As the pet owner of one or more cats, you know how often they spend self-grooming and licking themselves. This is a natural process; 15% of their lives are spent self-cleaning. This meticulous habit can seem annoying to the humans, bringing forth the hairball. Not only does the hairball invade your home and furnishings, it can get caught in a cat’s intestinal tract and cause a blockage and serious health concerns. Call your local Rockford-area veterinarian as listed below or one closest to your home for help in diagnosing your cat and finding appropriate treatment options regarding the hair balls.
Most often long-haired breeds of cats have more difficulties with hair balls. As they are self-grooming themselves, the hook-like structures of the tongue grabs onto the loose hairs and are inadvertently swallowed. Many of the hairs are passed through the cats’ system without a problem although many of them get trapped on the way to the stomach, causing the cat to gag, retch and hack when trying to bring them up. However, if all the gagging and hacking does not bring up the hairball, that could be a serious symptom requiring medical attention. Other signs to watch for are a loss of appetite, lethargy and bowel problems. If you notice any of these signs, get kitty to the Vet immediately.
To help minimize the issue with hairballs in your cat, there are some steps you can take. You may not be able to stop the problem completely because cats need to self-groom for various reasons, but you can lessen it.
- To begin with, bathe and groom your cat more frequently. Through daily brushing and combing of your cat, you are not only bonding but also removing a lot of the loose fur that may otherwise be swallowed. It is always best to get kitty used to being handled as a youngster in order to have that bonding time to bathe and groom. If your cat is uncooperative, seek a professional groomer for the health of your cat.
- Try to discourage obsessive self-grooming by introducing your cat to other fun activities like a new fun toy. When you notice the cat licking, bring out that toy for some fun playtime together.
- Special hi-fiber cat foods are available which improves the cat’s healthy coat, reducing the amount of shedding fur. Treats are also available which contain mineral oil in order to break up a hairball, making it easier to pass.
- Several products are available on the market today with mild laxatives which helps your cat eliminate the hairballs through his digestive tract.
Your veterinarian can advise you regarding proper treatment for your cat with hairball problems. Cats lick frequently for more purposes than just to look his best (as discussed in one of my previous articles) so hairballs may not be eliminated completely – but you can help to reduce the problem and provide a healthier life for your cat.
If you are seeking Veterinary assistance in the Rockford area, you can check out one of these at - Rockford Vet Clinics, Bellwood Vet, Rockford Veterinarians, Perryville Veterinarian , Cat Veterinarians Specialists
For all your pets needs and accessories in the Rockford area, go to your local PETCO - 6305 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 229-0184 - Petco or your local PETSMART - 6320 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 397-7880 - Petsmart -PETLAND, (815) 332-4200 - Petland
For many of your pet essentials, visit your local Rockford-area CVS pharmacies. There are four convenient locations - 3134 11th Street, Rockford, IL 61109, (815)398-0048 - 110 S Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61108 - 3718 Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103, (815)877-9620 - 2454 S. Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61108, (815)399-5421 - CVS Pharmacy
For Rockford, Illinois and area residents, if you need great care for your furry best friends, while on vacation, at work or anytime, check out this site at Domesti Staffing Pet Care. You can contact Carol with any questions at Domestic Staffing Contact. She is quick with her responses. For other great local pet care – go to - Pet Care in Rockford, Happy Paws Pet Care, Dave’s Doggie Den Pet Care.
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