February 2, 2023

How can I combat cat furballs?

Furballs can be a big problem for lots of cats and their owners. Here’s some advice from top vet Joe Inglis:

The best way by far to deal with furballs is to prevent them through regular grooming. If you brush your cat everyday with a good quality brush that strips out any dead or loose hairs, there will be much less for your cat to swallow when she grooms herself and therefore there will be less of a problem with furballs building up in her stomach.

It’s also worth noting that furballs are not necessarily a great problem if your cat is bringing them up easily and they are not causing any problems for her. In the wild cats would naturally bring back the fur and indigestible bits of small rodents so it is a natural process.

Problems only tend to occur where the sheer volume of hair that’s taken in is so high that the furballs become very big and hard to pass through or bring up, and this is most commonly an issue with longhaired cats.

If you are still having a problem despite regular grooming, supplements can help by easing the passage of the fur through the digestive system, but this is not really designed for everyday use.

The other option is to use one of the furball control diets that are now available from many manufacturers as these can help in the long term management of furballs.