Dog, Cat and Bird.

Cats and Hairballs: Friend or Foe?

Cat lovers know the sound. That god-awful hacking that disturbs the deepest of sleep. You’re almost certain your cat is coughing its last breath. Then you remember,

 

“Oh yea, it’s just a hairball.”

 

Worse, the picture you have of the horrid looking wet, hairy thing that you’re bound to step on if you don’t get up and “find it.”

Hairballs, Cat with a cough and image of a hairball.

But did you know hairballs are not normal? According to Dr. Karen Becker DVM, hairballs are not a part of the feline’s digestive process. Hmm, maybe that’s why they tend to come out of the front and not the back?

 

Persistent coughing and vomiting are not normal either. Pet owners may confuse hairball issues with other more serious problems. It is not normal or healthy for cats to vomit on a regular basis. Improper diet and toxins around the home may contribute to your cat’s coughing or vomiting issues. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out more serious issues.

 

Cats and I go back a long way and I have decades of hairball memories. Back then we didn’t think much of it.  Oh yes, we had our problems… The occasional hairball wasn’t one of them… Traveling with two large cats (and two birds and one very large dog, but that’s another story…) will give you lots of experience around cats and their not so “domestic” habits.

 

Fortunately, this is one feline issue that is pretty easy to resolve.

 

Tips & Solutions to Hairballs

 

Groom Daily & Bathe Once a Month

 

Long haired cats are obviously more affected by hairballs than short haired ones. Brush them every day if possible. You’ll wear a lot less of their hair on your clothing too. The hair they ingest while self-grooming will be minimized and most likely handled by your cat’s digestive tract. 

When bathing your cat, use a high quality, pure shampoo. Commercial products are often toxic to pets and people.

Adjust the Diet

 

Like people, your animal friends need nutritious food to stay healthy. Commercial pet food is often deficient in nutrients- due to improper ingredients that are not biologically appropriate- and laden with harmful chemicals. The state of your pet’s health (including your own) is always an indicator of diet & lifestyle. Consider feeding a high quality raw diet. The enzymes in raw food help to break down the protein found in hair.

 

Say no to kibble, or at least commercial-grade dry cat food. While kibble is a convenient way to feed your cat, commercial kibble does not provide adequate moisture and is not species appropriate. If you do feed kibble, choose a high fiber, quality brand and mix it with water to ensure your cat is sufficiently hydrated.

 

Why Cats Have a Drinking Problem

 

Unlike dogs, cats do not drink a lot of water. In the wild, their food would supply sufficient moisture. This is not the case today for domestic felines. Offering food that provides extra water such as canned or rehydrated-frozen is a healthy option for your pet.

 

Digestive Aids

 

Sow a pot of oat or wheatgrass seeds for your feline friend. The greens are a natural laxative and can help indigestible material pass through the intestines. Having greens available for your kitty will also reduce the chance of her nibbling on your houseplants which may be toxic to her delicate system. Improve your cat’s digestion with a supplement specially formulated to help their digestive tract handle the hair they consume.

 

It’s easy to grow your own grass and cats love it! Always purchase organic seeds and soil. Give them the best, just like you, because they deserve it!

 

Non-petroleum, all natural slippery elm or marshmallow gel can help lubricate the hairball to ease its passing. Available at your quality pet food store and right here at Scampy's store.

 

Supplement with Omega 3 Oils

 

Omega 3 oils are essential fatty acids (EFA) specially formulated to help improve the health of your cat’s skin and coat. Healthy pet means less scratching and hair loss.

 

Cleaning Products Can be Toxic to You and Your Pet

 

Children and family pets are poisoned each year due to the toxicity of commercial cleaning products. You need not poison to protect. There is a better way to clean your home that will protect you and the environment.

Scampy and his store advertisement for dog and kitty supplements.

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Eden’s Corner does not diagnose or treat specific conditions, and the information provided by Eden’s Corner website does not substitute for treatment by a veterinarian. A great vet is an invaluable resource and we suggest you discuss your pet’s diet and care with them.