Feline Hairballs-A Hairy Dilemma

Grooming your cat is one of the best things you can do to prevent your cat from getting hairballs. Regular brushing and/or combing removes much of your cat’s loose hair before it can be ingested thus limiting the amount of hair that your cat swallows. In turn, less hair ingested means fewer hairballs being produced.

Hairballs the size of baseballs have been removed from cats' stomachs.

Repeated vomiting can also be caused by an intestinal obstruction, which can sometimes occur in cats with chronic hairball issues. Swallowed hair can become trapped in the leading from the stomach to the small intestine, or further down the GI tract in the small intestine. I once had a cat who developed a hair impaction that became stuck right between the poor little guy’s lower colon and rectum. The impaction had to be removed with forceps while he was under sedation, and when they took it out, it was a dried, solid mass about 2 inches long and as hard as concrete!

Cats swallow dead hair as they groom themselves

Kittens and young cats are less apt to develop hairballs than older cats that, .. The treatment of hairballs is aimed at removing the hairball from the GI tract by getting it to pass out in the stool. The traditional therapy is Laxatone, a flavored lubricating agent that is given orally to your cat. Some cats will take it voluntarily; other cats must be forced to take it. We recommend putting approximately one inch of Laxatone on your cat’s lip so that it will lick it off. Give 3-4 doses at a time. The other new treatment is a product named Capillex. Capillex is a meat flavored treat that is given once a day to your cat. Capillex removes the protein and fat from the hairball which then allows it to pass easily through the GI tract. At Kirkwood Animal Hospital we have had a lot of success with this product. We recommend that when you start this treat you should first give it to a hungry cat. If your cat has just finished eating it is not likely to take a treat that it is not familiar with.

Hairballs in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment ..

Over-grooming. If more hair is being swallowed than the cat's system can handle because the cat is removing too much fur from her body, excessive hairball vomiting will occur. The causes of over-grooming include those listed below:

Hairballs - Cats Coughing up Hairballs - Cats of Australia


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?Occasionally hairballs grow so large that they can endanger a cat’s life, and must be removed surgically. Be alert for the symptoms of a major hairball problem: if your cat vomits frequently, is not eating, loses weight, or seems to have a swollen or sensitive abdomen, take him to a veterinarian right away. Also, keep in mind that many hairball symptoms can actually point to more serious health issues. A cat that vomits frequently without producing a hairball should visit the vet. Likewise, if your cat is coughing but never hacks up a hairball, he may be suffering from feline asthma or an upper respiratory infection.