You may wonder how to help your cat pass a hairball when your cat suddenly coughs, choke and retch. Although the symptom of a stuck hairball includes coughing and choking, that does not mean that a stuck hairball is a respiratory problem. Instead, it is something that can lead them to vomiting; making it becomes a problem for your kitty’s digestive system.
How is a hairball formed?
Although the name is strange: hairball, it is a sign that your cat’s grooming habit is OK. Also known as fur ball, hairball is a ball made up of your cat’s furs. You know, for times in a day, your cat grooms itself by licking. Interestingly, their tongue structure has many tiny hooks on top of it. Hence, the ‘stray’ hairs are hooked and removed from their coat.
But, as a cat cannot spit those dead hairs out, it means it has to swallow back the hair after every lick. Then the swallowed hair piles up in its gut, and normally the hair will be passed out through its poo. However, sometimes the hair does not pass ‘successfully’, making your cat to vomit it up. If it does not come out – this makes the retching sound sounds pitiful, as this furry creature tries to regurgitate the hairball.
How should I assist my cat pass a hairball?
The above question suggests a preventive approach on how to help your cat pass a hairball. Well, below are recommended tricks to help your cat safely deliver its swallowed hairs out, in a natural way.
Do a brushing
Brushing can help to avoid hairball forming in a cat’s gut. For a long-haired breed, you’ll need to be more regular and frequent to brush their fur. You can do this daily. While for short-haired cats, doing it weekly is enough.
Prepare a wet food
If your cat has been receiving only dry food, give it an occasional wet food. It may be hard if your cat has been accustomed to dry kibbles. You can outsmart it by mixing the kibbles with fiber powder, such as pumpkin powder.
To help your cat pass its hairball, easily prepare enough water. Regularly change the water to provide clean water. With enough moisture, your cat’s digestive system can do less work ‘munching’ the food, hence making the hairball can easily be passed as well.
Add a ‘lubrication’
At least a week, add a teaspoon of safflower, fish, or flax oil to the kitty’s food. These oils are believed to coat a hairball – making it easier to pass.
Not all cough and choking sound of your cat is the sign of a stuck hairball. But if it comes often and causes a retching sound, you need to be alarmed. Shortly after its onset of frequent retching sound, try to apply the above information on how to help your cat pass a hairball.