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Furballs (also known as hairballs or, more technically, as trichobezoars) are balls of hair that cats vomit up from the stomach.

How do cats get hair in their stomachs? From grooming themselves. As you will have noticed, cats groom themselves with their tongues, and inevitably this means they swallow some loose hairs.

Normally, these hairs pass through the digestive system and out the back door. But sometimes, an excessive amount of hair builds up in the stomach, and the only way your cat can get rid of it is by vomiting it up in the form of a furball.

Are furballs dangerous?

Furballs are normal, and if your cat only vomits up the occasional one, it’s not a major concern. However, very frequent furballs can be a sign of something more serious, like a blockage in the digestive system. Often this goes along with other symptoms like a swollen and hard stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea, or loss of appetite.

If your cat is vomiting furballs on a regular basis, or you’ve noticed any of the other symptoms mentioned above, be sure to speak to Our Vet™.

Reducing furballs

If the problem isn’t medical, then regular grooming can reduce the number of furballs your cat vomits. This is particularly important for long-haired cats.

If grooming doesn’t help, talk to Our Vet. Once we’ve ruled out more serious medical issues, we can recommend products that will reduce your cat’s furball problem by lubricating its digestive system. Premium cat food might also help - just ask us!