Where do cats store hairballs?

Last Update: May 30, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Prof. Cade Crona III
Score: 4.6/5 (75 votes)

Hairballs are clumps of fur that collect in your cat's stomach as a result of the grooming process. Though most of the hair that cats swallow passes through the digestive system and ends up in the stool, some of it remains in the stomach or small intestine.

How do I know if my cat has a hairball stuck?

Gastrointestinal blockages require prompt surgical intervention, so if your cat has any of these symptoms of a possible blockage, see your veterinarian immediately:
  1. repeated unproductive retching.
  2. lethargy.
  3. lack of appetite.
  4. constipation.
  5. diarrhea.

What does cat hairball look like?

Hairballs usually come out some shade of their fur with a brown, green, or orange tint because they are made up of your cat's hair, discolored by stomach acid, and mixed with mucus or dyed with cat food.

How do indoor cats get rid of hairballs?

A teaspoon of fish, safflower, or flax oil added to your cat's food can coat a hairball, allowing it to pass through your kitty's system. Another option is a hairball prevention jelly containing slippery elm, marshmallow, or papaya. These are usually given once or twice a week.

What happens if a cat can't cough up a hairball?

In rare cases, if the hairball won't come up or pass out, it can cause an uncomfortable tickle in your cat's stomach. When this happens, she'll try to regurgitate it and you'll hear these typical retching noises.

HAIRBALLS in CATS - Symptoms and Treatment Options

22 related questions found

Does wet cat food help with hairballs?

Does wet food help with hairballs? Yes, they do. Wet food aids in the passing of hair through the tract because it's easy to digest, which means it passes through the body quickly, not allowing hair time to form a ball. Therefore, cats that are on a diet of just wet food will have reduced hairballs.

How do you help a cat throw up a hairball?

4 Hairball Remedies
  1. Groom your cat regularly. The more fur you remove from your cat, the less fur that will end up as hairballs in their stomach. ...
  2. Give your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food . ...
  3. Use a hairball product or laxative. ...
  4. Discourage excessive grooming.

What is the best thing to give a cat for hairballs?

Provide your cat with a small amount of canned tuna or sardines occasionally. Another effective option is to dip your cat's paw into some petroleum jelly. They'll lick it off, and the jelly will line the digestive tract to help the hair pass through their system.

What cat food helps with hairballs?

Hill's® Science Diet® Hairball Control Cat Food
  • Precisely balanced nutrition helps control and avoid the formation of hairballs when fed on a daily basis.
  • Natural vegetable fibers help move hair through a cat's system with no drugs or artificial lubricants that may interfere with normal digestion and nutrient absorption.

Can I give my cat butter for hairballs?

Butter is fairly common as a hairball remedy, but it should be used with caution. While fat is a necessary part of a balanced diet for your cat, some cats don't tolerate it well, which can lead to upset stomach and pancreatitis.

Are hairballs painful for cats?

Vomiting an occasional hairball is normal for most cats. However, if the vomiting is persistent, is frequent or appears to be painful, it may indicate a more serious health issue.

How often should cats throw up hairballs?

Most cats vomit 1-2 hairballs each month, with long-haired cats or those that groom excessively having hairballs more often.

When should I take my cat to the vet for hairballs?

A cat that is lethargic, refuses to eat for more than a day or two or has had repeated episodes of unproductive retching or true vomiting should be examined by a veterinarian without delay, he advises. It's possible that the frequent hacking has nothing at all to do with hairballs.

Can a hairball get stuck in a cat?

If a hairball is stuck in your cat's intestines or stomach for a long time, it may mineralize and become very hard. Sometimes, when a cat is vomiting a hairball, it can get stuck and cause damage to the esophagus (e.g., megaesophagus, strictures).

Do hairballs make cats feel sick?

Hairballs are a common cause of vomiting and also can contribute to constipation. However, vomiting immediately after eating can be a sign that your cat eats too quickly or perhaps the type of food (for instance, dry versus canned) is irritating your cat's gastrointestinal tract.

Can cats choke to death on hairballs?

A large hairball ( known as a trichobezoar) can cause a blockage in a cat's intestinal tract and cause your cat to choke to death. ... At their worst, ignored hairball issues could lead to impaction and even death.

What do vets recommend for hairballs?

Best hairball medicine overall: Tomlyn Laxatone Hairball Remedy for Cats. Best hairball relief supplements: Vet's Best Hairball Relief Digestive Aid. Best gel hairball medicine: Nutri-Vet Hairball Paw Gel.

Does Vaseline work for hairballs?

Internal Lubricant

Just a dab of Vaseline is enough to coat hairballs and ease their passage through the intestines.

How long does it take for a cat to pass a hairball?

The digestive process takes around 7-12 hours in cats. Other times, hair collects in the stomach and forms into a hairball. This process takes slightly longer, but healthy hairballs should pass within 24-48 hours.

How much olive oil should I give my cat?

Moreover, it is recommended to give a small cat three tablespoons of olive oil a week. A medium-sized cat can have up to half a tablespoon a day. A large cat can have up to half a spoonful a day.

Does coconut oil help with hairballs?

Internally, coconut oil can benefit a cat's immune system, help with hairballs, reduce arthritis inflammation, improve bad breath, and help with a healthy stomach, she says.

Do cat hairballs look like poop?

A hairball is usually shaped like a cylinder. If you see one on your favorite rug, you might mistake it at first for feces. Hairballs are often about the same size and shape as a log of cat poop.

Why does my cat keep gagging but not throwing up?

Ingestion of Foreign Object

If an item is stuck in your cat's throat, he may gag without ever vomiting. If there is a blockage in his digestive system, he may gag and vomit frequently and may have a swollen abdomen as well. Take him to the vet immediately if this occurs.

How do you prevent hairballs in cats naturally?

3 Ways to Naturally Reduce Hairballs
  1. Brushing/Hair Removal. Brushing your cat more frequently is the easiest way to reduce hairballs. ...
  2. Digestive Aids & Fiber. Adding digestive enzymes to your cat's food can help dramatically reduce hairballs. ...
  3. Fish Oil.

Does dry food help with hairballs?

Indoor cats can get into hairier situations if they don't have enough moisture in their diet so be sure your cat gets a mix of wet food with her dry food and plenty of fresh water to drink. ... He or she may recommend certain hairball medications or adding other types of fiber to your cat's diet.