Grooming is a full time habit for cats. They lick their coat to stay cool, to remove odors and simply to relax, among other reasons. It’s not uncommon for cats to spend as much as 50% of their waking hours grooming their fur.
This natural behavior can often lead to hairballs, which are typical once every week or two. But more than just an unpleasant hassle, hairballs can also be a health risk, especially for indoor cats. For this reason, caring for the health of your cat’s coat and digestive system is essential. Special diets formulated for hairball control can help.
As cats groom themselves, they unavoidably swallow loose hair. This hair can be safely digested in small amounts or formulate into hairballs. If a hairball isn’t regurgitated, it could pass from a cat’s stomach into the intestine, creating a potentially life-threatening blockage. Although it’s uncommon, it can be a serious health risk.
Because indoor cats are protected from the elements, they don’t shed seasonally as outdoor cats would. Instead, they shed all year-round, which can result in more hair swallowed more often. If you have an indoor cat, it’s important to care for her ever-shedding coat in order to protect her sensitive skin and digestive health. Uniquely formulated food and treats designed for indoor cats can help reduce the occurrence of hairballs to help keep your cat healthy.
Higher and better fiber content in hairball formulas helps by improving digestion so that swallowed hair can pass more easily. Omega fatty acids and vitamins promote a healthy coat to help control shedding and reduce the amount of hair your cat may be swallowing. You may not be able to eliminate hairballs completely, but these formulas can help significantly reduce their occurrence.
Sometimes, cats may exhibit excessive self-grooming due to itchy or irritated skin, or stress-related anxiety. Indoor cats may be especially prone to over-grooming if they don’t receive sufficient entertainment or attention, potentially resulting in significant hair loss or painful skin lesions. In such instances, speak with your veterinarian to address any potentially serious health conditions.