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Natural Remedies to Help Your Cat Have Less Hairballs

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Cat's hairballs can be a real nuisance for pet owners. Nobody likes picking up gross, slimy things, and it's not great for your cat, either. So, if your cat constantly coughs up hairballs, it's time to take action! It might seem like a daunting task, but there are some natural remedies you can try that may help reduce the number of hairballs your cat experiences.

furry cat

What Causes Hairballs in Cats?

Before we list some natural remedies to reduce cat hairballs, let's first talk about what causes cats to have hairballs in the first place. The most common cause is that cats groom themselves constantly. During their self-grooming sessions, cats will ingest some of their fur and catch loose hairs. The fur then accumulates in your cat's digestive tract and, if it can't be digested properly, is expelled as a hairball.

Most of the hair can be easily digested and eliminated from the body, but their rough tongues would occasionally catch some passing hairballs. As the hairballs move through the narrow esophagus, they tend to look like long tubes rather than spherical in shape.

Typically, long-haired cats are more susceptible to having hairballs due to the amount of fur they can ingest while grooming. Long-haired breeds, such as Persians and Himalayans, are especially prone to hairballs. This doesn't mean that your short-haired cats won't get them, though–all cats are susceptible!

Symptoms of Hairballs in a Cat's Stomach

While the occasional hairball shouldn't be too much of a problem, you should still be aware of the symptoms that can occur in more severe cases. For example, ongoing vomiting and a swollen or hard belly can indicate that your cat has trouble digesting the hair. If you notice any signs of distress in your fur baby, immediately take your pet to the vet for a check-up.

Some of the symptoms your cats may exhibit if they're having trouble with hairballs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry or irritated skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy or lack of energy

Usually, most cats tend to vomit up hairballs on the regular, so it's important to identify the symptoms and take the proper steps to help your cat and ensure a healthy digestive tract.

petting cat

Natural Hairball Remedies for Cats

Cat parents, don't worry, loose hair doesn't have to be a permanent problem in your household. There are ways to reduce the amount of fur cats ingest while grooming, and these methods don't involve any harsh chemicals or expensive treatments.

Here are some natural remedies that may help:

1. Increase Fiber Intake

Adding fiber to your cat’s diet is an easy way to increase the amount of hair that passes through your cat’s digestive tract without causing blockages. A high-fiber diet benefits cats in more ways than one. For one, fiber helps with obesity, diabetes, digestive tract problems, diarrhea, and constipation. Plus, it gives your cat more energy!

Fiber is beneficial for the cat’s digestive system as it supports the growth of essential bacteria in the gut, regulates the movement of food through the digestive system, and helps to increase both the size and softness of stools.

You can get high-fiber cat food at the pet store or with foods like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and wet food which are all great sources of fiber and can help reduce the number of hairballs produced by your cat.

2. Give Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help reduce inflammation and hairball blocks in cats. There are many supplements available for cats that contain omega-3s, such as fish oil or krill oil. Adding these supplements to your pet's food can help reduce the number of hairballs they experience.

3. Brush Your Cat's Coat Regularly

Regular brushing can help tremendously with reducing the amount of fur cats ingest while they groom themselves. It's important to brush your cat at least once a day in order to keep their coats healthy and tangle-free.

By brushing your cat, you can also remove dead hair and mats that can cause your cat to ingest more fur during their grooming sessions. This will also help reduce any excess shedding which may lead to more hairballs down the road.

4. Avoid Using Petroleum Jelly on Your Cat's Skin and CoatFur

Avoid using petroleum jelly to treat dry skin in your cat as it contains mineral oil, which should be given to cats with caution due to its potential to drastically reduce your pet's vitamin A deposits. Talk to your vet and see if vitamin A supplements are recommended. Instead of using petroleum jelly on your cat's fur, opt for natural products such as coconut oil or almond oil to help moisturize and condition their coats. Using a little petroleum jelly on your cat’s fur can help reduce hairball formation. Apply a tiny amount of petroleum jelly on the fur near your cat’s chin, where hairballs tend to develop. This will help reduce the amount of fur that gets caught in your cat's mouth while they groom themselves.

