Your Cat’s Hairball Production

Do you own a cat? If so, hairballs are probably a part of life that you’re familiar with. They’re definitely not pleasant to look at, and it doesn’t seem like a pleasant experience for your cat to cough one up. But are hairballs harmful? Learn more below from your Carrollton, GA vet.

Why Do Hairballs Happen?

Your cat licks herself for grooming. When she does, tiny barbs lining the tongue pick up the loose hair from your cat’s coat. The hair is swallowed, and most of it moves through the digestive tract normally and gets expelled in the fecal matter. Some of that swallowed hair, though, remains in the gut and clumps together over time to form a hairball. It’s regurgitated, probably along with a bit of stomach fluid, resulting in the hairball you see.

Do Hairballs Harm My Cat in Any Way?

No, an occasional hairball doesn’t hurt your cat—it’s just a normal part of life. There’s nothing to worry about if you see your cat cough up a hairball every now and again.

If your cat coughs up hairballs frequently, something might be causing her to shed more than normal. Schedule an appointment at the vet’s office to have your cat checked out. Also, if see and hear your cat gagging or retching but not producing a hairball, take her to the vet’s office immediately. Your cat could be choking, or the hairball itself could be lodged in the windpipe.

And remember: vomiting and coughing up a hairball is not the same thing. If your cat is vomiting frequently, pay a prompt visit to the vet.

How Can I Help My Cat Produce Fewer Hairballs?

You’ll be happy to know that there are a few simple steps you can take to have your cat cough up fewer hairballs. First, brush your cat on a regular basis, as this removes a lot of the loose hair from Fluffy’s coat to prevent her from swallowing it in the first place. Secondly, make sure that your cat is receiving a high-quality diet that contains all of the proper nutrients. When your cat’s nutrition is in tip-top shape, her skin and fur stay healthy, producing a shiny, smooth coat that doesn’t shed much hair.

Does your cat need an exam? Have more questions about hairballs? Make your cat’s next appointment here at your Carrollton, GA vet clinic. We’re here to help!

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