Hairballs 101

Have you ever seen your cat cough up a hairball? It’s not exactly a pleasant sight. The question is, are hairballs harmful in any way, and can you help your cat experience fewer of them? Learn more here from an Ellicott City, MD vet.

How Do Hairballs Form?

Your cat swallows a lot of hair while grooming. Most of it moves through the digestive system and gets expelled in fecal matter, but some remains in the gut. That hair clumps together in a hairball, which eventually gets regurgitated.

Are Hairballs Harmful?

The occasional hairball is a normal part of life for your cat and shouldn’t cause harm. However, if a cat is coughing up hairballs frequently, something might be wrong. Also, rush your cat to the emergency room if they’re retching and gagging but not actually emitting a hairball—your pet might be choking.

How Can I Help My Cat Cough Up Fewer Hairballs?

Feed your cat a high-quality diet to keep shedding to a minimum, and brush her daily to get rid of loose fur. These steps reduce the amount of hair your cat swallows.

Call your animal hospital Ellicott City, MD to make an appointment for your pet.