Hairballs are such a common feline problem that many owners have accepted dealing with them as a normal part of cat ownership. But the reality is, hairballs are not a normal occurrence for cats with healthy digestive tracts.
If your kitty is regularly coughing up hairballs, follow the three steps listed below to get to the bottom of the problem:
1. Make a vet appointment: The first step is to visit the veterinarian to rule out serious medical conditions. The vet will likely perform a physical to catch any dermatological problems that could be increasing shedding. A fecal exam, a blood panel, and a urinalysis may also be recommended to rule out other health issues.
2. Bulk up the fiber: Dietary fiber helps hair pass through the digestive tract without clumping. One healthy way to add some fiber to your cat’s diet is to mix a little canned pumpkin in with her normal food. Just be sure to opt for plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Products with psyllium fiber, like Feline Furball Plus, may also be helpful.
3. Consider a diet change: Food allergies can lead to gastrointestinal inflammation, which can trigger chronic hairballs. Speak with your cat’s vet about the possibility of switching to a prescription hypoallergenic food.
Getting to the root of your cat’s hairball problem will help ensure your feline companion is healthy and feeling her best.