For some owners, feline furballs can be a big problem. Find out more about how you can stop your cat from getting hairballs...
Furballs can be a big problem for lots of cats and their owners. Here's how you can deal with them.
Will grooming help prevent my cat from getting hairballs?
The best way by far to deal with furballs is to prevent them through regular grooming. If you brush your cat everyday with a good quality brush that strips out any dead or loose hairs, there will be much less for your cat to swallow when he grooms himself, and therefore there will be less of a problem with furballs building up in her stomach.
Are hairballs dangerous for my cat?
It's also worth noting that furballs are not necessarily a great problem if your cat is bringing them up easily and they are not causing any problems for him. In the wild cats would naturally bring back the fur and indigestible bits of small rodents so it is a natural process.
Problems only tend to occur where the sheer volume of hair that's taken in is so high that the furballs become very big and hard to pass through or bring up, and this is most commonly an issue with long-haired cats.
Can my cat's diet help prevent hairballs?
If you are still having a problem despite regular grooming, supplements can help by easing the passage of the fur through the digestive system, but this is not really designed for everyday use.
The other option is to use one of the furball control diets that are now available from many manufacturers as these can help in the long term management of furballs.
Advice given by vet Joe Inglis.