Why Does My Cat Cough Up Hairballs?

If you own a cat, you may have seen her cough up a hairball in the past. It’s not a pleasant experience, but why do hairballs happen at all? And are they harmful? Learn more here from a vet in Wichita, KS. 

Why Hairballs Form

Your cat grooms herself regularly. The tongue picks up a lot of loose fur from your cat’s coat, which she swallows. Most of that hair gets expelled naturally in the feces, but some remain in the gut—it forms into a hairball over time and eventually gets regurgitated. The whole process is entirely natural! 

Risks of Hairballs

The occasional hairball is a normal thing and doesn’t cause your cat harm. Frequent hairballs could be a problem, though—your cat may be shedding more than she should. It’s also possible for a cat to choke on her own hairball, although this isn’t likely. 

Reducing or Preventing Hairballs

You can’t prevent hairballs entirely, but feeding your cat a high-quality diet keeps the coat in good shape and means less swallowed hair. Brushing your cat frequently is also a good idea—this traps loose fur in the brush, preventing it from being swallowed. 

Call your pet clinic in Wichita, KS for more advice.