How do hairballs arise?
When your cat takes care of its fur, it removes loose hair with its tongue and swallows the hairs. Sometimes the hairs are removed through the faeces without a problem. If this is not the case, hairballs can be formed in the gastrointestinal tract. These hairballs are spit out by your cat. A cat produces a hairball on average once a month, but this can also occur more often. A hairball is dark in color, usually has an elongated shape and is approximately 2 to 7 cm long. Spitting hairballs is something natural, but if it happens very often it can be unpleasant for your cat (and for you as a catmom it is not very pleasant either. Especially if the hairball is spit out in a ‘hidden’ place and you conjures up under your couch after a few weeks). If your cat vomits very often, a fur ball may be stuck.
Cat grass helps your cat with the outbreak of hairballs
When a fur ball is formed in the stomach your cat will suffer from irritation of the stomach lining. Your cat will then try to clean his stomach from hairballs by vomiting. You will probably notice that your cat wants to eat grass. The grass irritates the stomach causing the vomiting. Your cat vomits its stomach contents together with the plant particles. Which makes your cat feel relieved. You can help your cat by placing special cat grass in the house or in the garden.
What you can do (preventively) to reduce hairballs.
Brushing: make it a habit to brush your cat. Not only during the moulting period. Start with this as early as possible so that your cat is used to this. Brushing the cat will remove the hair before it can reach your cat’s intestinal tract. If you have a long-haired cat brush it at least once a week, brush a short-haired cat breed at least once every 2 weeks. For brushing your cat you can use a comb or brush specially adapted to the fur of your cat. Handy glove brushes are also available.
Hairball paste: if brushing is not enough, you can also use hairball paste. This paste ensures that the hair encapsulates and leaves the body naturally through the stool.
Nutrition: Nutrition is also available which helps to transport the hair through the gastrointestinal tract so that it leaves the body through the stools.
There are cases where a hair ball that has not been removed results in a blockage. This can have serious consequences for your cat. If you are unsure whether a fur ball is stuck in your cat’s stomach, contact your veterinarian.