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Treat Cat Hair Balls - Vet’s Advice On How To Treat Cat Hair Balls

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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How do you treat cat hairballs?

How to treat cat hair balls is common question. Hair balls arise from cats licking their fur as their hair become dead, it becomes loose and they swallow it as they groom. Most of the time the hair works its way through the stomach and intestines without a problem. However, sometimes hair will accumulate in the esophagus (the tube that takes food from the mouth to the stomach) or in the stomach causing a blockage or an upset stomach. Many times after hair accumulates, cats will regurgitate or vomit up the hair ball.

How to treat cat hair balls is rather simple.

First, keep your cat groomed. Brush him daily if possible. If possible, make it "fun". Comb or brush out the dead loose hair so he or she can't ingest it.

Second, you can give hair ball products to treat cat hairballs. These products are petroleum-based and act as a lubricant and laxative to help move the hair through the gastrointestinal tract. Most products are made to have a pleasing taste and should be offered as a reward or treat. One brand is called "Laxatone®", however there are many brands. Some have different flavors including malt, liver or chicken. Choose a flavor that your cat might like and try offering it as a "reward". If he likes it, praise him. If he doesn't, you can apply a dab on each paw and allow him to lick it off.

There are cat foods that are formulated to help prevent hairballs. There are also treats that have mineral oil that can also help hairballs, such as Pounce®. There are several manufacturers that market these treats or food.

Dr. Debra


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