How to help prevent hairballs in your cat

Published on July 8, 2013 by in Blog

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HackHack,  cough, spplllxxx, whatever sound effect you assign your cat’s hairballs, the truth is they’re not pleasant. Not for you, not for your Mesa pet sitter and certainly not for your furbaby. Not only are they not fun for your cat to cough up, they can pose a potential blockage problem in kitty’s stomach!

What causes a cat to have hairballs? Cats are naturally fastidious and they keep clean by grooming themselves with their tongue. Their tongues have countless nearly invisible barbs on them designed to help remove dust and other things from their fur. These barbs also pull the hair from your cat’s coat and your cat winds up swallowing the hairs. Once a large mass of the hair accumulates and your cat’s digestive system can’t pass it, the cat will cough it up via a hairball.

Since ideally we try to help prevent these as much as possible, here are some suggestions:

1)      Brush your cat daily – especially if you have a long haired cat. This can’t be stressed enough. By brushing daily, you are removing any loose hairs that kitty might otherwise swallow. It’s also a wonderful way for you and your cat to bond. Many cats love to be brushed. The earlier you start training your cat/kitten to enjoy brushing, the better.

2)      Provide a rubbing post for your cat to rub themselves against. There are also wall corner combs for your cat. Similar to brushing this will help your cat remove loose fur.  And bonus, keep it off your clothes and furniture.

3)      Use a hairball supplement. There are many yummy flavored kinds on the market. Many of these supplements contain petrolatum, which helps your cat pass the mass through their digestive system easier. Yes but do they really work? I can speak from experience with my 4 cats and say a definite yes. I began using Sentry HC Petromalt Fish flavored hairball relief supplement. First, my cats LOVE it. I have no problems getting them to gobble it up off my finger! Second, I noticed a definite decrease in hairballs in my cats/home , as well as it seemed easier for my furkids to rid themselves of them when they now infrequently did have them. You can find this product at Pet Planet Stores.

cat sitting in Chandler

My cat, Mischief, enjoying her hairball supplement

As your Mesa cat sitters, we keep an eye out for the occasional hairball your kitty may leave while we cat sit for you. Try these suggestions and we assure you, you’ll be finding less of them, too. Kitty will thank you!

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