Happy Kitty!

How to stop kitty from hacking up hair balls? Dr. Caroline Patten of Liberty Vet Clinic has some tips in this month’s “Everything Pets” column.

Kitty Pic

Cats will groom themselves and will swallow their hair as they do.

This hair will either pass through the cat or in some cats, the hair comes back up as a hair ball, leaving a mess on the floor for you to clean up.

With some minor changes you may be able to prevent or decrease the frequency of hair balls in your cat.

Brushing your cat to remove any loose hair will decrease the amount of hair your cat can swallow.

Some food and supplements have also been formulated to improve the digestion of hair.

Food formulated for hair balls usually has a higher fiber content to help move the hair through the digestive tract.

Also make sure your cat has plenty of water to drink. Hair balls will move more easily through the digestive tract of a well hydrated cat.

If you try these changes and your cat is still bringing up hair balls go see your vet.

You should also contact a vet if you notice the following symptoms, they could indicate that a hairball has caused a potentially life-threatening blockage:

  • Ongoing vomiting, gagging, retching, or hacking without producing a hairball
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

She and her husband, Bret Asbury (a law professor), moved to a twin on Fox Street in 2013 with their children Gus and Marlowe.
She set up Liberty Vet Clinic in Roxborough soon after.

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Liberty Vet Clinic
8919 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia
(215) 483-1066

Dr. Patten, owner of Liberty Vet Clinic in Roxborough, has extensive experience in preventative care, dental procedures, emergency medicine, and soft tissue surgery. She lives on Fox Street in East Falls with her husband and their two sons.

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