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Cough, Cough!

March 8, 2018

Your cat and fur-balls

UA- Cough, cough, Fur balls

Ever been awoken from a stupor by a hacking noise? Have you accidentally trod on a sodden ball of fluff? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions chances are you have a cat in your life.

Fur balls are a small price to pay to have such magnificent creatures in our lives. But are there ways to reduce how many soggy fur landmines you run into? Well good news, you can employ a few tricks to help reduce fur balls, however the chances of your cat never having one again are slim. Why is this?

Well the main cause of fur balls is grooming, your cat is an expert groomer, your cat also has a lot of fur. So the more they groom the more fur they will inadvertently swallow, trouble is fur isn’t made to be digested, so it has to come out, one way or another. As self-groomers your cat swallows a lot of fur. How it’s passed can depend on many things, your cat’s breed, the type of coat they have, their diet and how often they groom.

Knowing how and why most fur balls occur helps in treating severe cases. So if your cat seems to be having trouble it is important to consult your vet, other factors in your pets health can sometimes contribute to excessive fur balls and it’s important to have a discussion with your vet to rule these out. Remember as self-groomers, more often than not your cat will occasionally bring up a fur-ball, however if you are concerned it’s always a good idea to speak with your vet.

What can you do at home to help alleviate your cats fur balls?

Well it’s important to consider the traits of the BREED of cat. Long haired breeds tend to have more of a problem with fur balls than short haired breeds. This can be as much due to the amount of grooming they have to do to keep on top of their hair-do as it does to the length and thickness of the fur itself. It can be harder for long thick fur to pass through the digestive system than short fine fur. On a side note the specific temperament of the breed can contribute to the amount of grooming a cat does. Excessive grooming can also be attributed to stress, so breeds more prone to anxiety can often fall into excessive grooming habits. For more information on over-grooming click here

DIET can also have a large impact on how fur passes through the digestive tract. For one a healthy digestive tract can typically handle occasional fur passing through better than an inflamed or under-active one can. Secondly as mentioned above, specific breeds can be pre-disposed to fur balls, there are specially formulated foods that can help aid your cats digestive system in passing the fur through their body. Thirdly a poor diet can greatly impact the condition of your cats coat, a healthy coat can decrease the amount of time your cat needs to be grooming as well as make the fur itself easier to pass through. It’s important to discuss your cat’s diet with your vet or a trained professional, a well-rounded, personally tailored diet can greatly impact not only your cats fur ball issues but also their over-all health and happiness.

It’s natural to be a little grossed out by your cat’s need to bring up those fur balls, but considering they use their tongue’s like we use our brushes, you can appreciate the fact that they swallow some fur. I know my brush looks more like a small furry animal every time I brush my hair, and I sure wouldn’t want that sitting in my throat, I’d probably bring it up too!

If you are worried your cat may have a problem with fur balls or over-grooming feel free to contact us at the clinic, our staff is always there to help.

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