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Why is your cat throwing up hair balls?

Updated on September 4, 2012

Hair ball are one of the most common reasons for causing a cat to vomit.

The sight of your pet cat bringing up hair balls or making choking noises (called “hair ball cough”) often gives you, as the pets loving owner, great cause for concern. There is no reason to be too worried if your cat brings up a hair ball once in a while, but consistent vomiting of hair balls could indicate a more serious problem, such as a blocked intestine. Hair balls are formed by the cat ingesting hair, usually while grooming itself, and this hair goes to form a hard ball in the cat’s stomach. Some cats also like to chew string. This also can form a hard ball inside a cat’s stomach.

How to prevent hair balls.

Grooming your cat is one of the best ways of preventing hair balls. Long haired cats should be groomed on a daily basis, while short haired cats weekly. Spring is the time when constant vigilance should be applied. Most cats, especially the long haired variety, tend to moult at this time of year.


There are many treatments available, both home-made, and commercial, for ridding your cat of its hair ball distress. Some people recommend a teaspoonful of liquid paraffin administered daily. There are special cat biscuits on the market that can assist in ridding the cat’s digestive system of the offending hair balls, plus many others that your local pet shop will recommend.

If your cat is continually suffering from hair balls, you should consult your vet. There are medicines that are extremely effective in breaking down hair balls, but these have to be prescribed by a qualified vet.

Taking care.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, seeing your pet cat struggling with hair balls can cause great concern to you, the cat’s owner. However with preventative care, such as grooming, and researching the best treatment options, you will be able to eliminate the causes of hair balls, and prevent them re-occurring.


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