The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Cats Are Especially Prone to Hairball Formation, Since They Groom Themselves by Licking Their Fur The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Cats Are Especially Prone to Hairball Formation, Since They Groom Themselves by Licking Their Fur

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cats Are Especially Prone to Hairball Formation, Since They Groom Themselves by Licking Their Fur

What is a hairball? A hairball is a small collection of hair or fur formed in the stomach of animals that is occasionally vomited up when it becomes too big. Hairballs are primarily a tight elongated cylinder of packed fur, but may include bits of other elements such as swallowed food. Cats are especially prone to hairball formation since they groom themselves by licking their fur, and thereby ingest it.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says, that during a cat’s daily grooming regimen, they may inadvertently swallow loose hair, which generally passes through the digestive system into the cat’s stool. Some hair can remain, however, and collect in the stomach or small intestine, causing the cat to hack, gag or retch until he vomits the offending detritus.

How to Recognize Hairball Problems:
  • Cylindrical (cigar-shaped) masses on the floor or furniture.
  • Constipation, or hard stools with hair showing.
  • Dry, matted coat
  • Frequent dry coughing or hacking, particularly after meals
  • Lack of interest in eating.
  • Depression or lethargy.
Why Don’t Dogs get Hairballs?
Unlike cats, dogs are not particularly fastidious when it comes to cleaning themselves. Dogs can tolerate being dirty, stinky, and messy. Cats, on the other hand, groom excessively and don’t require baths. They have a naturally barbed tongue that grabs shedding hair. Because dogs don’t groom, they don’t develop hairballs

The number one way to avoid hairballs on the floor and in your cat is brushing!





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