Cats spend a lot of time taking care of their coat, it's an important time to clean up, freshen up and even relax!
Hairballs are usually passed in the stool, but hair from the digestive system can lead to various health issues, such as bowel obstruction.
What to do when your cat vomits hairballs? Are there effective ways to prevent or reduce hairball formation? You can find the answers here.
How do hairballs form?
The cat maintains its coat and its morale on a regular basis. As you may have noticed, most of them spend about 1/3 of their time taking care of themselves.
Thanks to its raspy tongue, the cat can obtain different results by licking itself. Indeed, thanks to care, the cat can:
- Clean up: by eliminating dead hair and all parasites or scabs;
- Cooling down: this is called thermoregulation;
- De-stress: Licking is a de-stressing ritual for cats, who often use it to relax.
By licking, the cat swallows more or less quantity of hair. They are usually excreted naturally in the feces, but they remain in the cat's digestive system for varying periods of time.
The amount of hair ingested varies depending on various factors:
- The breed of cat or the type of fur (some long-haired cats, such as Maine Coon, Norwegian, Ragdoll, Sacred Birman or Persian, absorb much more hair than others),
- The period (during the moult the cat can swallow up to 100 mg of hair per kilogram),
- Cat Activity: Cats that live indoors tend to develop hairballs more easily simply because they are less busy than cats that live outdoors and therefore spend more time licking themselves.
- The presence of parasites : if your cat is worried about the presence of parasites, such as fleas, he will be tempted to lick himself more often. As a result, they absorb more hair.
- State of mind: Stressed or anxious cats tend to care much more than others, because the action of licking usually calms them down.
While it's normal for your cat to spend a lot of time grooming, it's important to pay attention to her behavior and notice signs of intrusive licking, which can indicate disorders such as depression , parasites , etc.
A natural solution against Fleas?
CBD oil is safe for pets, but is toxic to fleas . When CBD oil is taken or applied topically, it is a great way to get rid of this annoying pest.
This natural flea preventative is also excellent for skin, coat and digestive system health and is commonly recommended by veterinarians for the treatment of various conditions.
What are the risks of hairball formation
If your cat doesn't excrete ingested hair naturally through feces, it ends up accumulating in the digestive system and forming hairballs called "trichobezoars."
If your cat has accumulated a large amount of hair in its belly and cannot get rid of it.
Symptoms can be observed:
Cough : generally dry, the cough is explained by the discomfort caused by the presence of hair. The cat tries to get rid of it by coughing.
Vomiting : Your cat may lose hairballs while vomiting. In this case, you will see small darker or lighter cigar-shaped tubes. This regurgitation is usually accompanied by spasms, which are necessary to push the hairballs out of the mouth.
If the hair gets into the cat's intestines, you may observe:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Decreased appetite,
General depression .
Be very careful, the large amount of hair in the intestines can lead to intestinal obstruction in cats. The hairball then prevents the intestines from functioning properly or even blocks them completely.
How to prevent the formation of hairballs?
If you notice that your cat seems embarrassed to have a hairball (vomiting, dry cough, depressed appearance, etc.), you should take him immediately to a veterinarian to check for bowel obstruction. .
If there is an obstruction, surgery is usually needed to remove the obstruction and restore patency to the cat.
However, you can follow these steps to prevent this risk of hairball formation:
Regular brushing : Helping your cat clean himself with a brush suited to his coat will allow him to absorb less hair and reduce the risk of buildup.
Hydration : This is essential to ensure good hair removal. Feel free to provide your cat with a water fountain to encourage her to stay hydrated. It is also advisable to give your cat some of the food in the form of a quality whole food.
Food : Food plays an essential role in the health of your animal. A sufficient amount of fiber in your cat's diet will contribute to good digestion. Certain foods are also designed to reduce hairball formation by providing additional fiber. Ask your veterinarian for more information.
CBD supplement : Cannabidiol (CBD) supplementation for your four-legged friend can help reduce stress to avoid depression and also help suppress fleas and parasites
You can also provide yourself with fibers in a natural way to limit the appearance of hairballs in your cat. Feel free to give your cat vegetables like zucchini or green beans, the well-cooked type (50g per day), or even give them fiber in the form of psyllium or oat bran mixed with a little pâté or natural yoghurt.
Tips: Indoor cats do not have access to the vegetation they need to clean themselves. So you can buy small pots of catnip or grow your own indoors.
Hairballs in cats are a natural occurrence. But you are responsible for ensuring that your pet's health is not endangered. If you think your cat is having shedding issues, put in place solutions to help her avoid possible health issues.