Cat hairballs present a common problem for the average cat and his owner. Cats tend to shed more frequently than other animals, and clean themselves on a regular basis. This causes their fur to gather up in their stomachs, eventually resulting in hairballs.
These 5 hairball remedies will reduce the number of hairballs your cat has to deal with day by day.
1. Brush Daily
Brushing your cat daily, especially during times when he's shedding frequently, will help prevent hairballs from forming in your cat's stomach in the first place. For best results, use a bristle or rubber brush for short-hair cats, and a wide-tooth comb or a wire slicker brush for long-hair cats. (My all time favorite brush is the Kong ZoomGroom for Cats. You can see other fantastic products for your cats here.)
2. Serve Grain-Free Foods
Grains can be hard on your cat's digestion, which can cause hairballs to form. Because fur doesn't pass as easily through a cat that's eating grain as a regular part of his diet, hairballs have a tendency to form more frequently. To avoid this, be sure to use grain-free cat food, and to keep an eye out for cat food that contains no wheat, gluten, barley, rice, or corn. (See what we think are the Top 5 Best Grocery Store Cat Foods.)
3. Try Pumpkin
Pumpkin can help ease digestion and prevent constipation in a cat. It actually helps fur get better broken down and easily digested by your cat. Add about one teaspoon of pureed pumpkin to one of your cat's meals daily, or serve it on the side as a special treat. (You can see some other great ways to feed pumpkin to your cats in the Top 10 Best Pumpkin Rich Cat Foods.)
4. Use Fish Oil
Two tablespoons of fish oil (olive oil works too) once a week can help your cat pass any fur he happens to consume. Fish oil will also promote healthy skin, which leads to less shedding. As an added bonus, it will make your cats fur soft and silky. For a good, all-natural fish oil for cats, try Grizzly Salmon Oil All-Natural Cat Food Supplement. (If you're looking for additional supplements for your cat, take a look at our Top 3 Supplements for Older Cats.)
5. Add Probiotic And Enzymes
Probiotics and enzymes help maintain a healthy digestive system and helps to prevent any potential diseases of the digestive track. They will also help your cat pass any undigested food that tends to attach to hair sitting in the digestive track, thus helping him pass hair before it becomes a hairball. By improving your cats digestion, probiotics and enzymes will reduce any stress your cat might be feeling, which will reduce shedding in turn. To supplement your cat with probiotics and enzymes, find a good mixture like Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics and mix it into your cat's wet food.
With these five remedies, your cat's hairballs will be greatly reduced, resulting in a cleaner cat and a happier you.