In the medium and short term, however, this habit can backfire on cats and cause a problem known as a hairball .
Although it is something natural in cat baths, hairballs, if not treated, can cause a series of problems and have very negative consequences for the health of our cats. Therefore, taking care of this factor is fundamental.
Not sure exactly how to deal with it? Don’t worry! We have prepared this special article that aims to resolve the main doubts of tutors on the subject. Come on? Good reading!
What is hairball in cats?
The shape of feline taste buds works like a comb, untangling and disentangling hair.
The problem is that the fur ends up being swallowed frequently and, when they are not eliminated, they form hairballs, called trichobezoars.
In addition to hair, they contain saliva, gastric secretions, food remains and can lead to constant vomiting. Next, we’ll find out what are the most common symptoms related to the balls of beauty that may be bothering your kitten!
What symptoms do we see in cats?
Most cats are very prone to hairball formation. However, felines manage to eliminate, most of the time, through vomit and feces. The health risk occurs when the fur accumulates in excess in the animal’s organism.
In some cases, the hairball can pass through the intestine and disrupt the digestive system, leading to diarrhea or constipation, in addition to the major aggravating factor of intestinal obstruction.
In that case, a surgical procedure is necessary to remove the accumulated fur. Unfortunately, if care is not provided quickly, there is a certain risk of death for kittens whose intestines are obstructed by trichobezoars.
To know if your cat is going through the problem, be aware of the following signs:
- constipation or diarrhea;
- lack of appetite;
- vomiting more than once a day;
- signs of tiredness and apathy;
- behavior changes.
Any of these symptoms is a red flag in cats. Therefore, when noticing any changes, urgently refer your cat to a consultation with a qualified veterinarian, who will request the necessary tests to diagnose problems with hairballs.
How to prevent the problem?
The time has come to find out what are the main ways to ensure that our pets are always healthy and, of course, to avoid the dreaded hairballs, which can seriously harm the health of the cats we love so much. Check out the best ways to do prevention!
Capriche in brushing
The best way to prevent cats from suffering from hairballs is to get rid of the dead coat. To do this, brush or comb your cat once a day. Provide an appropriate accessory for your kitty and enjoy the moment, which is usually very appreciated by them.
In case your pet doesn’t like it, try brushing it while he’s feeding. Brushing should be done from head to tail for about five minutes. Short haired cats can be brushed every other day if they are very stressed and resistant to brushing.
Prevent the proliferation of parasites
Keep fleas and other parasites well away from your cat. Bites can cause dermatitis and increase the need for grooming, aggravating the condition of hairballs.
Talk to your veterinarian to see which are the best medications against these parasites. Also, take great care of the environment in which your pet lives — did you know that only 5% of fleas are on the animal’s body, while the remaining 95% are hidden around the house?
Invest in good hydration and nutrition
The cat’s hydration is also an important point to keep the animal’s intestine working well.
Therefore, always leave fresh water available or a cat drinker . In addition to avoiding kidney and urinary problems, this is excellent for preventing hairballs from forming.
A very useful mechanism is to invest in quality nutrition. In good feeds, for example, there are substances that help eliminate trichobezoars, avoiding obstruction and discomfort for kittens.
Another possibility is the administration of wet food (in a sachet) that provides the necessary nutrients and ensures good hydration, in addition to favoring good intestinal transit.
Enrich your cat’s environment
Another very useful way to ensure that your cat does not suffer from hairballs is to enrich its environment. Cats, like dogs, tend to lick themselves more often if they feel bored or understimulated.
So invest in good pranks and take care of the environment, making it very interesting. Toys, scratching posts, shelves to climb on and other tools are very useful to avoid boredom in cats.
What treatment is indicated?
One thing is for sure: the animal needs to eliminate the hair. You can help by increasing fiber intake in your diet . The best way to intervene in the diet is to offer a feed that has adequate nutritional properties and is enriched with fiber.
Cats can also eat plants and increase gastrointestinal flow. To do so, offer Valerian Grass, Malta or Nepeta Cataria, better known as cat grass.
It is important to warn that only a veterinarian can say how serious your animal’s health condition is. Hairballs can cause serious problems and even lead to death.
As we can see, a hairball in cats can have serious consequences for the health of the cat.
So always be aware of behavioral changes and, whenever possible, take your great friend for appointments at a trusted veterinary clinic . If symptoms persist for more than one day, do not hesitate to seek professional help!