February 28, 2022 4 min read
Cats sprout 60,000 hairs per square inch on their backs and about 120,000 hairs per square inch on their undersides. That means your cat is carrying around 40 million hairs—give or take a few million depending on the breed.
It takes more than hair to make a hairball, though. Cats have spikes on their tongues to help hold prey in their mouths. These spikes also help them groom by pulling loose hair out of their bodies. Some of that hair gets swallowed where it mixes with goodies in the stomach to become a hairball.
Most hairballs are harmless, but some can have life-threatening consequences. A large or hard hairball can block a cat’s digestive tract, preventing elimination. It can also cause the cat to stop eating.
Signs and symptoms of hairball impaction in cats include include:
* If your cat shows any of the above signs, contact your veterinarian and express your concern about your cat’s hairball issues.
Can you eliminate hairballs in cats? Probably not, especially if you have a long-haired kitty. You can, however,help reduce their impact on your cat’s life and health. To help prevent hairballs, try of these tactics:
* Check with your veterinarian before using any oils, butters, gels, or laxatives to help your cat pass a hairball.
Can Mother Nature help prevent or minimize hairballs in your cat? As a matter of fact, homeopathic options for cats can be a good choice. Let's take a look at a few:
Cats don’t actually cough up hairballs. They vomit them.
Cat hair doesn't come from the lungs but from the digestive tract. If your cat shows signs of labored breathing or excessive coughing, he could have asthma instead of a hairball.
Take him to the vet. If your cat is puking up many hairballs in a week, that could signal a problem, too.
* Again, you should always discuss excessive coughing, vomiting, or hairballs with your pet’s medical professional.
Handling hairballs is part of loving a cat. In general, they are a bigger problem for people than for cats because we get tasked with the cleanup.
But keep an eye on your pet. Groom her, feed her nourishing food, and keep her engaged. Any time a pet starts to retch, cough, or throw up, make sure to pay close attention. If something worries you, consult your vet.
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