Cat Hairball Symptoms

An unfortunate side effect of cat grooming is cat hairballs. It's the licking, really. As a cat grooms herself, she can't help but swallow some hair as a result.

Normally, this hair will pass through your cat's stomach and digestive tract. Sometimes, however, traces of the hair remain behind. Over time, this hair accumulates and forms into a hairball-also known as a gastric trichobezoar, if you like big, scary terms.

Trichobezoar? Yikes, What to Do?
This is not a new phenomenon, and your cat knows exactly what to do: she vomits. Normally, vomiting will force the hairball out and your cat will be back to her normal, neat-freak ways.

But not always. In some cases, the hairball will become too large to pass (in one direction or another). In this case, your cat could be in danger. A blocked digestive tract could be a life-threatening situation. You'll be able to help if you're aware of the cat hairball symptoms your feline might display.

Keeping an Eye on Your Cat
If your cat has a hairball blockage, she let you know by displaying one or more of the following cat hairball symptoms:

  • Hack, hack! If your cat's go-to response (vomiting) doesn't work, she may begin to have a dry, hacking cough or dry heaves. If this symptom is persistent and unproductive, your cat may have a hairball blockage.
  • A change in appetite. If your cat suddenly begins eating less or coughs up undigested food, it could be a symptom of a cat hairball blockage.
  • Swollen stomach. In extreme cases, the hairball blockage may be large enough to cause the stomach to swell or become hard.
  • A clean litter box. If your cat slows or stops defecating, the blockage may be preventing proper bowel movements.
Related Life123 Articles
When it comes to cat health, hairballs are an unpleasant fact. Every cat gets hairballs from time to time, but longhaired cats are especially prone. Though hairballs are completely preventable, they are a normal occurrence with cats. They also can be extremely dangerous.
Although it is normal for cats to get the occasional cat hairballs, if one becomes lodged in the digestive tract, it can be very dangerous.
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