There are no two ways about it: Hairballs in cats are a nuisance. They are not only unpleasant for the person who has to clean them up; they can also cause intestinal obstructions, which can be a significant health issue for your cat. What can you do to keep hairballs to a minimum if cats are going to groom themselves?
What Causes Cat Hairballs?
Hairballs are unpleasant, but they are caused by your cat’s healthy and meticulous grooming routine.
When your cat grooms itself, small hook-like structures on its tongue capture loose and dead hair and swallow it. The majority of this hair goes through the digestive tract without incident. However, if enough hair remains in the stomach, it might congeal and create a hairball. To get rid of a hairball, your cat will usually vomit it. Because hairballs exit the esophagus via the small esophagus, they frequently seem thin and tube-like rather than circular.
Hairballs are more common in long-haired breeds of cats, such as Persians and Maine Coons. Cats who shed a lot or groom themselves obsessively are more likely to get hairballs because they swallow a lot of fur. You may have noticed that your kitten did not have hairballs when he or she was a kitten, but developed them as they grew. This is quite natural; as cats age, they become better groomers and hence more adept at removing fur from their coats with their tongues, resulting in more hairballs for you to clean up.