Hairballs are a big problem for some cats. While it's a common joke that cats throw up hairballs all the time, it's actually not normal for a cat to be throwing up hairballs regularly. So if your cat is doing this, you should take action to help them. Here's what you can do.
Visit the Vet
First things first: you should visit a vet. This is because hairballs are often a sign of a partial gastrointestinal blockage. In other words, a ball of hair is in the way of your cat being able to eat and digest their food, or to expel their poop, depending on where it's located. Your cat is regularly vomiting up parts of this hairball, or new hair that settles in on top of it but may not be able to dislodge the whole thing. If it becomes a full blockage, it could become life-threatening, so you need to see a vet for help.
Once your cat has been screened for a gastrointestinal blockage and treated, it's up to you to prevent this problem from happening again. Here's what you can do.
Buy a good quality grooming brush intended for pets. These brushes are designed to remove loose fur far more effectively than a standard comb or brush can, and your cat will likely love how it feels. Ask your vet how often you should groom your cat; it depends on your cat's coat and even the weather, as warm weather makes pets shed more.
Watch Out for Mats
Another problem you should keep an eye out for when you're grooming your cat is fur mats. Fur mats are essentially giant tangles that develop in the fur that look like a clump. If you find a fur mat, you need to detangle it with a specialized brush, cut it out, or go to a groomer to have it taken care of. Fur mats can yank on your cat's skin and even cause skin infections if they go on for too long. They're very painful, and if your cat manages to rip one out and swallows it, it'll definitely have a high likelihood of leading to a gastrointestinal blockage.
Gastrointestinal blockages are nothing to mess around with, so visit a vet right away if your cat throws up hairballs more than once in a few days' time. Your vet can offer additional advice and items like hairball treats that help to prevent the build-up of gastrointestinal blockages. When combined with this advice, your cat won't be barfing up hairballs anymore.
Consult reputable veterinarians to learn more.
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