Your cat’s health is important. Your veterinarian can teach you all about the many health conditions your cat could experience, but it is also important to learn about such things on your own. If you want to be sure that your cat is getting the best care possible, you need to watch for signs that something may be wrong with your pet. One common medical condition that affects many cats is hairballs. While hairballs are normal for a cat to some extent, you should contact your, veterinarian, immediately if you think the problem is out of control.
Cats get hairballs mainly because they spend so much time cleaning themselves. Although cats do not like water, they do like being very clean at all times, and they do so, of course, by licking their fur. Your cat probably grooms many times every day. Because cats also shed, they swallow a lot of their hair. Most of this passes naturally through the cat’s system, but occasionally the hair becomes matted and entwined in the stomach, causing a hairball that is too large to pass through the system. When this happens, the cat vomits the hairball.
If your cat seems to have an abnormally high amount of hairballs, you should talk to your veterinarian. About a quarter of all digestive blockages in cats come from hairballs that cannot pass or be vomited and this can make your cat very sick. Huge hairballs the size of baseballs have been known to form in a cat’s stomach. A hairball of that size can easily kill your cat.
There are several signs you will see in a cat having a problem with hairballs. If your cat is retching often, has a change in digestion, or has a swollen abdomen, he or she may have a problem with hairballs. Your veterinarian can give you cat-flavored medication that your pet will love. Contained inside are non-digestible oil lubricants that will help your cat pass hairballs easier. Taking this medication regularly will prevent your cat from ever forming such hairballs. Another great way to prevent hairballs from forming is a high-fiber diet, possibly including a fiber supplement. Home remedies, on the other hand, are not a good idea, because they could cause other problems with your cat’s digestive system.
When in doubt, call your cat’s veterinarian. Animal doctors are specially trained to help you help your pets. When you report health abnormalities to your veterinarian, you can best keep your cat healthy and safe, no matter how many hairballs may form.
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