Choosing the Most Effective Hairball Remedy

Hairball prevention and treatment are an important part of cat care, especially for longhaired cats. As your cat grooms, she swallows hair. Hairballs form dense clumps in your cat's stomach, and they can be difficult to pass. Often, hairballs cause stomach irritation and vomiting.

Regular grooming and dietary maintenance can reduce hairballs, improve feline dermatitis conditions and reduce the allergic potential of your cat.

Any cat is susceptible to hairballs and in most cases, they are not serious. If, however, your cat seems to be regurgitating a large number of hairballs, some management measures should be taken.

Reduce Swallowed Hair

The first step in reducing hairballs requires that you reduce the amount of hair that your cat swallows. Groom your cat daily to remove excess hair. Regular grooming loosens dead hair and removes dander, both common sources of cat hair allergy. In a longhaired cat, matted hair may accumulate behind the ears and around the tail base. Be sure the gently comb these areas.

Cats enjoy the process and it allows you the chance to check your cat for any skin abnormalities.

Dry skin in cats may cause excess shedding. Add an essential fatty acid supplement to your cat's diet to improve her skin and coat. These supplements provide other health benefits as well, reducing inflammation and allergy symptoms.

Increase Fiber Intake

Add fiber to your cat's diet to improve digestion and allow hair to pass through the digestive system quickly. There are special "hairball recipe" cat foods available which contain special digestive enzymes and added fiber.

Facts about high fiber diets:

  • Hairball control formulas may increase the amount of feces your cat passes;
  • May reduce shedding;
  • Increase your cat's need for water.

To increase your cat's daily fiber intake while boosting water and nutrient intake, add two teaspoons of canned, unsweetened pumpkin to your her daily rations.

Lubricate For Easier Passage

Commercial hairball pastes lubricate your cat's digestive tract, allowing her to pass hairballs in the feces. These products contain mineral oil or petroleum jelly. Simply add these products to your cat's food or feed directly from the tube. Flavored pastes are usually palatable to cats.

Vaseline® petroleum jelly can be used for hairballs. Simply smear a small amount on your cat's paw and she will lick it off. You can also mix a bit into some tuna or similarly tempting food.

Reduce Boredom

If your cat is left alone for long periods of time or subjected to other forms of ongoing stress, she may develop a habit of obsessive grooming. This condition can be solved with added attention and a more stimulating environment.

Obsessive grooming that results in damaged skin or repetitive, harmful movements may require veterinary attention.

A regular routine of grooming, play and healthy eating will you're your cat's hairballs to a minimum.