Cats spend about half their waking hours grooming. That means they swallow a lot of fur - and when enough of it builds up in their stomachs, they either cough up hairballs, or need a trip to the vet to remove the blockage. These tips will help prevent both unpleasant experiences:
- Brush your cat. Many owners forget this one - but it’s the most effective solution. After all, any hair you remove won't be swallowed.
- Tip #2 for preventing hairballs: Increase your cat’s fiber intake. You can add a little bran to their food. Or give your cat a weekly spoonful of canned pumpkin. The book Complete Kitten Care, says pumpkin’s loaded with fiber, and most cats love it.
- Finally: Put non-medicated petroleum jelly on your pet’s paws. When the cat licks it off, it coats the hair and stops it from turning into a dangerous blockage. Believe it or not, many cats LIKE the taste of plain petroleum jelly, and it works better than butter because butter is absorbed by their stomach before it can do any good against hairballs.