Hairballs and Your RagaMuffin Cat
Just about everyone that has the pleasure of having one or more felines in their lives has experienced hairballs. Usually, your RagaMuffin cat will feel the need to expel the hairball by vomiting it up either on or right next to your bed at 2 a.m. If the hacking up of the hairball did not wake you up, you might have the pleasure of stepping out of bed into the hairy mess.
Some cats prefer to wait until you are awake, so they can ensure you see them hacking up the hairball. They will then run from the tiled kitchen floor and head straight to the Oriental rug, which makes a much more inviting place for them to vomit up the hairball.
All kidding aside, adults cats, much more than kittens, are prone to hairballs. Adult RagaMuffin cats spend much time grooming themselves and in this process ingest dead hair that is in their coat. Most of this dead hair pass right through the digestive tract of the cat, but some of it can remain in the stomach and accumulate into a wet clump. Some cats groom more than others and may be more prone to hairballs. Hairballs are also more prevalent during the times of year when cats normally shed their coats, like the springtime. Naturally, during this time they will ingest more dead hair in their self-grooming process.
While an occasional hairball, even every other week, is not cause for alarm, there are situations where a hairball can be dangerous for your cat. If you notice your RagaMuffin cat acting lethargic and not eating for more than a day and the kitty has been having bouts of retching without bringing anything up, you should consult your veterinarian.
It is possible that instead of spitting up the hairball, the hairball has passed through the stomach into the intestines. This could potentially create a life-threatening blockage. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe laxatives to try to move the hairball through the intestines, but there is the possibility that a cat will require surgery to remove the hairball.
The best way to “treat” hairballs is to do what you can to prevent them. The first line of defense is to regularly groom your RagaMuffin to remove dead hair. See the information on grooming your RagaMuffin kittens. This should be done with a brush and a comb. You should groom at least once a week and more often during the shedding seasons. This will remove much of the dead hair, thereby greatly diminishing the amount of hair your RagaMuffin kitty will ingest while grooming.
You should also give some source of fiber on occasion to help move the hair through the digestive tract. Many RagaMuffin cats will eat canned pumpkin, which is an excellent remedy to assist the hairball in moving through the digestive tract. Be sure you get the actual pumpkin and not the can of pumpkin pie mix.
If your cat refuses to eat pumpkin, you can offer one of the hairball remedy foods once per week. These foods have a higher fiber content and may assist in moving the hairball. If these remedies do not seem to work and you have a kitty that suffers from not being able to pass hairballs, either by regurgitating them or having them move through the intestinal tract, you can try a hairball remedy. If you can find one that is not petroleum based, that is better for your cat.
Using these tips, hopefully, you can reduce the number of hairballs, and more importantly, eliminate the dangers that hairballs can potentially cause for your RagaMuffin.
If you follow these preventative instructions, you will, however, take away the pleasure your RagaMuffin cat has in leaving the hairball on your beautiful new carpet, or perhaps the contests your RagaMuffin cats have to see which of them can hack up the biggest hairball :-).