Why does my cat get furballs?

Why does my cat get furballs? main image Why does my cat get furballs? image

Buy the right food to help your pet digest their food....

Cats are designed to be able to digest fur and have it pass through their systems and be eliminated with bowel actions. Thus, cats can eat furry animals, such as mice without a problem. They can also spend time licking themselves to remove dead hair and swallowing it as they groom.

Sometimes, however, there is a build-up of fur in the gut and cats need to vomit up the balls of fur to feel better. Long haired cats in particular suffer from fur balls but even short haired cats will bring them up from time to time. The wad of fur will be covered in slimy stomach juice which is not nice to have to clean up.

If this happens once every month or so, there is nothing to worry about. However, cats vomiting up fur balls frequently need further investigation by a vet.

One way to help your cat expel fur appropriately is to add more fibre to their diet. Some dry cat foods are especially designed for fur ball control and are fibre rich. The idea is that the high fibre food will push the fur along the gastro intestinal tract so it can pass normally. A small quantity of psyllium or bran can be added to a cats diet, but this has to be carefully monitored to make sure you don’t induce diarrhoea. Commercial preparations of fur ball treatments will give an appropriate dose and remove the guess work. Increased fibre in the diet will increase the amount of stools passed, and also increase your cats need for water, so don’t overdo it.

You can also use petroleum jelly fur ball products- these aren’t absorbed by the gut and help push the fur balls through.

The other thing that makes sense to minimise your cat’s fur balls, is to groom it. Cats love being pampered, so get a soft brush and make a regular habit of brushing your cat. What you brush off can’t be eaten!

Finally, remember it’s natural for a cat to eat fur, so don’t be overly concerned with occasional fur balls, and seek veterinary help if you’re concerned.