Dealing with hairballs is a normal part of cat parenthood, but your cat shouldn’t struggle with them all the time. These 10 holistic solutions will help you manage your cat’s hairballs naturally.
Most cats get hairballs occasionally because of their fastidious grooming habits. However, if your cat is prone to hairballs, it could be related to a health issue, allergies, gut health or digestive problems, or even their diet. While it’s important to talk to your veterinarian if you suspect a problem, here are 10 holistic solutions that’ll help you tame the hairball menace.
1. Feed a Proper Diet
Choose a high-quality, species-appropriate diet. Cats need high-protein diets rich in vitamins, minerals, fats, fatty acids, and amino acids.
2. Try Supplements
Certain supplements can also help prevent hairballs, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that support skin and coat health. You might also consider prebiotics that support gut health and digestion. Adding coconut oil to your cat’s diet may also help. Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new supplements.
3. Keep Them Hydrated
Make sure your cat stays well-hydrated by providing access to fresh water. Hydration helps maintain the moisture content in the digestive system, facilitating the passage of hair through the digestive tract.
4. Address Allergies
A common reason for regular hairballs is overgrooming, and allergies can cause this. Talk to your vet if you think your cat might be reacting to an allergy trigger.
5. Try Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and can aid in digestion, promoting good gut health and potentially helping to reduce hairballs.
6. Groom Regularly
Although there may be other factors at play, cats ultimately get hairballs because they ingest hair when they groom themselves. Brush your cat regularly to remove loose and dead hair and minimize how much fur your cat ingests. This is especially important for kitties with long hair.
7. Try Herbal Remedies
Catnip contains fiber, which can help with digestion and gut health. What’s more, it can also encourage your cat to play. The extra activity promotes overall health, stimulates the digestive system, reduces boredom, and minimizes stress, all of which may prevent over-grooming.
8. Use Mental and Physical Enrichment
Provide plenty of toys and playtime to keep your cat active. Offer scratching posts to promote natural scratching behavior and help remove loose hair.
9. Increase Humidity Levels
Increasing the humidity in your home can help prevent dry skin and reduce shedding. Consider adding a humidifier to your home, especially in dry climates or during the winter months.
10. Go for Regular Veterinary Visits
Annual veterinary check-ups will ensure your cat’s overall health, including concerns about hairballs. Your vet can guide you about diet, grooming routines, supplements, allergies, and any concerns you have. Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet or lifestyle.
Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.