Cats are generally fastidious self-groomers, so many pet owners don't feel the need to bring their cats in to be groomed professionally. Unfortunately, while your cat probably does a good job of keeping itself clean, its self-grooming habits could also be endangering its well-being. If you don't groom your cat, the fur your cat ingests could be putting its health at risk. Read on to learn more about this problem and what you can do about it.
Hairballs Shouldn't Be a Fact of Life
Cats are notorious for harking up hairballs, but that doesn't mean that it's something a cat should undergo. Throwing up a hairball is just like throwing up anything else; it means your cat's body is struggling to eject something that isn't agreeing with it.
Many cats can produce a hairball and go back to daily life, but hairballs aren't always effective at ridding the body of all the hair its ingested. This is where major problems can begin for your cat's health.
What Happens When Cats Can't Get Fur Out
There are two major problems that cats can experience if they can't get rid of the fur in their intestines: blockages and suffocation.
When a cat produces a hairball, it doesn't always come up easily for kitties. Depending on the size and shape of the hairball, the ball can potentially get stuck in your cat's throat, blocking the airway. If the hairball doesn't budge and the cat doesn't get help, it could potentially be unable to breathe and lose consciousness, or worse.
Furthermore, hair that stays in the intestines can cause a serious problem called a gastrointestinal blockage. These blockages can make your cat very ill and unable to eat or defecate, depending on where the blockage has occurred. Even if your cat produces a hairball successfully, hair can break as it works its way up the intestinal tract which can lead to a blockage developing even after your cat produces a mass of hair.
There are two major ways you can prevent your cat from having hairballs: regular grooming and hairball treats.
Groomings remove excess fur from your cat's coat and prevent them from ingesting it. Without eating fur on a regular basis, your cat's risk of developing a blockage or hairball is dramatically reduced.
Hairball treats are designed to be given to cats regularly and typically contain small amounts of petroleum jelly to help hairballs to pass more easily. While they're not a cure, they can help your kitty to get rid of a small amount of fur.
Having your cat groomed professionally on a regular basis can literally be a life saver. If your cat isn't getting groomed, consider adding it to your kitty's regular care to protect their health and keep them safe.Contact a vet, like Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, for more help.