Is your cat coughing and gagging more than it used to? If so, it might be trying to pass hair balls. Before you take your cat to the vet, try these easy-to-follow tips that will help you eliminate hair balls.
Butter Up Its Food
Cats love butter. If your cat is trying to get rid of hair balls, try lubricating it from the inside. Add a teaspoon of butter to your cat's food once a day. The butter will lubricate the hair ball, which will help it pass right through the digestive tract. In addition, butter activates the gall bladder, which causes it to release bile. Once the bile enters the digestive tract, it acts like a mild laxative, which helps your cat pass the hair balls when it has a bowel movement.
Add Some Fiber
If your cat maintains regular bowel movements, hair doesn't remain inside the body long enough to form those slimy balls. Add a teaspoon of bran to your cat food to keep your cat regular. If your cat doesn't like the taste of fiber supplements, simply add a teaspoon of canned pumpkin to the food. Pumpkin is rich in fiber and cats love the taste.
Nix the Fleas
If your cat has fleas, it may be licking to stop the itching. Unfortunately, that licking is causing it to swallow an increased amount of hair. If you suspect that your cat has fleas, give it a good flea treatment and the hair ball problem should go away with the fleas. If you've tried various methods to get rid of fleas, but none of them have worked, you may want to speak to your veterinarian about other possible treatment options.
Wipe It Down
Does your cat have long hair? If it does, it could shed more than usual. You can help your cat avoid hair balls by removing loose hair before it has a chance to get swallowed. Brush your cat at least once a day and then wipe it down with a moist cloth. The brush will loosen the hair and the cloth will wipe it away. If your cat doesn't like stopping to have its fur wiped down, wait until it curls up in your lap for a nap.
Don't deal with hair balls. They're uncomfortable for your cat and they're a mess for you to clean up. The simple tips provided above will help you eliminate hair balls once and for all. If your cat continues to have trouble passing hair balls, be sure to speak to your veterinarian. There may be underlying health issues that are affecting your cat.