A cat hairball, also known as a trichobezoar, is a clump of hair, saliva, and digestive enzymes that cats sometimes vomit. Many pet owners are familiar with the sight of their beloved feline hacking up a nasty hairball. But how long do cat hairballs last? Let’s find out!
What Are Hairballs?
A hairball occurs when your cat licks their fur to groom itself and accidentally swallows some of the loose furs they have been collecting. This fur then accumulates in the stomach and forms a mass or “hairball” which your cat then needs to expel.
The length of time for which a hairball can stay in your cat’s stomach depends on the size of the ball itself and how much fur is contained within it.
While different cats pass hairballs at varying speeds, most of them will do so within a day. Larger ones may take longer to pass.
What Causes Cat Hairballs?
Hairballs are caused by cats grooming themselves using their tongue and sharp claws. This action pulls loose hairs off their fur which they then swallow. When these hairs reach the stomach, they tend to form an indigestible ball.
The cat will then expunge the ball through vomiting or defecation. While most cat owners are familiar with the sight of their pet coughing up a hairball, it can be quite alarming.
Fortunately, hairballs don’t hang around for long! After cats vomit them out, they’ll take some time before they start to build up again.
How often a cat vomits up hairballs depends on individual factors such as diet and how much the cat grooms itself.
Vomiting up hairballs is relatively normal for cats, but if you notice your cat doing it more often than usual, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If this is the case, talk to your vet about the best course of treatment.
The best way to prevent your cat from developing hairballs is by brushing them regularly. Brushing helps remove loose fur from your pet’s coat which reduces their chances of ingesting it while grooming themselves later on.
Feed your pet high-fiber foods to help them expel hairballs more quickly and naturally. You can also use special cat treats and cat food that are specifically formulated to reduce hairball buildup and discomfort.
There are special products available at most pet stores designed specifically for preventing and treating hairballs in cats; these products usually come in either liquid or paste forms that cats can lick off of a spoon.
If your cat is prone to hairballs, you may want to schedule regular checkups with your vet. This will help ensure that your cat stays healthy while also allowing the vet to monitor any potential hairball-related issues.
Cat hairballs are an unpleasant but inevitable side effect of our furry friends’ self-grooming habits; unfortunately, they can cause serious health problems if left untreated for too long.
Thankfully, there are steps we can take as pet owners to minimize our cats’ chances of developing them in the first place such as regular brushing and feeding them high-fiber foods.
If you notice that your cat is vomiting more often than usual, be sure to speak with a vet as soon as possible. With the right care and attention, your cat can effectively manage their hairball issues and live a happy and healthy life.