Q & A: Hairballs

Q: I suspect that my cat often gets hairballs stuck in his throat. Is it common, and how can I treat it?

A: Cats get hairballs from grooming themselves. It is mainly a problem in longer-haired cats, or cats who are itchy or have some kind of skin issue and therefore groom excessively. Hairballs can be minimised by grooming your cat daily to remove any excess hair, and ensuring he is treated for ticks and fleas to prevent itching.

If you think your cat has a skin condition, it is advised to see your vet. There are also veterinary diets available for cats with hairball problems. These diets are formulated to help move the hairballs through the intestines by increasing the fibre content of the diet, as well as improving the skin and hair quality.

Dr Vanessa Mcclure, veterinarian

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