Cats spend a lot of time grooming and personal hygiene. If your velvet paw brushes its fur with the cat tongue, it will also swallow a few cat hairs and hairballs can form. However, this only happens if too many cat hairs get into the digestive tract. This is usually designed to shed the swallowed hair, but sometimes it doesn't work as well. When does your fur nose need medical help?
Vomiting hairballs: is the cat sick?
If hairballs have formed in the digestive tract, your cat tries to vomit them. If this happens only once in a while, about once every one to two weeks, and your room tiger appears otherwise healthy and alert, you don't have to go to the vet. Nevertheless, keep an eye on your velvet paw if vomiting occurs more often or your health deteriorates. Disease symptoms include loss of appetite and weight loss, apathy and exhaustion, behavior changes (unusual withdrawal, unusual confidence or sudden aggressiveness) as well as constipation or diarrhea. Then you should have your cat examined by a veterinarian.
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Intestinal obstruction through hairballs: off to the vet!
Cats may also try to vomit hairballs but fail to do so. They then make the typical gagging movements and noises associated with vomiting, but the hairballs don't come out. If this behavior is repeated several times, a visit to the veterinarian is also recommended. It may be that the hair in the digestive tract is so unhappy that it cannot be excreted or vomited. In this case, an intestinal obstruction threatens, which can even be life-threatening. Therefore, caution is better than forbearance.
How to prevent hairball problems
You can support your cat in grooming so that it swallows less hair and reduces the risk of hairballs. You can also help her with certain nutritional supplements and healthy oils and fats for digestion, so that the swallowed hair is more easily excreted and does not collect in the stomach or intestines. Ask your veterinarian for advice on which products and foods he recommends.