Cats and Hairballs

Cats and Hairballs

It’s got to be one of the worst sounds to wake up to at 4 a.m.: Your cat coughing up a hairball. It sounds like their insides are turning inside out and that they’re just going to cough up everything inside them! For your cat, though, it’s not that big of a deal. Sometimes their bodies have trouble passing all that hair they’ve ingested while grooming and they cough it back up. It’s part of being a cat, to them. To us? Cats and hairballs are awful. I know when my cat has a hairball issue I feel like she must feel SO bad and that it must be exhausting to cough that up!

So what can you do about cats and hairballs?

First, brush your cat once a day every day. If they’re shedding because it’s hot outside, then brush them twice a day! We stock the Furminator and it’s awesome at helping to remove all that extra fur from your cat.

Next, try to get your cat to enjoy treats that specifically help to reduce hairballs.  We always have Tomlyn and In Clover SLEEK hairball treats in stock.  These are a great way to help your cat get more oils into their diets. These oils help them to more easily digest hairballs.

Another way to help your cat with hairballs is to provide more fiber in their diets. You can do this by adding a little canned pumpkin to their diet or by providing them with a great canned food that includes pumpkin. Weruva and Tiki Cat, both stocked in our store, have lots of options with extra fiber! You can also look for ones with brown rice or fruits like apple and pear added to them.

If your cat isn’t falling for the cat treats (one of mine loves them; the one with the hairballs doesn’t!) there are some “home” remedies you can try as well.  My cats will lap up coconut oil, so about once a week they each get a tiny (1/8 tsp) bit of coconut oil in with their afternoon treats. This again helps with digestion and passing that cat hair! You can also use a bit of olive oil if they prefer that, but remember that these are both high in calories, so you may want to cut back on their other treats on the days they get their oil. You won’t need to give them any of this more than once a week or so and giving them too much could lead to other digestive problems.

If you’re concerned your cat’s hairballs aren’t just an occasional thing, or if you notice your cat is coughing and can’t seem to get the hairball out, call your veterinarian and schedule a checkup for your favorite feline.

Stop by the store and we’ll be happy to help you find the right hairball treats, foods, and brushes to keep your cat happy and healthy!