Diseases conditions of cats

Hairballs in Cats

Hairballs in Cats

Dealing with Feline Hairballs

Hairballs are not among the many endearing qualities of long-haired cats, but they are part of the package. How should you deal with them? Here are some answers.

Hairballs, also called trichobezoar or fur balls, develop when a cat grooms herself with her tongue and ingests the hair. This hair forms into a mat or a ball within the digestive system and often leads to gastrointestinal symptoms, especially if it obstructs the pathway of food from the stomach. As it makes its way further into your cat's system, it can cause constipation.

What You Should Look For

Common symptoms include vomiting or regurgitation. Often the hairball is brought up, but it may be preceded by fluid or food. Occasionally, you may hear a dry cough or it may sound like your cat has something stuck in the back of the throat. Your cat may also experience constipation.

Treatment of Feline Hairballs

There are several things you can do to treat hairballs. These include: