Most cats can get over their hairball problems simply by having their owners or a professional groom them on a regular basis. However, if your cat or cats are already being groomed and hairballs are still happening, it might indicate that another problem is to blame. Read on to discover if your cat has an eating disorder, and if so, what to do about it.
As far as eating disorders go, pica is a strange one. Pica is essentially an urge to eat things that are not food. The exact items differ from cat to cat, but one of the most common urges is to eat hair.
Cats with pica can end up eating their own fur or even eating human hair if they find it. Cats will pick up hair off the floor, from a brush, or from anywhere else they can get their paws on it. Regardless of whether the hair is their own or not, all kinds of hair can cause hairballs, so that may be your kitty's issue.
If your cat has pica, they may be exhibiting signs that you haven't recognized yet. For example, keep an eye out on your cat for a while. See if they poke random objects with a paw or pick up things in their mouth that they shouldn't. These are some of the biggest signs.
In addition, cats with pica may exhibit high levels of anxiety. Pica is often triggered by anxiety, so this may be your cat's go-to behavior when it's feeling stressed out. Stressed out cats often yowl, mark inappropriately, or seem eager to see you every time you step out of a sealed room.
What To Do
If you think your cat might have pica, the first thing you should do is visit a vet. There are a couple of good reasons for this.
The first main reason is that if your cat has been regularly eating things that aren't food, they could already have a partial gastrointestinal obstruction. These can be detected with ultrasound technology and can be removed by a vet.
Secondly, you'll need help controlling your cat's urge to eat things that aren't food. Your vet can help with this by not only looking for secondary medical conditions that can increase your cat's stress, but by also providing medication to help ease your cat's anxiety. This may help to reduce or even eliminate your cat's pica behavior.
Pica is a dangerous condition for cats to have and one that shouldn't be ignored. If you've already done the right thing and have taken your cat's grooming into consideration and they still have hairballs, pica could be the culprit. Visit your cat's vet to find out if it's pica or another problem.
For more information, contact a vet office like Elizabethton Veterinary Clinic.