As your cat grooms himself, loose hair winds up in his stomach. Because this hair cannot get digested properly, it may clump together and form a ball. This hairball may also contain some food mixed in. When your cat can’t pass the hairball, he will make a sort of hacking or gagging sound as he coughs it up. As anyone who has seen them knows, these can be nasty.
More importantly, these hairballs can not only be discomforting for your kitty, but they can cause blocking in the intestines and be life threatening. Always be on the lookout to see if your cat is not eating normally and or is constipated. If so, take your cat to the vet to have your buddy checked out. If the problem is a hairball, your vet can remove it.
As you can see prevention of hairballs is extremely important. Groom your pet often—especially long haired cats. Combing and brushing will remove excess hair. If your cat is like mine and doesn’t like to be groomed, try using one of those grooming gloves.
There are also special cat foods you can buy to prevent hairballs. Just be sure it is good quality food that contains sufficient protein and nutrients. I recently bought some Whiskas Indoor Cat Food that contains hairball control and my cat loves it. You can also get some gels that will help your cat to pass a hairball. But be sure to check with your vet before using them.
There are supposedly some natural remedies that can be used for hairball treatment. But again, please check with your vet first.