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What exactly are fur balls?

Cats are very clean creatures and your kitten will spend approximately five hours a day grooming herself. In doing so, she'll pick up any loose hairs from her coat. These are difficult for her to spit out, so she'll probably just swallow them. Most of the time, this will cause no problems whatsoever and the hairs will just pass through the digestive tract. Sometimes, however, the hairs can remain in the stomach and form a fur ball.

How does the fur ball get out?

Usually, once a fur ball has reached a certain size, the cat vomits it up (look out for sausage like balls of hair), although some will pass hair in their stools. Either way, it rarely causes much distress. Every now and again, though, a fur ball can be difficult to get rid of and the affected kitten may have repeated bouts of ‘gagging’ or vomiting. If you are at all concerned, don't hesitate to call your vet.

In some very rare cases a cat may be unable to pass the fur ball naturally and surgery may be required. Thankfully, this is very unusual.

How can you help to prevent fur balls?

One of the best ways to help prevent fur balls is to groom your kitten regularly. Get into the habit of doing this when she's very young, so she gets used to it.

Preventing a bad hair day

The type of grooming brush you use can be important and your vet can offer you advice on which one is best for your kitten. Many people with short-haired kittens favour a rubber brush. They're soft enough not to cause any discomfort but great at removing loose hair. If you have a long-haired kitten, you'll need to be even more diligent with grooming. A large-toothed, metal comb is probably a good choice. You'll need to step up the regularity of your brushing during Spring and Summer when your kitten will moult more heavily. This needn't be a chore, though. It can be a good way for you and your kitten to bond. A cuddle or a game is a nice way to round off a brushing session.

Can diet have a role in preventing fur balls?

There is some evidence that a high fibre, dry food such as Hill's Science Plan Hairball Formula can help reduce the formation of fur balls in the gut. Ask your vet for advice.

Remember - fur balls may not be nice but they're rarely anything to worry about

Seeing your kitten struggle with a fur ball can be upsetting, but it's important to remember that most cats have problems with them from time to time and there's hardly ever any reason for real concern.

Saistītie raksti

  • Meeting The Housemates

    If you already have a cat at home, she's likely to become territorial when your new kitten arrives.
  • Vaccinating your kitten

    Your new kitten will start life with some natural immunity from diseases from her mum, but as this wears off you'll need to have her vaccinated to keep her healthy.
  • Travelling with your kitten

    Creating an enriched environment for your senior cat can increase activity and mental stimulation, and reduces potential behavior problems.
  • Microchipping

    Your kitten shouldn't be allowed outside the home until she's completed her first course of vaccinations.

Saistītie produkti

  • Science Plan™ Feline Adult Maigie gabaliņi mērcē ar liellopu

    Keep your cat happy with Hill's &#153;<span class='nowrap'>Science Plan</span>&#153;Tender Chunks in Gravy with Beef. Each pouch is a complete food containing the right combination of vitamins and minerals to keep your cat in the very best of health.
  • Prescription Diet™ j/d™ Feline Sakapāts ar vistu

    Hill's™ <span class='nowrap'>Prescription Diet™</span> j/d™ Feline ir klīniski pierādīts, ka uzlabo mobilitāti mazāk nekā 28 dienu laikā ar pareizo veselīgu barības vielu līdzsvaru, EPS (īpaši omega-3 eļļas) un kopējo omega-3 taukskābju līmeni. 
  • Prescription Diet™ i/d™ Feline Chicken

    <span class='nowrap'>Prescription Diet™</span> Feline i/d™ ir viegli sagremojama formula, īpaši izveidota, lai palīdzētu kontrolēt kaķu gremošanas trakta traucējumus.
  • Prescription Diet™ i/d™ Feline with Chicken

    <span class='nowrap'>Prescription Diet™</span> Feline i/d™ ir viegli sagremojama formula, īpaši izveidota, lai palīdzētu kontrolēt kaķu gremošanas trakta traucējumus.