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Cat Hairballs

Updated on July 27, 2013

HairBalls In Cats

Cat hairballs are one of the things we cat lovers tend to find disgusting. There is nothing quite like a soggy mass of hair covered in digestive slime and goo. Especially when you stand on it in the dark!

Hairballs in cats is something that is actually not that much of a worry and there are some very easy things you can do to stop your cat throwing up hairballs.

If your cat is tossing up an abnormal amount of hairballs, then read on below to find out how to get rid of these nasty objects.

Image credit: flickr - eric_malette

Photo of a Cat Hairball - What does a furball look like?

Cat hairball photo
Cat hairball photo


This is a really fresh, slimy hairball - just new from the cat's belly!

Image provided with permission: Cat Problems Advice

Cat Grooming Furballs
Cat Grooming Furballs

Causes of Hairballs in Cats

The cause of cat hairballs is very simple. When grooming themselves, cats will ingest a fair amount of their fur. Cats have incredibly raspy tongues, and these rasps drag loose hair out from the coat.

In a "perfect world" this will be passed right through their digestive system and out the other end (sorry!) without too many problems at all.

However, with the unnatural diet we feed our cats these days, hairballs tend to not pass through and must be thrown up and out.

One way to help minimize this is to help your cat with her grooming. If you remove a decent amount of fur yourself, then there is less to pass through.

Image credit: flickr - Tideswimmer

Enter The FURminator - A Great deShedding Tool for Cats that helps minimize hairballs

The best way to keep those sloppy furballs to a minimum, is to remove the excess hair from your cat's coat by grooming. Brushes and combs are good ... but when you need something extra, then consider a specifically designed tool for de-shedding the coat. They work a treat. Just make sure you select the correct model and tooth size for your car (or dog)

FURminator Long Hair deShedding Tool for Cats, Large
FURminator Long Hair deShedding Tool for Cats, Large

This piece of equipment comes highly recommended by Veterinarians around the world. By using the FURminator on a regular basis, you can help keep the amount of swallowed cat fur to a minimum.

And what is more, is that most cats will really enjoy the sensation this grooming tool offers.


Cat Grooming Tools - Removing excess fur to prevent hairballs developing


Here are some more Cat Grooming Tools. Although none of them are quite in the range of the FURminator as mentioned above, they will go a long way to stopping furballs in your cat.


Hollyson  Ultimate Coarse Combs with Wooden Handles - Contoured Combs for Grooming Dogs, 9"
Hollyson Ultimate Coarse Combs with Wooden Handles - Contoured Combs for Grooming Dogs, 9"

I really like the wooden handle on this comb. It is durable and also environmentally friendly!

Kakadu Pet Self Cleaning Slicker Brush, Grooming Tool for Dogs and Cats - Medium
Kakadu Pet Self Cleaning Slicker Brush, Grooming Tool for Dogs and Cats - Medium

Slicker brushes are quite good, but are not recommended for short haired cats. Also, do not over-use a slicker brush as they tend to be a little rough on the hair.


Oil Supplements For Cats - Help to reduce hairballs naturally


If your cat is suffering from frequent hairballs, it is a good idea to add some type of oil supplement to your cat's diet. This will help to move the hairballs through the system easily.

One thing that is usually missing from commercial cat foods, is natural oils. And those that do have them do not use a good quality oil. Oils need to be cared for so they don't go rancid and using a supplement that you can add to your cat's food, means that you can keep it in the fridge to maintain it's quality.

A high quality oil will not only help stop you cat getting heaps of hairballs, it will also improve the texture of your cats coat. And there are many other bodily parts that oild are good for, such as eyes, brain function etc.

Below you can find a range of good dietary oil supplements for cats.


Cat Claw Trimming Supplies


While you are giving your cat a nice grooming, it is also a great time to pay attention to her claws. if you want to trim them, here are some good clippers.

When clipping a cats claws, please do not use normal scissors or human nail clippers. A cats claws are shaped in a "V" and using scissors that are not purposefully designed can crush the nails. This will often hurt, and is one of the reasons most cats do not like having their nails clipped.

Choosing quality, specially designed claw clippers is a wise decision by any cat owner, and will usually make your job a lot more pleasant.


Eden Valley Pets

This website has their own brand of high quality pet products for your beloved cats and dogs. make sure to check out their new range of grooming tools.

They also regularly share interesting pet care articles.

Cat Grooming Supplies on eBay

The latest listings for grooming supplies to be found, and often at great prices too.


Please tell us about your cat hairball experiences. I am sure that all cat owners have a juicy story to tell and we would love to hear yours!

Thought and Comments

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    • HelloKittyCat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Lorelei Cohen: Furballs can be rather yucky, especially if you tread on one in the dark, can't they.

    • HelloKittyCat profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @delia-delia: Yes, brushing sure helps to keep hairballs to a minimum. Cats are designed for hairballs to pass thru ... but most of us don't feed them properly to allow that to happen.

    • delia-delia profile image


      5 years ago

      Interesting lens! I have never had my cat named Kitty throw up a hairball, and you'd think she would because she has three layers of hair and constantly sheds. I try brushing her daily for her not to mat up. Thanks for sharing this information

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Oh yes and oh yuck. Been there and done that. I love cats but oh how I hate the dreaded hacked up hairball.


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