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My cat struggles with hairballs, what should I feed?

Since cats groom themselves by licking, it’s easy for them to inadvertently swallow their fur in the process.

Some of this hair passes through the digestive tract and ends up in the stool. Other times, when too much fur accumulates in the stomach, a cat’s body clears it out by retching up a hairball.

This serves an important function. Excessive fur ingestion could otherwise lead to an intestinal blockage. However, hairballs are still a pain to clean up—and they can be uncomfortable for your cat.

Here are a few things that can help:

  • Fiber: Cats with hairballs can benefit from fiber intake as part of a nutritionally balanced diet. Fiber keeps things moving through the digestive tract, so hair is less likely to get stuck or get vomited up as a hairball.

All of our recipes contain fiber in the right proportions for your cat’s health. Fiber may come from nutritious ingredients like pumpkin or sweet potato. Miscanthus grass is also an excellent source of fiber featured in a couple of our recipes.

  • Optimizing digestive health: Healthy digestion is important for hairball control. To this end, our Fromm recipes include prebiotics and probiotics for gut health.

Simple, easy-to-digest recipes may also help. Every cat is unique, so it may take some trial and adjustment to find the recipe that works best for your individual pet and their stomach.

  • Use a hairball prevention product: This may include mild, gel-based laxatives for pets—ask your veterinarian for cat-safe recommendations.
  • Grooming: In addition to dietary factors, grooming or brushing your cat can help prevent hairballs.

Brushing removes shedding fur before your cat has a chance to swallow it (not to mention, before that hair ends up on your couch or your clothing). This is especially important for long-haired cats, but even kitties with short coats can benefit. For the best results, brush your cat daily.

Some cats can also benefit from occasional baths at home or a professional grooming and hair trimming.

While a hairball from time to time is normal for cats, excessive hairballs (hairballs more than  twice per month, or hairballs accompanied by symptoms of illness) can be a sign of a health problem. If your cat vomits hairballs excessively, a veterinary consult should be considered.

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