Symptoms of Hairballs | PetCareRx


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that results when your cat’s immune system turns against the lining of her gastrointestinal (GI) tract, resulting in impaired absorption of nutrients and the ability to digest food properly. This wreaks havoc on your cat’s entire GI tract resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. IBD is one of the most common causes of persistent vomiting and diarrhea in cats. Unfortunately, the cause of this debilitating disease is unknown. It is seen most often is a problem in middle-aged or older cats though younger cats may be affected as well.


Any cat owner knows that vomiting and diarrhea occasionally happen. After all, what fun would owning a cat be without a few hairballs? With IBD, however, the vomiting and/or diarrhea become chronic, occurring regularly rather than occasionally. Cats with IBD don’t necessarily act sick, other than displaying GI symptoms.

If you notice any symptoms of cat hairball blockage, do not hesitate to visit a veterinarian.

The occasional hair-filled puddle coughed up by your cat should not be a cause for alarm for anybody except your carpet cleaner. However, if persistent vomiting occurs, it’s time for a trip to the or animal hospital to determine if there is a more serious medical condition. In the most severe cases, a feline hairball can cause a blockage in the stomach, intestine or colon. Symptoms could include weight loss, loss of appetite and excessive coughing. Additional signs of a potential blockage might include frequent diarrhea and consistent retching or hacking that does not result in a hairball. If a hairball causes a blockage, surgery may be required to correct the situation and this can be dangerous for the cat and very costly for the owner.

Hairballs - Cats Coughing up Hairballs - Cats of Australia

Cats with asthma are too often overlooked, because theirsymptoms so closely mimic those of one of the most common problems cats sufferfrom: hairballs. The trial protocol consisted of a blinded randomized placebo-controlled crossover study with each phase running for 2 wk. Cats were fed a 2-g chew twice daily in addition to their normal diet. Cat owners were asked to record the occurrence of hairball symptoms (vomiting, retching, coughing) each day and the acceptance of the treats. Statistical analysis (two-tailed t test) was performed on the data using Microsoft Excel 97 (Redmond, WA).

Causes of hairballs in cats and how to treat hairballs

The trial protocol consisted of a blinded randomized placebo-controlled crossover study with each phase running for 2 wk. Cats were fed a 2-g chew twice daily in addition to their normal diet. Cat owners were asked to record the occurrence of hairball symptoms (vomiting, retching, coughing) each day and the acceptance of the treats. Statistical analysis (two-tailed t test) was performed on the data using Microsoft Excel 97 (Redmond, WA).

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