How to treat hairballs in cats
To long-time cat owners, recognizing a hairball problem may be old-hat. But if you are caring for your first cat, you may be surprised if you stumble across a gray, slimy tube-like THING on your living room floor. What is that THING? As you ask yourself, you may be wondering if you really want to go closer to ut. You may wonder if the cat has forgotten his litter box habits. You may wonder if he eviscerated a large rodent and left part of it on your carpet. But once you get up the courage to look closer, you will see that the wretched little clump is composed of your feline buddy’s hair. Boy, aren’t you lucky today.
When your cat hacks and gags and acts like he’s choking then deposits an ugly hairball for you to clean up, you are safe in making a diagnosis of hairballs. You can focus on what you can do about this and how can you prevent it in the future. If, on the other hand, Kitty hacks, gags and vomits without always producing a hairball, you need to consider the possibility that something else is going ony. Many medical problems can mimic the behaviour that precedes the production of a hairball.
The best thing to do about an authentic hairball problem is to prevent it. Brush medium and long haired cats daily, especially during the times of the year when they are shedding. Although short-haired cats don’t need to be brushed, an affectionate short-haired cat who LIKES to cuddle in you lap may also benefit from brushing. As with most other grooming and health care routines, this one will go over better with your cat if you begin it when he is a kitten.
Petroleum based hairball remedies can be effective, but you should know that there are myriad pet-care product companies that can produce a product like this, package it and sell it whether or not it is properly formulated. There isn’t any regulatory board preventing the sale of pet care products that don’t work. Ask your vet or groomer to recommends a product or two. Even if you choose to purchase it from online supplier or a pet store, you will have an idea of what has passed the test of time and what has not. I prefer using Laxatone in my cats.
If you find a petroleum-based hairball remedy that works for your cat, stick with it. Give it twice a week as a matter or routine. If you can afford to feed a premium hairball control diet as well, wonderful. Go for it. Most hairball diets are produced by reliable pet-food providers such as Hills.