Every cat person becomes more familiar than they’d wish with hairballs, those wet masses of fur that cause cats to retch and vomit. It’s a disconcerting though completely normal part of cat behaviour. When cats groom themselves, they swallow loose hairs, which eventually mat together with stomach contents (ew) to become hairballs. Luckily, hairballs can be minimized with a few simple strategies. First, make sure you groom your cat frequently. Find a grooming tool (we like the Love Glove and the Furminator) that your cat enjoys and it will become a great way to spend quality time with your cat, with the added bonus of reducing loose hairs and, hence, hairballs. Secondly, discourage obsessive self-grooming. Many cats resort to grooming when they are bored, so provide scratching posts and toys to keep your kitty busy.
Also check how much fiber your cat is getting on a daily basis. A fiber-rich diet will help hair move through the digestive tract instead of up and out on to your floor. If these tips don’t improve the situation, speak with your veterinarian. Occasionally hairballs can be a sign of a serious underlying problems from bowel impaction to kidney disease.