By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer
As I am sitting down to write about the number one reason cats vomit- hairballs, I cannot get the image of Antonio Banderas as Puss in Shrek 2 out of my head. This handsome cat is a mercenary who is going to kill Shrek and, at the most inopportune time, he gets a hairball. He has to stop everything as the threat of the hairball takes front and center. If you have heard that familiar sound of your cat trying to bring up a hairball, you know there is no good time.
Most cats will experience occasional hairballs. A cat’s digestive system is sensitive and digestion is often complicated by the ingestion of large amounts of hair while grooming. To keep your cat healthy, and minimize the misery of hairballs, here are some preventive options that include care, nutrition and supplementation to strengthen your cat’s digestive and immune system.
- Frequent brushing. Most cats enjoy a grooming session with their favorite human or can adapt to the brush when added slowly with lots of gentle strokes.
- Plenty of fresh water. Water is important for digestion and should always be available.
- Healthy food with minimal grains. Cats are carnivores and respond to a quality diet without fillers.
- Digestive aid. Look for a digestive supplement that combines plant based enzymes with FOS, short for fructooligosaccharide. The enzymes will help to ease the digestive burden and the FOS will act as a soluble fiber to keep the system flowing and select for the growth of the healthy native bacteria in the intestine.
About 1 in 4 causes of impaction (something stuck in the digestive system) is caused by hairballs. If you employ these preventive measures, but see no improvement in your cat, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
Cats and dogs can develop digestive discomfort from eating their food too quickly? Do you have a solution to share that has worked for your pet?