Cats groom themselves several times a day not only because they are clean animals by nature, but also as a means of removing the loose hairs that accumulate. Due to the frequency of their grooming, cats will often get hairballs as the hairs collect in their stomach.
This accumulation eventually leads to the cat vomiting up the hairballs on your floors or furniture. To ease the cat’s discomfort and keep your house hairball-free, try out any one of many different home remedies for cat hairballs.
A natural way to reduce the number of hairballs your cat gets is to feed it a diet that is rich in fiber. The fiber will not only keep your cat healthy but will also reduce the amount of loose hair that causes hairballs in the first place. Dry and wet cat food often comes in high fiber versions… Cat grass, sold in most pet stores, also has a naturally high fiber content.
Dehydration can also exacerbate hairballs, so be sure that your cat has ready access to plenty of freshwaters.
Treatments at home
Sometimes a simple treatment that you can perform yourself is all your kitty needs to feel better. Here are a few techniques:
- Use Hairball Gels. These treatments lubricate your cat’s stools and swallowed fur. They can also help regulate your feline’s digestive tract.
- Feed them treats designed to get rid of hairballs. There are specially designed treats that can help your cat get rid of a stubborn hairball.
- Give your cat oils or butter. A little oil or butter will lubricate the intestinal system and help expel hairballs.
Non-Petroleum Jelly and Fish Oil
Lubricants will help prevent hairball build-up and make existing hairballs much easier for your cat to pass, hopefully eliminating the need to vomit them up. Non-petroleum jelly is a natural lubricant that is safe to give to your cat several days a week. Place a dot of the jelly on top of your cat’s nose, where it will lick it off and coat its stomach. Another natural lubricant with similar effects is fish oil, which should be added to your cat’s foods once a day; about one teaspoon is usually enough.
Butter and Canned Pumpkin
Two of the most popular food-based lubricants for reducing and eliminating hairballs are butter and canned pumpkin. You may give your cat a small amount of butter, no more than a teaspoon, two or three times a week, either on its own or with food — whichever your cat prefers. A teaspoon of canned pumpkin may be given to your cat with its food once a day.
Once you have treated the hairball condition your cat already has, take steps to prevent future hairball problems as much as possible. The first and easiest way to do this, is by brushing your cat every day to remove the loose hairs your cat is looking to lick up. If you have a medium or long-haired cat, consider keeping its hair trimmed short to further reduce hairball issues.