It's not uncommon to come across a cat that coughs up hairballs; in fact, it's almost expected! There are a couple of negative aspects surrounding hairballs, one of which being for the cat's own health. So, if hairballs are unhealthy for your cat, but are still seemingly inevitable, how do you get rid of the hairballs? How can you deal with hairballs, and maintain the health of your cat? The answer is quite simple actually, and will allow your cat to enjoy a hairball-free life!
You recognize the sound instantly, it's unmistakeable
Cats are about the cleanest pets man can have, but with their daily grooming comes one major disadvantage- hairballs. When cats groom themselves, loose and dead hair gets attached to their tongue and is then swallowed. Most of the swallowed hair can actually pass through the digestive tract without causing any problems. However, some of the fur stays in the stomach and small intestines where they accumulate to form hairballs. These hairballs cause inflammation of the gastric linings and in order to get rid of them, the hairballs are eventually vomited by the cat.
The familiar deep-throated hack of a soon-to-be regurgitated hairball
The most important step in getting rid of cat hair in your home is to keep it from getting loose there in the first place. If you brush your cat on a regular basis—anywhere from daily to once every two weeks, depending on how much your cat sheds—she’ll have less hair to shed on her own. The picture to the right shows how much hair I brushed from Nina’s coat last week—which is also exactly how much less hair I’ll have to sweep up from the floor (or discover in hairball form) this week. She loved every minute of it, too; in fact, most cats enjoy being brushed as long as you use gentle pressure with a brush that isn’t scratchy. I use, and would recommend, a curry brush with soft rubber bristles that naturally attract hair.
What to Do About Hairballs - The Spruce
Every time cats groom, they swallow stray and loose hair into their stomach, forming a wad. If they swallow too much hair at once, clogging the digestive system, it could cause the cat to lose appetite, form blockages which can cause constipation or choking. Most of the hairballs accumulated in the stomach are eventually ejected from the body through regurgitation. However, if the hairballs are too large to pass, it may require medical procedures to surgically remove the hair wad. What can we do to help our cats get rid of hairballs?