Most cat owners think chasing their feline companion off the carpet while they are hacking a hairball is just part of life in owning a cat. However, hairballs can be a clinical sign of an underlying medical issue. Your cat could be either ingesting too much hair, or being unable to move it through. Our feline friends are meant to groom their own fluffiness and swallow what they groom, but it is meant to pass through them. Calling a hairball just a hairball isn’t always correct. Has your cat been producing more hairballs than normal or have they always produced hairballs frequently? In all cats, but particularly shorthaired cats with frequent hairballs, it could be a sign of GI disease.
Hairballs are caused by an abnormal digestive tract and can also indicate other health issues. The most common health issues to cause over-grooming in cats are: dermatologic diseases, psychological distress, and pain. To determine what is actually causing the hairball, a visit with your veterinarian is indicated.
There are ways you can help your feline friend to decrease the frequency of hairballs. Using a metal comb or the furminator to groom them can rid them of access fur. You can also make sure they are staying hydrated and eating the correct diet. Keeping your cat in an enriched and safe environment can also decrease their stress which will decrease their shedding.
So how do you know if your cat’s hairball is JUST a hairball? Call Just Cats today to find out!