Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried? - Catster

My own personal experience with cats and hairballs goes all the way back to Feebee, my first cat. I didn’t know any better back then, so he grew up on a vet-recommended commercial diet, and he ate mostly dry food. He coughed up hairballs at least a couple of times a week, despite frequent brushing and regular dosing with Laxatone. He also developed two of the classic feline diseases now associated with dry food and foods high in carbohydrates: urinary bladder stones, and later, IBD and intestinal lymphoma, which eventually took his life at age 16 in April of 2000.

To a new cat owner, the first encounter with hairballs and cats can be alarming.

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Cat Vomiting - Vomiting Due to Cat Hairball | petMD

Apr 29, 2011 - My own personal experience with cats and hairballs goes all the way back to Feebee, my first cat Allegra is my first raw-fed kitty. She has never had a hairball in the year she’s been with me. She also doesn’t shed. I’ve always brushed all my cats daily, but I’ve never had a cat who doesn’t shed. She also has the shiniest coat of all of my cats. I brush Allegra every day because she likes it, but the amount of hair I pull out of the brush after each session, compressed into a ball, is smaller than the size of my thumbnail.

It was the first time this happened so it freaked me out

Hairballs are a classic feline ailment. Cats are meticulous groomers, and their tongues have tiny barbs that pull out loose hairs while grooming. These barbs make it difficult for a cat to rid the tongue of the hairs, so the cat usually ends up swallowing them. Usually, the swallowed hairs pass through the body and end up in the feces, but they can also accumulate in the stomach and form a mass of fur. The technical term for this mass is trichobezoar – or hairball. Once the hairball reaches a certain size, it triggers vomiting and is typically expelled. The hairball is not always expelled on the first try, though, so it is not uncommon for a cat to have a few episodes of unproductive retching or hacking prior to successfully ridding herself of the hairball. Hairballs are more likely seen in long-haired cats such as Maine coons and Persians; however, even short-haired cats that fastidiously groom themselves are prone to hairballs. Hairballs are also more common in adult cats because, as they age, they become more seasoned groomers.

Do Kittens Get Hairballs? - IAMS