Dodge the Furry Bullet: How to Avoid Hairballs

woman brushing cat

Those trichobezoars are at it again. Your cat is gagging and retching around the living room, and you know what is about to follow…    One of the unpleasant aspects of having a cat, is having deal with the unsightly glob of foul fur, whenever it resurrects itself from the bowels of your pet.  Even if hairballs may be hard to defeat entirely, there are a number of preventative measures than can be taken in the battle against fur balls.  See below for strategic moves that other warriors against the insurgence of hairballs have employed in the past.

How to Avoid Hairballs

  1. Brush on conditioner.  Though we don’t necessarily recommend following each shampoo with a large dollop of conditioner, owners have found certain natural, non-toxic or hypoallergenic brands of conditioner to help smooth a cat’s coat.  By brushing a bit on your cat through the comb, the silkiness will help your cat groom without roughly removing the hair from the root, and will help fight the problem of hairballs collecting in the stomach.
  2. Feed you cat fish!   Solve the problem from the inside out, by giving your cat the right food to help him stay healthy. A can of sardines is a great way to keep things moving inside your cat.  By regularly adding a bit of a natural laxative into your feline’s routine meal, your cat will be more likely to pass the hair easily without it getting stuck in the small intestine.  Some people feed their kitties a delicious tin of oily sardines, or a can of omega-3 oil rich tuna to do the trick.
  3. Add a teaspoon of oil. If the fish don’t seem to work, then lubricate your cat’s digestive system with a spoonful of oil (such as safflower oil, or even butter) to his food bowl or feed him off the spoon.   Another option is to rub petroleum jelly onto your cat’s paws, which she will lick off, causing the oily petroleum to naturally pass through her body.
  4. Increase their fiber.  Adding natural fiber to the diet is another natural way to help move a ball of hair through the cat’s system. A scoop of canned pumpkin puree is a great options, as is bran.   Some owners even mix in a little Metamucil to kick the cat’s intestines into high gear;  but we suggest getting a vet’s approval first.
  5. Help with the grooming.  Part of the reason why hairballs grow, is due to the copious strands of loose hair or dust on your cat’s coat. Get to it before they do by brushing the fur firmly, and then wiping your cat down with baby wipes to remove as much of the excess as you can.

The above suggestions will not only improve the appearance and condition of your feline’s fur, but will help them avoid the discomfort and pain that an unwelcome hairball can cause. Help your cat enjoy digestive peace by trying out some tried-and-true methods for expelling those nasty wads of hair.


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