Hairballs in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies - Pets WebMD
Help For Hairballs. A feline behaviorist explains how hairball remedies help cats deal with hairballs. Stop hairballs before they start for the best outcome.
If, despite your best preventative efforts, you notice your cat exhibiting any of the hairball symptoms listed on the left side of this page, it’s pretty easy to offer your cat hairball relief. If your cat hasn’t already vomited the hairball on her own, you can simply give her an increased dose of commercial hairball remedy. Usually, this means a daily dose until the hairball is expelled or the symptoms pass, but follow the instructions on the package. Too much petroleum can interfere with your cat’s absorption of vitamin A, so you want to be careful not to give her too large a dose. For the same reason, you shouldn’t feed your cat plain petroleum jelly, the complications will outweigh the hassles of hairballs. Other home remedies can also be dangerous and should be avoided. Cod liver oil supplies too much of vitamins A and D, and plain mineral oil can be inhaled and cause pneumonia.
Effective ingredients for a homemade hairball remedy can be found throughout your house. Use items from the kitchen like butter, olive oil, aloe vera juice or sardines packed in oil for lubrication. The medicine chest in the bathroom is a useful resource, too, supplying petroleum jelly for the lube element and over-the-counter laxative supplements like Metamucil to add fiber. Take care when treating your cat at home for hairballs. Too much petroleum jelly can interfere with her ability to properly absorb vitamins from her food, and aloe vera products that have sodium benzoate or benzoic acid can be toxic to cats. It's best to consult your vet to ensure the method you're using to treat your cat for hairballs is OK and to get his advice on dosage amounts.
12 Surprising Home Cures For Your Cat's Hairballs | -
Some Startling New Thoughts on Cats and Hairballs
A cat’s tongue is structured to pull away dead hair when she licks her fur, and most of that hair passes through the digestive system and ends up in the litter box. But sometimes a hair ball forms in the stomach, and can only be expelled by the cat throwing up. Since nobody—not even a cat—likes to throw up, and because cat vomit is gross to clean out of the carpet, the best hairball remedy is hairball prevention. Because, really, hiring carpet cleaners or buying carpet treatments is pretty expensive.Aside from regular grooming by the owner using a comb or brush, there are a that may help control the number and frequency of hairballs your cat produces. Many of these remedies are petroleum based which is said to lubricate the hairball, making it able to pass normally and easily through the digestive and intestinal tract. As with all types of remedies for animals and humans alike, not everyone agrees that this remedy totally effective; some vets actually believe the opposite. These vets say that these types of ‘medications’ could actually be harmful and don’t even help treat hairballs. It is always crucial to speak to your vet to be sure if using these types of remedies will work with your cat.
Some brands of cat food market themselves as having a formula that is supposed to help with hairballs. These brands contain high fiber content in their formula, as they work under the assumption that, as with humans, fiber helps the gastrointestinal tract moving smoothly and with ease. As with the petroleum based remedies, using a brand is not a guaranteed method and may not be effective in treating hairballs at all.
Instead, many vets and pet owners alike have come to agree that a grain-free diet may actually be best for your cat, especially if they tend to vomit or ‘cough up’ hairballs frequently. The working assumption for this remedy is that cats did not naturally evolve to eat grains; as obligate carnivores, their natural diet would have contained a high amount of protein and a low amount of carbs, or grains. They state that eating a grain-based diet which is high in carbs may actually have an effect on the balance of flora or bacteria in the intestinal tract. This change in balance could then effect your cats motility and thus contribute to their difficulty in passing hairballs normally.