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The Danger Zone

The Secret Language of Cats

The Hazardous Hairball

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Every cat owner becomes familiar with hairballs, those wet masses of fur that cause cats to retch and vomit. It’s a disconcerting, if completely normal, part of cat behavior. When cats groom themselves, they swallow loose hairs which eventually mat together with stomach contents (ew) to become hairballs.  What is a cat lover to do?

Groom your cat frequently.  Find a grooming tool that your cat enjoys and it’ll become a great way to spend quality time with your cat while reducing loose hairs. (We like the Furminator, pictured above.) However, discourage obsessive self-grooming. Many cats resort to grooming when they are bored, so provide scratching posts and toys to keep kitties busy. A fiber rich diet will help hair move through the digestive tract. You can also experiment with commercially available hairball food, which is packed full of fiber and nutrients to keep your companion’s coat healthy.

If these tips don’t improve the situation, speak with your veterinarian immediately. Occasionally hairballs can be a sign of a serious underlying problem which needs specialized medical attention.

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