There are a myriad of ways how to get rid of hairballs in cats. But what works for one cat may not work for another. What works ultimately depends upon numerous factors. Each cat’s bout with hairballs is unique. It depends on the severity of the affliction. It also depends on your cat’s unique preferences and peculiar behaviors. Simply but, getting rid of your cat’s hairball problem ultimately requires a great deal of patience and a lot of trial and error. And once you eradicate the problem, you need an ongoing plan that you must keep up with, to prevent the problem from recurring.
Hairballs in and of themselves are not some type of disease or ailment. It is merely the presence of a massive accumulation of fur that is lodged in your cat’s digestive tract. This “furball” or “hairball”, can form an obstruction in your cat’s digestive tract.
Typically, this hairball is expelled from your cat’s system through vomiting. You can tell that your cat has vomited hairballs if you take a cursory look at the mass that it has vomited up: It will typically be long and cylindrical in shape, and will look like a mass of intertwined fur.
Swallowing hairballs and then vomiting them up is a natural part of being a cat. They have been doing it for thousands of years, long before humans ever began domesticating them as pets. However, it is a huge nuisance for us pet owners. Hairballs can ruin your clothing, your furniture, and your carpet. And of course it is very unpleasant experience for cats as well.
In some extreme cases, hairballs can get stuck in your cat’s digestive tract too deep, or it has become too massive, to be able to vomit up.
So what works and what doesn’t?
How To Get Rid Of Hairballs In Cats – What Works?
1. Feed Your Cat Hairball Control Foods
There are a wide variety of dietary options for helping to get rid of hairballs in cats. These typically include any of the following:
- Hairball Control Cat Treats – These are just like any ordinary cat treats, except that they contain special ingredients that help to promote and stimulate digestion and the breakdown of the fur follicles. These are available both in the chewy nugget form as well as in a special gel formulation as well. Hairball treats can be used as a substitute for their “regular” counterparts.
- Hairball Control Cat Food – Just like any ordinary dry cat food, except that it is specially formulated to promote digestive health and the breakdown of fur follicles, just like cat treats. Just like cat treats, hairball control cat food can be used as a substitute for its “regular” counterpart. There are no adverse effects of feeding these to a “normal” cat who is not suffering from a problem with hairballs either.
- Fiber-Rich Food – Obviously cats don’t eat fruits and vegetables, but if they can consume foods from grains or other processed foods that are concentrated with fiber, this can help greatly.
- Oils – Oils, such as olive oil, can help lubricate your cat’s gastrointestinal tract, and thus facilitate the digestion of cat furballs.
2. Reducing Your Cat’s Food Intake
Another way how to get rid of hairballs in cats is to simply reduce your cat’s food intake. This may sound disingenuous, because you aren’t actually “treating” the problem. However, what you are doing is preventing the problem from becoming further exacerbated. You are preventing it from worsening. By giving your cat a much-needed break from food, it will give your cat more time to digest what is already in its stomach. The presence of hairballs lodged in its digestive tract can slow down the digestive process.
Therefore, by reducing the quantity of food that your cat consumes at each meal, this will stave off any unwarranted blockages which might otherwise trigger a vomiting reflex.
Additionally, not only do you want to reduce the amount of food that your cat eats at each meal, you will also want to space out your cat’s meal frequency as well. Don’t feed it quite as often, and don’t feed it as much food at each meal time. For example, if you typically leave out a food bowl all day for your cats to graze on, don’t do it. Just put out enough food for your cat to finish in the morning, and then take away the food bowl. And then don’t feed your cat again until the evening. That too, only give your cat enough food for dinner that it will finish in one sitting.
This temporary “intermittent fasting” should help alleviate your cat’s tendency to vomit.
In and of itself, it doesn’t eliminate hairballs, but it can help prevent a bad situation from becoming much worse
How To Get Rid Of Hairballs In Cats – What Doesn’t Work?
No matter how annoying it may be to have to clean up after your cat’s vomit, it is imperative that you do not lose your patience. Your cat doesn’t know any better. It doesn’t know how inconvenient it may be for you. It doesn’t even instinctively know how to clean up its own vomit (the way it knows how to bury its litter). And it is merely executing a natural biological reaction to an undesirable conundrum it got itself into.
Punishing your cat is never the answer.
So whatever you do, do not even think of taking your frustration out on your cat. Calmly lean up the vomit. Make a firm resolve to work with your cat to figure out what is causing the problem. Work toward a solution. It’s that simple.
You are not in this alone! We here at hairballcures.com have gone through the same problem (and we still do). So heed the advice on this website on how to get rid of hairballs in cats, and hopefully you will experience the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.