Hair-raising hairballs

Cats Welfare news

THERE’S nothing quite like the feeling of stepping out of your warm bed onto a cold, squishy, slimy hairball! Perhaps we should feel flattered that our feline companion has left a special gift for us, but, frankly, most of us would rather bond with our cats in another way!


When cats groom dead, loose hair, it passes through the digestive tract and comes out in the stool. A carnivore’s gut is designed to handle its own fur, as well as that of any prey.

However, generations of breeding have created cats with longer coats, and when too much hair collects in the stomach, it irritates the lining and whoops – there’s a hairball.

While an occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, if your cat is vomiting hairballs more than twice a month, start with a trip to your vet to ensure that there are no underlying health issues. Assuming there aren’t, then what next?


Combing is often all it takes to resolve the problem. A fine-toothed flea comb is best, but longer hair may require a wide-toothed one. Many cats will try to self-medicate by eating grass. The coarse plant fibres will cause the cat to vomit, and, hopefully, include the irritating hair.


This falls into two categories; adding fibre to the diet, or giving a lubricant. The latter can be given plain, as in good old Vaseline, or a commercial product.

Petroleum jelly’s molecules are too large to be absorbed by the intestines, so it passes through the cat and is perfectly safe. Hairball “treats” contain mineral oil rather than petroleum jelly. They work on the same principle, but have a slightly more laxative effect – don’t overdo them!


There are a lot of hairball-control cat foods and treats. The idea is that the higher fibre content will help the hair to pass through the gastro-intestinal tract, and into the litter tray where it belongs.


Kittens are available for viewing at Vet Express behind Gran Sur, and Don Perro in Las Chafiras. Many people don’t want black kittens, so, to

encourage adoption, we arrange, free of charge, the vaccination, microchip and neutering of black kittens. If two kittens are adopted together, of any colour, we will arrange the vaccination, microchip and neutering of one kitten. Contact us via our website or ring or WhatsApp Maria on 646629129, seven days a week.

Our shop

Items in good condition can be dropped into the shop on San Blas in Golf del Sur (behind Hiperdino). It is open seven days a week, 10-6pm, Saturdays 10-4pm.

If you don’t have transport, or have large, bulky items such as furniture and household effects to donate, please ring Mark on 636590557, and he will arrange collection from you.

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Posted by on May 12 2017. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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