A hairball is a small, round clump of hair that forms in the stomach of cats. Hairballs are usually harmless and will eventually be passed through the digestive system and eliminated in the feces. However, if a hairball gets stuck in the stomach or intestines, it can cause serious health problems for your cat.
In severe cases, a hairball can even be fatal.
Most people know that cats groom themselves by licking their fur. What they may not know is that when they do this, they can sometimes ingest hair which can form into a hairball. If a hairball becomes too large, it can cause an obstruction in the intestines which can be very dangerous, and even fatal, for a cat.
While there are products on the market that claim to help with hairballs, the best way to prevent them is to brush your cat regularly. This will help to remove loose hair before they have a chance to lick it and swallow it. If you notice your cat starting to hack up a hairball, you can try giving them some lubricating gel (like petroleum jelly) or canned pumpkin to help ease its passage.
Cat Hairball Blockage Symptoms
No pet owner wants to see their beloved cat suffer, but sometimes hairballs are inevitable. If your cat is having trouble passing a hairball, it can lead to a blockage. Here are some signs to look out for that may indicate your cat has a hairball blockage:
1. Vomiting – This is the most common symptom of a hairball blockage. Your cat may vomit up clear liquid, foam, or even undigested food.
2. Lack of appetite – If your usually ravenous kitty suddenly stops eating, it could be because they’re feeling nauseous from a hairball blockage.
3. Constipation – A blocked intestine can cause constipation, so keep an eye out for small, hard stools or no bowel movements at all.
4. Abdominal pain – You may notice your cat crying in pain or acting restless and uncomfortable if they have a hairball blockage. They may also lie down in unusual positions or try to massage their tummy with their paw.
How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Pass a Hairball
Cats groom themselves by licking their fur, and as they do so, they ingest hair. Most of the time, this hair passes through the digestive system without issue. However, sometimes the hair accumulates in the stomach and forms a clump, called a trichobezoar.
When this happens, the cat may vomit to get rid of the offending mass. How long it takes for a cat to pass a hairball depends on how much hair is involved and how well-formed the trichobezoar is. A small amount of loose hair may be vomited up within 24 hours.
A larger, more compacted mass may take several days or even weeks to work its way through the digestive system. If your cat is vomiting frequently or seems to be in distress when trying to expel a hairball, it’s best to take them to see a veterinarian. There are some medical conditions that can cause repeated vomiting or difficulty passing hairballs, and these need to be treated promptly.
How to Help Cat With Hairball
If your cat is having trouble with hairballs, there are a few things you can do to help. First, try brushing them regularly. This will help remove loose hair before it has a chance to be swallowed.
You can also give them special cat food that helps with hairballs. Finally, make sure they have plenty of water to drink. This will keep their system flushed and help prevent hairballs from forming in the first place.
Image Cat Hairball Blockage Surgery Cost
A cat’s hairball blockage surgery cost can be quite high, running into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The procedure is typically an emergency one, meaning that it will need to be performed as soon as possible and may not be covered by insurance. There are a few things that you can do to help keep your cat healthy and avoid this type of surgery, however.
Regular brushing will help remove loose hair before it has a chance to get swallowed. Specialty diets formulated for cats with long hair can also help reduce the amount of hairballs your cat produces. And, of course, always have fresh water available for your feline friend to drink!
How Do You Know If Your Cat Has a Hairball Blockage?
While a hairball blockage may seem like a minor issue, it can actually be quite serious for your cat. If you think your cat has a hairball blockage, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. Here are some signs that your cat may have a hairball blockage:
1. Vomiting or retching without producing anything. 2. Vomiting up blood or what looks like coffee grounds. 3. Diarrhea or constipation.
4. appetite loss and weight loss. 5. lethargy and weakness..
What Happens When a Cat Can’T Pass a Hairball?
When a cat can’t pass a hairball, it can become lodged in their digestive system. If this happens, the cat may become dehydrated and malnourished, as they are not able to properly digest food. In severe cases, the obstruction can cause death.
If your cat is retching and vomiting but nothing is coming up, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately as they may need surgery to remove the blockage.
How Long Can a Cat Struggle With a Hairball?
A hairball is a ball of fur that forms in the stomach of your cat when they groom themselves. The fur gets caught in their tongue and goes down their throat into their stomach. If your cat is prone to hairballs, you may have noticed them hacking up a hairball from time to time.
While hairballs are generally not harmful, if your cat is having trouble passing one it can be a sign of an underlying health condition. So how long can a cat struggle with a hairball? It really depends on the individual cat and the severity of the blockage.
Some cats may only experience occasional mild discomfort while others may suffer from more serious health complications. If your cat is showing signs of distress or isn’t able to pass a hairball after trying home remedies, it’s important to take them to the vet for an examination.
How Can I Help My Cat Pass a Hairball?
There are a few things you can do to help your cat pass a hairball:
1. Give them plenty of water. Make sure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times.
This will help them stay hydrated and make it easier for their bodies to flush out the hairballs.
2. Add some fiber to their diet. Fiber helps with digestion and can help hairballs move through the digestive system more easily.
You can add a little bit of canned pumpkin (not the pie filling) to their food, or give them a small amount of psyllium husk powder mixed with water.
3. Brush them regularly. Brushing your cat will remove loose fur before it has a chance to be ingested and turn into a hairball in the first place.
It’s also a great bonding experience for you and your kitty!
4. Keep them active.
Yes, a hairball can kill a cat if it’s not treated. A hairball is a mass of fur that forms in a cat’s stomach and is then regurgitated. If a hairball gets stuck in the stomach, it can cause an obstruction.
This can lead to vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, and death.