It won't take more than one step on a cold, squishy hairball with your bare feet before you make it a priority to get your kitty's hairball problem under control. Plenty of prepared products are available at the pet supply store, but there are also ways to make hairball remedies at home.
Not Difficult at All
Recipes for homemade cat hairball remedies are extremely easy to follow. They typically only involve getting your cat to eat the right things that will encourage hair that she has swallowed during her grooming sessions to move through her digestive tract and exit out the proper end. That way the offending cat hair can be deposited into the litter box instead of being hacked up onto the carpet.
One of the things that makes homemade hairball remedies so simple is the minimal ingredients required. Usually you just supplement your cat's diet with one or two items that will get things moving in the right direction, and they're almost always ingredients you already have on hand. This can be done separately from meal times if your cat will willingly eat the hairball treatment, or you might need to mix it in with her food if she is less cooperative.
Lubrication and Fiber
Commercially prepared hairball treatments usually provide your cat with one or both of the missing elements that causes her to cough up a hairball instead of passing it naturally: lubrication and/or fiber. The fiber element helps your cat digest what's in her tummy and move it through her system efficiently. The lubrication factor helps smooth the way, greasing the track, so to speak, and making it easier for your cat's system to work as it should. These two ingredients can work fine on their own, but putting them together gives your kitty the advantages of both and can speed up the cure.
Finding Hairball Remedy Items at Home
Effective ingredients for a homemade hairball remedy can be found throughout your house. Use items from the kitchen like butter, olive oil, aloe vera juice or sardines packed in oil for lubrication. The medicine chest in the bathroom is a useful resource, too, supplying petroleum jelly for the lube element and over-the-counter laxative supplements like Metamucil to add fiber. Take care when treating your cat at home for hairballs. Too much petroleum jelly can interfere with her ability to properly absorb vitamins from her food, and aloe vera products that have sodium benzoate or benzoic acid can be toxic to cats. It's best to consult your vet to ensure the method you're using to treat your cat for hairballs is OK and to get his advice on dosage amounts.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats; Editors of Prevention Health Books
- Vet Info: How Hairball Control Cat Food Works
- The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats; Diane Stein
- Pets Need Wholesome Food Also; Jesse Dallas
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.