Hairballs and Diet

Hairballs and Diet

It’s that time of year.  Cat’s shed their coats at least twice a year.  We get calls almost EVERY DAY asking if there’s something that can be done.  You see vomit and there’s hair in it.  Lots of hair. Sometimes several deposits of hair vomit are found in the morning, somehow the horror during the dnight didn’t wake you.  You want a fix and instinctively think to add something to the food.  We can and do have some options, and it’ll help some, but the best step to take in hairball season is brushing.

Hair is not digestible.  Your cat cleans itself, usually ingesting large clumps of hair in the process.  Way more when they’re shedding vs non-shedding times.  When too much hair accumulates in the stomach, a healthy cat will vomit it up.  Other times it moves through the gut and exits in the stool.  Worst case is it causes a blockage, which is traumatic and usually requires an expensive vet visit.

There are some anti-hairball products available.  You can also try adding coconut oil or olive oil in small amounts to the food. We can add it to the food for you (Custom Meals). The best and guaranteed thing you can do to reduce or eliminate hairballs is brush your cat a couple of times a day.  It helps accelerate the shedding of the old coat, removes large amounts of hair that would otherwise be ingested, and it’ll make your kitty feel great!  

It’s true, a poor diet will have your cat shedding all year. Improving the diet will make a difference because the coat will be much healthier, visibly so, but there’ll still be some hair loss. Much less. Even the best diet in the world won’t prevent seasonal shedding.

There is no cure for hairballs other than your cat being bald.  If there was a true, real cure, everyone would sell it.  Some products will make hairballs less severe but the bottom line is hair isn’t digestible.  If your cat doesn’t ingest hair, it won’t throw it up.  So brush your cat.

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