It's been found that cats who are given a light coating of petroleum jelly before their grooming sessions tend to swallow less fur because it coats the hairs and makes them slippery. Vaseline is a great option as it's safe and non-toxic for cats.

cat getting groomed

5. Schedule Regular Grooming Sessions

Regular grooming sessions can help keep your cat's coat healthy and free from mats, which will reduce the amount of fur they swallow. Professional groomers are great at getting those hard-to-reach spots on cats that often get matted or tangled with excess hair.

Professional groomers also know how to handle cats in a way that is safe and comforting for them, so they don't get stressed out during the process. They can also check your cat's coat for fleas or ticks which may be causing discomfort and lead to more hairballs as your cat tries to groom away the irritation.

6. Increase Your Cat's Water Intake

Water is essential for a cat's health and can help reduce the number of cat hairballs they experience. Keeping your cat well-hydrated will help keep their coats healthy and lubricated, which can prevent hairballs from getting stuck in your cat's digestive system. Drinking plenty of water helps to support their digestive system as more fur passes through instead of causing a blockage.

Plus, it's important for cats to stay hydrated because they don't typically drink water on their own. Make sure there is always fresh, clean water available for your cat and pay attention to how much they're drinking to make sure they are properly hydrated throughout the day.

7. Add Olive Oil to Your Cat's Food

Adding a few drops of olive oil to your cat's food can help reduce the amount of fur they ingest while grooming. Olive oil is an emollient that helps soften and lubricate the fur, making it less likely for cats to ingest loose hairs while grooming. Plus, olive oil is rich in healthy fatty acids and provides essential vitamins and minerals for cats.

8. Look for a Hairball Control Cat FoodSwitch from Dry Food to Wet Food

Many pet stores now sell special hairball control cat foods that are specifically designed to reduce the number of hairballs cats experience. These formulas usually contain extra fiber, which helps pass the fur through the digestive system more easily. They may also contain additional vitamins and minerals that help keep coats healthy and free from mats. 

These hairball control diets can be beneficial for cats prone to hairballs, but it's important to use them in moderation as too much fiber can lead to digestive issues. Talk to your vet before switching your cat's diet.Switching from dry food to wet food can help reduce the amount of hairballs your cat experiences. Wet food contains more moisture and helps keep cats hydrated, which can also help reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy.

Wet food is also higher in fiber than dry food, so it will help aid digestion and make it easier for hair to pass through their digestive system without causing a blockage.

cat eating fish

9. Feed Your Cat More Fish

Fish is a good source of lean protein, which helps keep your cat's coat healthy and reduces shedding. Fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be beneficial for cats when it comes to reducing hairball formation.

Any fish you feed your cat should be cooked thoroughly and free from bones. You can also look for cat food with fish as an ingredient to make sure they get the nutritional benefits without any added health risks.

10. Use Hairball Remedy Treats

There are a variety of hairball remedy treats available for cats that help reduce the number of hairballs they experience. These treats contain some of the natural ingredients mentioned above, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals.

Hairball remedy treats usually come in the form of a paste or chewable tablet, making it easy to give to your cat. This is an effective way to help prevent hairballs without having to make major diet changes or take other measures.

Hairball Diets for Cats

There are many pet food brands on the market that offer hairball diets for cats. These formulas often include extra fiber to help pass fur through the digestive system, along with other vitamins and minerals to help keep coats healthy and reduce shedding. 

Some examples of hairball diets for cats typically contain high-quality ingredients that are more easily digestible than regular cat food. They also contain fiber sources such as psyllium husk and oat fiber to help keep fur from getting stuck in your cat's digestive tract. 

They can help reduce the occurrence of hairballs in cats but should be used in moderation and not as a complete replacement for your pet's regular diet. 

petting cat

Some More Reminders for Cat Owners

Remember that cats are prone to having hairballs, but there are things you can do to help reduce their occurrence and take control of this unpleasant problem. Some of these tips may seem small, but they can make a big difference in your cat's health and well-being.

By following these natural remedies, your cat can experience fewer hairballs and stay healthy and happy for years to come! Plus, you'll be able to enjoy cuddle time with your feline friend without having to worry about them getting sick from all the fur they've ingested. 

However, if your cat continues to be ill or doesn't seem to be recovering well despite these home remedies, contact a veterinarian right away, as they may have an underlying health issue that needs medical attention.