Help For Your Longhaired Cat
Are you worried about cat hairballs? If your cat is coughing, hacking, and if you find your cat vomiting more than occasionally, chances are good that he might is suffering from hairballs. The more fur a cat has, the higher the chance he will be plagued by hairballs.
Cat hairballs are more than a nuisance! They result in worry (for us), discomfort (for him), and cat vomiting (yuck!). (The next page, hairball remedy options, is full of advice on eliminating hairballs in cats.)
Maine Coon cats, and other long or medium-haired cats, are prone to hairballs. How does this happen? They are very clean and tidy animals. They groom themselves meticulously. Watching a Maine Coon groom himself, you may think "There's no way he's going to get all that fur!"
And you'd be right. These cats really do need a bit of assistance in the grooming department. If left to their own devices, they will end up matted right down to the skin, and throwing up hairballs on your favorite rugs regularly.
"How Do I Know If My Cat Has Hairballs?"
There is the dry cough. It has a kind of hacking sound. If she doesn't vomit, you may think you are in the clear, but beware!
As soon as the lights are out, your bare feet are likely to discover the source of her agony...
They look just like poops a lot of the time! So before you assume she's taken on some bad litter box behavior, consider cat hairballs as the culprit. They are long, tubular, wet, gross things.
"Why Do Cats Cough Up Hairballs?"
The short answer is that they swallow their fur when grooming themselves. Even shorthaired cats can be afflicted by hairballs in cats. How and why does this happen?
We've all marveled at the unique texture of a cats tongue, right? It is just like a small brush. And that's for a very good reason.
The tongue is designed just for that; it's a built-in grooming tool.
When a cat grooms himself, all the loose hairs that are ready to be shed come out.
When we brush a cat, the brush quickly becomes full of excess fur. When he grooms himself with his tongue the same thing happens. But here is his problem: he can't "clean the brush" like we can.
His tongue removes the old, shedding fur, but where will it go? Down the hatch, unfortunately. Cats are unable to spit it out; they have no choice but to swallow it.
Then it builds up, doesn't digest, and the rest is history!
"What About Hairball Blockage In Cats?"
Usually, you find your cat vomiting up the hairball, and he feels better. But if your cat regularly coughs and gags, but nothing comes up, you may suspect a hairball blockage.
In the early stages, a good hairball remedy should do the trick and get the offending hairball out.
Additional signs to look for would be bad breath, lethargy, weight loss and loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation. These could indicate a later stage of hairball blockage.
If these symptoms are present, it's very important to go to the vet. In later, more extreme stages, a hairball blockage in cats may require surgery for removal.
"What Can I Do To Eliminate Cat Hairballs?"
This is no way for a cat to go through life. For the sake of your home, and especially for your poor cats comfort, you are probably on the hunt for a good hairball remedy. Finding the right hairball treatment and keeping to a schedule will make a world of difference.
Making cat hairballs a thing of the past is the key to a happy cat and a happy owner, too. It is so worth it!
Also, we have a few visitor-created pages dealing with hairballs. Visit our page of Cat Hairball Q & A's to read about the following personal experiences with cat hairballs and advice shared by our community.
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