Cat Fur-balls. What are they and can we help?


Fur-balls; How can you help?

 

First thing to remember is that your cat bringing up a fur-ball is completely natural, however if there are excessive amounts of fur-balls being brought up there may a risk of potential harm.

What is a fur-ball?

The delightful package your cat may leave on your carpeted bedroom floor is compact, usually cylindrical with a matted fur appearance.

A fur-ball is formed due to your cats regular grooming routine. When your cat licks her fur, the dead or loose fur gets stuck on her Velcro-like tongue which is then swallowed down, as cats do not have the ability to ‘spit’. Mostly the hair will pass through your cats digestive system without a problem, but sometimes hair can accumulate in the stomach over time and form a hairball which will eventually irritate the stomach layer and be be vomited up.

What can happen if your cat can not remove a fur-ball?

If your cat is struggling to regurgitate a hairball she may suffer from decreased appetite, constant hacking, diarrhea, discomfort and pain. A large enough hairball may cause stomach blisters and ulcers, esophageal or intestinal blockages. If your cat is suffering these more intense clinical symptoms please contact your vet immediately.

You can help your cat by providing:

  1. Cat grass – this aids your cat by helping bring up indigestible things
  2. Premium cat food- targeted at hairball reduction such as ‘Hills Science Diet Hairball Control
  3. Cooked pumpkin- high in fibre, it helps your cats digestive system
  4. Regular Grooming – no matter your cats coat length. If you have  a long hair cat, brush daily and wipe with a clean cloth to pick up loose hair.
  5. Your local Vet – who may prescribe hairball medicine, typically designed in flavours your cat would enjoy, to lubricate the stomach and intestines. Essentially encouraging passage of hair through from stomach to litter tray.