Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them?

by Curious Cat People April 16, 2021 3 min read

Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them?

Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them? 

Every once in a while, we’ll catch our favourite little furballs coughing up a cat hairball of their own. It’s really gross and often accompanied by bits of their dinner. Why exactly do cats get hairballs? Is it something you should worry about? 

Cats just love grooming themselves! They use their tongues to lick their hair into place, keeping their coat clean and smooth while maintaining their body temperature and circulation. Cats also groom to show affection, or if they’re feeling embarrassed or anxious.

Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them?

This often ends up in our cat companions ingesting tons of their own hair. While most get passed through their digestive system, some hairs end up coming out the other end as a blob of dead hair and digestive juices. Even lions get cat hairballs too!

Should I Be Worried?

Most of the time, hairballs are harmless! They can cause a mess, but in general they don’t pose a huge health threat. 

That said, if too much hair accumulates in your cat’s stomach, it can get stuck in their small intestine. This often causes your cat to be lethargic and uninterested in food. They may also experience true vomiting. In these cases, it’s vital to get them to a veterinarian right away.

Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them

Managing Hairballs

Thankfully, hairballs are easily managed. It does take some time and effort on our parts, but it will definitely help our favourite feline friends feel more comfortable and at home!

#1 Groom Your Cat

Some cats get touchy about being groomed with a brush, so it’s important to take your time and get them slowly used to regular brushing sessions. Schedule short cat grooming sessions when your cat is calm and sleepy, like right after dinner. Lengthen these sessions as your cat gets more comfortable. 

In the meantime, start with pet wipes like Woosh’s Pet Wipes that help remove shedded fur from your cat’s coat, while moisturizing their skin and coat. Be gentle, and try not to push your cats too far out of their comfort zone. 


Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them

Once your cat is more comfortable with brushing, try using a rubber brush to remove dead hair in their coat and a bristle brush for other dirt and debris. Long-haired cats will need a little more time and effort to brush their hairs. If necessary, reputable grooming services can also help manage your cats fur.

#2 Cat Hairball Control Diet

One of the biggest causes of hairballs is poor digestive health, since most of your cat’s fur passes through their digestive system.

  In that case, specially formulated cat hairball prevention diets like Wellness’s Complete Health Indoor Cat Food are great ways to manage hairballs. These diets offer shedding support, by boosting your pet’s skin and coat health. Added fibre in your cat’s diet will also help keep their digestive system running smoothly!


Cat Hairballs:Should I be worried about Them?

#3 Interactive Cat Grooming Toys

Another interesting cat hairball prevention method is getting an interactive cat grooming toy like CatIt’s Senses 2.0 Wellness Center.

For cats that dislike brushing or salons, interactive toys like these can be a lifesaver. This one in particular provides full body massages with flexible brushes that help collect loose hairs, while providing your cat plenty of fun and relaxation!

#4 House-proof 

Hairballs are somewhat inevitable. Most cats get them, and often hack up a cat hairball or two once or twice a week. Make sure to keep some handy cleaners and wipes on hand to clean up any mess, and keep your cats away from important things you don’t want dirtied!

In addition, keep your home free of anything your cat can accidentally ingest - whether it’s thread, paper clips, paper or other similar materials. 


Cat Hairballs: Should I Be Worried About Them

Hairballs are really common in house cats, but they’re easy to manage with cat grooming, diet and changes to their environment as needed. It’s important to note that cat hairball production differs cat to cat, so make sure to monitor their hairballs. If they hack up one a week on most weeks, but suddenly stop or hack up way more, you may want to send your cat to the vet for a check-up!




    Tammi Chng
    Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.

    Also in Cabinet of Curiosities

    Adopt or Shop for a Pet Cat
    Adopt or Shop for a Pet Cat

    by Curious Cat People September 14, 2023 5 min read

    Adopt or shop? While adoption is steeped in virtue, the truth is that irrespective of the decision to adopt or...
    Is Your Cat Overweight, Underweight, or Just Right?
    Is Your Cat Overweight, Underweight, or Just Right?

    by Curious Cat People September 07, 2023 4 min read

    A healthy weight is crucial for a cat's overall well-being but how do you determine if a cat is at...
    Keeping Up With Cat Vet Visits
    Keeping Up With Cat Vet Visits

    by Curious Cat People August 29, 2023 5 min read

    Regular vet visits are necessary for detecting any potential cat health issues early on. The frequency of these vet visits...