Dr Chris Brown answers your pet questions
Dr Chris Brown answers common pet questions.
My cat is constantly producing hairballs. Is this dangerous for her? Can it shorten her life? How do I stop it?
Hairballs have a nasty habit of appearing at the wrong time, in what is usually very much the wrong place! But despite how it looks, producing that hairball is actually the right thing for your cat to do.
As she grooms herself during the day, she swallows hundreds of tiny hairs. But one by one, these clump together in her stomach to form a dangerously large ball. If she was to try and digest the hairball, it could all too easily cause a blockage in her intestines which could be fatal. So instead, she sends it in the safer direction and vomits it up. As a result, hairballs aren't considered as significantly 'bad' for her health and shouldn't shorten her life. But they are annoying for the both of you.
Thankfully, they're easy to avoid. By using either a hairball gel or a hairball control food, you can actually catch the hairs before they have a chance to form a ball and allow them to slide quite easily through your cat's digestive system and safely out the other side. So that way, it's easy on your cat and your carpet!