Friday, October 14, 2022

What Can You Do For Hairballs?

Every kitty grooms but not every cat gets a hairball problem. While it's true that long-haired cats have more of a hairball issue than short-haired kitties, your cat's diet and digestive health are often the biggest contributing factors. Veterinarians believe that cats developing hairball problems frequently have an underlying motility disorder. There are a variety of causes of hairballs, treatments and health risks to understand but here are 4 tips that may help your kitty:

1) Diet: Feed a high moisture, low carbohydrate, novel protein diet. A raw frozen or canned cat food that limits allergens like poultry, grains, fish and soy can be helpful for cats with hairball issues. Cats are carnivores and high carbohydrate diets containing grains and legumes can be hard to digest. Avoid dry food as it is high in carbohydrates which are harder to digest. Cats are not big water drinkers and frequently don't make up for the lost water in the dry food by drinking more. Give your kitty Omega 3s in their diet. Omega 3 fatty acids improve the quality of your cat's skin and coat reducing the shedding and opportunity for hairballs.

2) Fiber: Mix a small amount of canned pumpkin into your cat's meals. You can also try mashed yams or sweet potatoes. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are high in fiber which is important to keep the hair moving through the intestinal tract.

3) Regular Brushing: Brush your kitty a few times a week. This should improve your cat's skin and coat, reducing hairballs.

4) Cat Hairball Home Remedies: Probiotics and prebiotics (help the friendly bacteria to survive) are helpful to support a healthy microbiome. Digestive enzymes can help break down foods easier and help improve the wave action in your cat's digestive tract. Digestive enzymes and probiotics play a crucial role in helping cats manage and prevent hairballs. Digestive enzymes aid in breaking down and assimilating nutrients, facilitating smoother digestion and minimizing the accumulation of hair in the stomach. By enhancing the digestive process, these enzymes contribute to the effective passage of ingested hair through the gastrointestinal tract, reducing the likelihood of hairball formation. Probiotics, on the other hand, promote a healthy balance of gut flora, fostering optimal digestive function. A well-maintained gut environment ensures that the digestive system operates efficiently, allowing for the natural elimination of hair without clumping. Together, digestive enzymes and probiotics provide comprehensive support for a cat's digestive health, offering a proactive solution to the common issue of hairballs and promoting overall well-being in our feline companions.

To learn more about how to use a holistic approach to treat your cat's hairballs, please click here for our in-depth article.

Author: Susan Blake Davis
Published 10/14/2022
Revised 3/8/2024