Cat Hairball Remedies Compared

Cat owners can employ a variety of cat hairball remedies to help reduce the chances that their pet will become seriously ill from an intestinal blockage caused by the ingestion of too much hair during grooming. These remedies include commercial hairball reducing products, increasing the amount of fiber in your pet’s diet, and adding daily grooming to your cat’s care routine.

How Hairballs Form

Hairballs form in a cat’s intestinal tract as a result of loose hair being pulled out of your pet’s coat by the barbs on her tongue. Your cat swallows the hair, and it ideally passes through her body. Cat owners know, however, that not all hair follows this ideal path. Sometimes, the hair comes back up through vomiting or in other instances it forms a blockage in your cat’s intestine that requires veterinary intervention to treat.

When a Hairball Becomes a Problem

Although many hairballs pass through your cat's digestive system without causing a problem, some do not. If your cat does not cough up hairballs, she may be suffering from an intestinal blockage caused by the hair buildup in her system. If your cat shows any of these clinical signs, she may have a hairball blockage in her digestive system. Contact your veterinarian’s office for an evaluation if your cat

  • Vomits undigested food
  • Has the dry heaves
  • Cannot pass feces
  • Has diarrhea 
  • Has a swollen belly

How Commercial Remedies Help

Commercially formulated hairball remedies products help a hairball pass through a cat’s digestive system by lubricating it with a product such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil. Most of these products are served in a readily consumed paste form that you give to your cat on a routine schedule, and they can be an important part of managing your cat’s hairball problem.

Why Adding Fiber Is Important

Fiber helps your cat pass hairballs more easily by adding moisture and bulk to her stool. You can add fiber to your pet’s diet by feeding her a specially formulated hairball diet, by offering her access to cat grass she can nibble on as needed or by adding small amounts of fiber to her existing diet.

Don’t overlook the importance of clean, fresh water to help solve your cat’s hairball problems. Regular water consumption helps your cat digestive system process food and eliminate waste efficiently.

Find Simple Solutions to the Problem

Sometimes, the simplest steps provide the greatest results. Giving your cat a daily brushing is easy to do, and it will help reduce the chances of your pet developing hairballs tremendously.

Brushing your cat daily will help remove the loose hairs that cause hairballs. You can also rub down your cat with a damp towel every other day to help ensure all loose hairs are being removed from her coat.

Another simple solution you can try is to keep your cat’s environment interesting. Take time to play with her each day, and make sure she can entertain herself safely while you’re at work or school during the day. Bored cats may be more likely to overgroom themselves, and overgrooming can lead to excessive hairball development.