by A. Grano on January 26th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Generally speaking, furballs should not be a major cause for concern. As we all know, cats tend to self-groom frequently, which leads to a lot of loose fur accumulating in the stomach. However, a healthy digestive system should naturally eliminate most of this fur, typically through the cat’s feces or by vomiting.
Unfortunately, many cats have difficulties with this natural process. Unhealthy diets containing artificial fillers combined with high levels of inactivity, can lead weak digestive systems and an inability to eliminate furballs. Long-haired cats may also be more susceptible to furball problems.
NOTE: Fur balls are usually harmless; however, in severe rare cases a cat may be unable to pass the furball, causing an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. If there is any change in the pattern of furballs, or your pet experiences weight loss, diarrhea or a picky appetite, consult with your vet.
Help for Eliminating Furballs
A few simple changes to your cat’s diet, exercise, and grooming habits can make a big difference.
- Feeding your cat a balanced diet containing fiber and oils assists the elimination process. Choose healthy, unsaturated oils such as those found in salmon and always look at the first ingredient listed on the food label. It should be an animal protein, such as chicken, fish, liver, or beef.
- Keep in mind your cat’s age and choose foods that are appropriate. A kitten will have different dietary needs than an adult or senior cat, as will a more active versus sedentary cat.
- Ensure that your cat always has access to fresh drinking water, especially if he or she eats dry food.
- Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies can provide safe and effective help to promote healthy digestion and bowel movements for your pets. Psyllium nigrum husk is a very high source of dietary fiber and supports regular bowel movements, and Aloe ferox is well known for its beneficial effect on digestive functioning and also acts as a natural systemic cleanser.
- Make sure your cat gets enough daily exercise. Buy new toys, scratching posts, and catnip to help stimulate sluggish couch potato.
- While your cat likely grooms himself, a little assistance from you can help keep furballs under control. Regular combing removes a majority of problems for long and short-haired cats. In addition, try and get your cat accustomed to taking an occasional bath. Knotted or matted hair can keep dirt, dust and debris lodged in a cat’s coat. When preening, your cat ingests these along with fur. Bathing can cut down on excessive dirt and keep fur a manageable texture.
Furball Dr.™ Helps avoid fur balls in cats by maintaining healthy digestion
Clean-Cat Shampoo with Chamomile™ Non-irritating, calming cleansing shampoo formulated for cats