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Healthy Cats

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What to Do About Hairballs in Cats

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4 Hairball Remedies

Nothing can be done to totally prevent hairballs in cats, but there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood your cat will have hairballs or reduce their frequency.

  1. Groom your cat regularly. The more fur you remove from your cat, the less fur that will end up as hairballs in her stomach. Combing or brushing your cat on a daily basis can be an effective way to minimize hairballs, and it can also provide a fun way for you to bond with your cat. If you can’t get your cat accustomed to brushing, think about taking her to a professional groomer for a grooming and hair cut (especially for long-haired cats) every six months or so.
  2. Give your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food. Many pet food manufacturers now make hairball-reduction cat foods. These high-fiber formulas are designed to improve the health of your cat’s coat, minimize the amount of shedding, and encourage hairballs in cats to pass through the digestive system.
  3. Use a hairball product or laxative. There are a number of different hairball products on the market today, most of which are mild laxatives that help hairballs pass through the digestive tract.
  4. Discourage excessive grooming. If you suspect that your cat’s hairballs are a result of compulsive grooming, try to train your cat to do another enjoyable activity instead of licking his coat. This might include teaching him to play with a new toy on his own or finding a fun toy you can play with together.

WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on May 12, 2014
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