It's that thing cats do.
They just can't help themselves….
You're never going to stop your cat from grooming. It's an innate behavior. They have to do it.
They groom themselves to maintain their coat, to maintain their body temperature and to comfort themselves when they're nervous and stressed.
Healthy cats can spend up to half their day grooming. But all that polishing can produce an unwelcome side effect: hair balls.
Some cats will vomit them. And as much as that it's an annoying behavior, it's nicer that they vomit them than get them stuck.
Cats can get essentially like a fossilized old hairball that obstructs their GI tract and they need surgery to have it removed.
So how can you reduce those dreaded clumps of matted hair? By grooming your cat yourself.
Go in the direction the hair naturally lays. That's how mom would groom the kittens and get them used to and learn the grooming process.
If you keep the coat maintained and help them, then they have less fur that they'll ingest.
Be sure to de-fuzz your cat's hangouts as well... cat condos, their bed, your bed….
If those things aren't as hairy, they won't ingest as much fur. So keeping the environment clean and keeping your pet clean will result in less hair balls.
If regular grooming doesn't stop the cycle, add a high fiber diet.
Just look for a hairball control diet. They're available in dry and canned.
There's a lot of treats on the market that will help with hairball control. Again, high fiber treats.
You can also try a mild laxative…
You can use petroleum jelly you have at home. A lot of cats will actually enjoy it and eat it up willingly.
If your cat's not a fan, there are over the counter products that come in tuna and other cat friendly flavors.
Some cats don't like them at all and you just have to put it in a syringe and squirt it in their mouth,
because they need the help and they have chronic hairballs and that's their medicine. But if they'll eat it willingly, that's always our preference.
If over-the-counter remedies work, can you then stop grooming your cat?
Ideally, no. Your cat still should benefit from some brushing. The other reason is it's important is because at some point, they're going to need you to help them.
So if they enjoy pleasure combing while they're young and are maintaining their coat on their own, when they're 15 and they need you to do it,
they'll be more agreeable to it, versus starting grooming when they're 15 and they're matted and their joints hurt.
They're not going to be super thrilled about being combed out at that point….
Good advice. After all, cranky older cats still have their teeth and claws….