HAIRBALLS: IS YOUR CAT SPITTING OUT WAY TOO MANY OF THEM?
Gag. Hack. Hack. Spit. And you are presented with an unwanted gift of a slimy looking ball of hair!
Hairballs are a reality cat-owners learn to live with, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Cats swallow hair as they groom themselves, and if the hair is not pushed through the digestive tract, collect in the stomach. When there are enough hair to disturb the system, the stomach ejects them in the form of a slimy hairball. Though hairballs are more common in long-haired breeds but any cat with insufficient roughage in their diet can have them.
The most common treatment available for hairballs is petroleum jellies. Not only are they not an effective treatment, they are quite dangerous because petroleum products are immune suppressants and carcinogens.
Cats in the wild not only swallow their own hair, but the fur attached to their prey as well. And you have surely not seen animal trekkers on TV stumbling upon hairballs in the wild! So how come cats in the wild can pass the hair through their system and their domestic counterparts cannot?
The answer is simpler than you think. It’s the food! If you feed your cat a natural diet with plenty of raw bones, raw meat in chunks (not ground), finely chopped wheatgrass, raw vegetables, and give them plenty of fresh water to drink, their digestive tracts will be able to push all that hair out of the system. To help your cat further, add olive, flaxseed, or any other oil as lubricant.
During shedding season, add pre-soaked psyllium husk to your cat’s food. The simplest way to prepare psyllium for your pet is to add ¼ cup powdered psyllium husk into ¾ cup warm water or broth and let stand until it turns into a soft gel. Add 1 teaspoon of this gel to their meal morning and evening, keep the rest refrigerated.
Adding diatomaceous earth also helps prevent this condition; make sure to get the food grade quality product.
Daily brushing is the secret behind healthy coat, and it also helps prevent hairballs. If your cat doesn’t mind getting slightly wet, spray some chamomile tea after brushing. It doesn’t prevent hairballs but it protects the cat from developing dandruff and skin irritations, which in turn prevents unusual amount of licking and thus hairballs; and it also smells great!