Why does my cat hack up hair balls?

Cats groom themselves throughout the day using their sandpapery tongues to comb food and dirt from their fur. Unfortunately, they gobble down gobs of loose hair with all that gunk. Feline bellies aren’t equipped to digest strands of fur, so, kersplat! The hair comes out the same way it went in, and you discover soggy fuzz balls all over the house. Hey, a few hair balls are better than a filthy feline!

Hairballs in cats are more likely to appear in long-haired breeds, such as Persians and Maine Coons. Cats that shed a lot or who groom themselves compulsively are also more likely to have hairballs, because they tend to swallow a lot of fur. You may have noticed that your cat didn’t have hairballs as a kitten, but developed them as she grew. This is quite normal — as cats get older they become more adept groomers and therefore more proficient at removing fur from their coats with their tongues, which means more hairballs for you to clean up.


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