating them and moving them out of the body before they can be metabolized. A quarter teaspoon of oat or wheat bran, added to your cat's food, will also bulk things up so everything moves along nicely.

If, even with these preventative measures, you suspect your cat is struggling with one of these nasties, give him a nice treat: The bomb. Mush together 1 tbsp. of meat baby food, 1/2 tsp. melted butter, 1/8 tsp. ground psyllium husks and 1/8 tsp. of bran flakes with at least 2 tbsp. of water (courtesy of The New Natural Cat). No cat can resist this concoction, and no hairball will be able to resist it, either!
Chat later!


Anonymous Says:
February 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I loved your article it has great information. I think you and your readers might be interested in another article I found, about cats and dry eyes.

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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