How to Prevent and Treat Cat Hairballs

Cat hairballs can really become a problem for your cat, especially if they occur frequently. What causes hairballs? Cats are very clean animals. They wash themselves constantly, and in the process, they ingest a lot of fur. Eventually, all that hair builds up creating a hairball. Cat hairballs are not only uncomfortable for you cat, but they can also lead to other problems like constipation. There are ways, fortunately, to reduce and even prevent hairball buildup.

So if you already own a cat, or if you just adopted a cat, and need information on cat hairballs, here is some information about the symptoms and prevention of hairballs. You’ll also find information on cat hairball remedies.

Hairball Symptoms

A hairball problem is somewhat easy to spot. Your cat will start hacking and coughing, followed by vomiting. These episodes might occur frequently, especially if you have a long-haired cat.

Even if you don’t see your cat going through what I call a “hairball episode”, you can still see the evidence: a ball of hair on the floor, or the carpet, or wherever your cat chose to spit out the ball. Usually, a hairball is an long mass of hair, similar to a cigar in shape. It is definitely not a pretty sight.

Cat Hairball Prevention and Treatment

The easiest step to help you prevent hairballs is brushing your cat on a regularly basis, preferably every day. Even if brushing does not completely eliminate hairballs, it will reduce the amount ingested, thus reducing the frequency of the problem. Furthermore, brushing your cat will help your cat stay in great condition. And remember that a grooming session is always a great bonding opportunity.

If despite your efforts, your cat continues to have a hairball problem, try a hairball remedy. Consult your vet, and he or she will suggest the best treatment for your cat. Some common hairball remedies include petroleum-based gels, which are given orally. You may also give your cat a fiber-rich diet, or special-formula food designed to prevent hairballs.

Another alternative is to use home treatments, like giving your cat a little bit of butter once or twice a week. Canned pumpkin is another known home remedy used to treat hairballs. You can mix a bit of pumpkin with your cat’s wet food. Again, always consult your vet before using any of these remedies.

Claudia Escobar is an avid cat lover. For more on cat hairballs and cat lovers gifts visit .