How to Tell If Your Cat Has a Hairball: The Most Common Symptoms and Treatment
Many cat owners find it very difficult get used to the idea that cats can have hairballs. Are hairballs normal for cats? To be honest, yes. However, it can be a cat hairball problem if you notice signs of a stuck hairball. This kind of grooming is perfectly normal and cats must do it to keep their fur in good condition. However, how much should the cat pull out hairballs, what causes and symptoms should you still know. It is an important topic, so read attentively!
Does My Cat Have a Hairball: What Are the Causes?
This phenomenon often scares owners, but it happens in all cats. The tongue of a cat can be called a kind of grater, which comb the wool cover when washing. In the process of licking, individual hairs remain on the tongue, which the pet spits out. B but a small amount of wool is still swallowed and enters the esophagus. After a while, most of the swallowed hairs will pass through the gastrointestinal tract along with the feces. The remaining hairs will gradually accumulate in the stomach and form trichobezoars, which are subsequently regurgitated by the cat. This is a normal physiological process. A health hazard arises only when the hairball becomes too large and cannot exit either through the stomach or through the anus. And then it is already worth asking the question: “How to help a cat with hairballs”? The risk of trichobezoar formation increases in cases of:
- Intense shedding;
- Impaired metabolism;
- Hormonal diseases;
- Improper unbalanced diet;
- Frequent licking due to parasite infestation.
Street cats or pets that are allowed to go for a walk naturally decide this
What Are the Symptoms of Hairballs in Cats?
Even a small kitten, who is just learning to lick its fur coat, can regurgitate a ball of fur that overflows its stomach. In an adult animal, stomach cleansing from 1 to 6 times a month is considered the norm. It depends on the length of the coat and the age of the animal. The owner should be alert if the pet has the following cat hairball symptoms:
- Constipation or rare hard stools with pieces of wool;
- Daily vomiting of hair;
- Temperature increase;
- Blood, mucus, scraps of wool in vomit;
- The inability to regurgitate the trichobezoar on its own;
- Refusal to eat due to a full stomach;
- Swollen, painful abdomen on palpation;
- The coat becomes unkempt, disheveled, but the cat does not wash or lick it;
- It ceases to be active and seeks to hide in a secluded corner.
By the way, if you notice constipation or diarrhea in your cat, then these may be cat hairball blockage symptoms. Do not speculate about the reasons for your pet’s poor health, contact your veterinarian.
Is It Easy to Diagnose Cat Hairballs?
It is not difficult for an experienced veterinarian to make a correct diagnosis. There are many ways a veterinarian can do this. For example, an x-ray or a physical examination. Do not do it yourself under any circumstances. Constant vomiting is one of the signs of a hairball, isn’t it? However, it can also be a sign of asthma. You may notice the symptoms but not make a diagnosis. The main thing is to contact a specialist in time.
How to Treat Hairballs?
There is no single treatment regimen for hairballs. Therapy is aimed at eliminating the underlying disease. The veterinarian may prescribe drugs that improve the removal of hair from the stomach and intestines. The prognosis for hairballs is generally favorable. Operations are resorted to in exceptional cases because it is extremely rare. Potential complications hairballs do not pose a health hazard to cats. However, if they enter the intestines, the situation requires immediate resolution. The woolen plug tightly clogs the intestines, which makes it difficult to defecate and provokes intestinal obstruction. In addition, hairballs injure mucous membranes, poison the body with decay products, cause destructive changes in the intestinal walls and atony. The cat will not be able to pull them out on its own from these hard-to-reach places, so the mouth of the fluffy should be regularly examined and cleaned. If this procedure is neglected, an inflammatory process can develop in the oral cavity.
What to Do for a Stuck Hairball at Home?
Having noticed that the cat is trying to induce vomiting in itself and at the same time it has other warning signs, you should give the pet a special paste for removing wool. They are sold in veterinary pharmacies and promote effective and painless elimination of hairballs in a natural way. Malt pastes contain coarse fiber, which, passing through the intestines and not being digested, takes away all the “excess”. In addition, the composition contains oils and other useful elements. Veterinarians also advise adding vegetable oil as a good remedy for cat hairballs. Such preparations taste good, so giving them to the cat will not be difficult. If the fluffy refuses, you can mix the paste into the food, smear it on the paws and muzzle.
What about Preventive Measures for Hairballs?
The best prevention of hairballs is the systematic brushing of your pet. During the molting period, the procedure should be done more often. At this time, animals swallow more wool than usual, and it is difficult for the body to cope with it. Some cats molt all year round. Long-haired animals require special care. And the Persians also find it difficult to lick themselves because of the short muzzle. The more carefully the owner takes care of the pet, the less hair will accumulate in his stomach. The choice of a brush must be carefully based on the condition of the coat, the presence of the undercoat, and the purpose of brushing. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian about this, who will tell you which tool is right for your pet.
By the way, at the beginning of May, we discussed why cats eat grass. So veterinarians claim that this is an effective remedy against hairballs. You can get herbs at your veterinary pharmacy if your cat doesn’t go outside. Most cats eat vegetation with pleasure but some whims have to chop it up and mix it into food. It is advisable to periodically give professional medicinal dry food, thanks to which wool does not accumulate in the stomach. Such special food also has a positive effect on the cat’s coat, strengthening it and enhancing its natural shine. However, before buying and giving anything to your cat, consult with your veterinarian.
How to tell if your cat has a hairball? You should closely monitor any changes in your pet. Thank you for reading the article to the end!
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