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Cat hairball vomit: Worried? Causes and What To Do

The cat vomits fur flights


Cat hairball vomit: Worried? Causes and What To Do

Cat hairball vomit –  Does the cat vomit hairballs? As annoying as it really is, it’s not really a problem: that’s why don’t worry if you vomit hairballs.

The cat vomits fur flights: is it natural or is it a problem? (Adobe Stock photo)

We know the cat as an extremely clean animal: with its tongue it always manages to take care of its hygiene. Its fur is always shiny thanks to the cleaning of its tongue which removes surface dirt. Then imagining a cat who has vomiting is not so easy, yet unfortunately it happens. But it doesn’t have to be entirely negative. There are several methods to stimulate vomiting in the cat, precisely because it is an operation sometimes desired to make him feel better. Let’s see what are the reasons why the cat vomits hairballs and what to do to make him feel better.

Hairballs: what they are

Longhair cat
Longhair cat (Pixabay photo)

The cat is a clean animal, and this is known. He wants his bowl to be cleaned, that the litter box is sanitized and to have a space separate from the other rooms for his rest. But at what price all this? His habit of cleaning his hair with his tongue (Read here: Why one cat licks the other: the 4 main reasons), licking his coat with his tongue also has negative sides. How does a cat manage to pull dead hair away? Thanks to his tongue which has hooks on the surface, to which the hairs get stuck precisely, the surface layer of the coat is removed but is swallowed. The hair is ‘deposited’ in the stomach and sooner or later it must come out.

When we don’t brush the hair regularly we can’t even help it growth of new fleece. The cat will be forced to remove it by itself, with the tongue: these masses, hair bales (or boluses), are swallowed by the cat and, once accumulated, they go out with episodes of vomiting or create constipation and digestion problems.

The hairballs they are masses of fur, united with saliva and undigested food. They have a tubular shape (which we can see when they come out) precisely because they occupy the space between the cat’s throat and anus. If the ball reaches too large a diameter, it will no longer pass through the intestine and must be ‘chased’ out of the mouth through vomiting. They can also be lethal to cat health, since they can obstruct not only the intestine but also the cat’s respiratory system.

The cat vomits hairballs: is it bad?

Puss licks itself
Pussy licks (Adobe Stock Photo)

The answer is probably ‘ni’! The real health problem would be exactly the opposite, namely that of not being able to eliminate hairballs. It is equally true that, however, seeing our cat vomiting is not beautiful and seeing him suffer in expelling these fur balls is not comforting. The fleece accumulated in the stomach can create real plugs to the intestine. This prevents him from getting rid of it with a normal digestive process. The only way to expel them is to throw them up: there are gods on the market products that act as scrubs for the esophagus and intestines, cleaning the ducts that will lead the hair out.

During the spring and autumn seasons the cat loses fur due to the wetsuit (Read here: The cat loses fur: seasonal wetsuit or illness?): It will often happen to find tufts of fur on the sofa or on the ground. These will be the signals that will show us the cat’s habit of licking more during that period. In fact, the boluses that are ingested are the hairs that the cat has managed to remove from its coat. And we have our share of responsibility, because we have not done our duty as masters.

What to do to avoid hairballs

Given that the cat can only get rid of excess dead hair through vomiting, it is not said that it is right to get it to the limit. We could avoid creating the situation and ensure that the cat does not really need to vomit. Here’s what we can do to keep the dead hair from depositing on its coat.

  • Brush it regularly: in this way it would promote the regrowth of new hair and avoid the ingestion of the hair by the cat. We can use brushes or gloves to wear that eliminate the surface layer of the feline coat.
  • Give him specific food: some foods, which have a rough consistency and are rich in fiber, help the intestine to cleanse itself and more easily remove hairballs from the rectum.
  • Catnip: this precious plant stimulates digestion in the feline, cleans its stomach and esophagus, as well as giving a pleasant sensation of freshness in the mouth (Learn more here: Catnip: what is the plant loved by cats for)

We take care not to give him too fiber-rich foods: they can cause episodes of diarrhea, bloating and intestinal gas. Protein-rich foods promote the growth of a healthier and more resistant coat. Even the fatty acids (or EFA) do their part in helping the digestive system.

When to be alarmed if the cat vomits hairballs

Longhair cat
Why longhair cats suffer from bolus vomiting (Photo Pixabay)

We could say that it is completely natural for the cat to get rid of these masses of fur accumulated in its digestive system, but when should I contact a veterinarian? In fact there are some signs that should alarm us, for example when the cat:

  • can’t defecate,
  • often complains,
  • cries,
  • suffers from lethargy,
  • suffers from loss of appetite and does not drink,
  • has a swollen abdomen and does not like to be touched,
  • retching is frequent.

The vomiting episodes certainly have negative sides: the acid that remains in the stomach can lead to diseases such as ulcers, the erosion of the lining around the stomach. Furthermore, these episodes can bring with them other problems, such as: dehydration, acceleration of the heartbeat, impaired pressure, convulsions etc.

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