Cat Hairball Information and Remedies

Cats have hair (well most of them anyway). Cats want their hair to be very clean, because their hair keeps them warm and safe. Since cats don't have hands, their only way of keeping clean is their tongue. If you have a cat, you've probably noticed that they link themselves very frequently to stay clean.

If you brush your cat regularly, then only a small amount of hair will be left for the cat to pull off with her tongue and ingest. That hair goes through their system and is pooped out, without causing any problem. However if your cat is shedding very heavily, and/or you are not brushing regularly, then the hair gets into the cat's stomach in such a volume that it rolls up into a ball. The cat then either poops out the ball - which can get stuck along the way and cause intestinal problems - or the cat pukes the ball back up.

In the wild, cats don't have owners to brush them, so what they do is eat grass to help form a natural slick coating in their stomach. That helps the balls slide down their intestines smoothly, or to puke up smoothly. You can always put a little pot of grass out for your cats to nibble on, or you can give them oils to give the same benefit.

Really the key here is regular brushing. If your cat doesn't ingest mounds of hair, he won't get hairballs. Solutions such as feeding grass or oil are just ways of "easing the hairball back out" instead of eliminating the hairball situation in the first place.

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