How do you know your cat has a hairball?

by Linda

I have 2 cats (Patty and Pickle). Patty has long hair and used to cough up what I called a rope of hair but only occasionally-now she throws up/coughs up hair, food, etc., sometimes several times a day.

What could cause her to have this problem? How do you know the difference between a hairball problem or some other problem?

They are both indoor cats and eat indoor formula food & grass... please help. I am very worried.


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Aug 01, 2011
Several times per day is too much
by: Kurt (Admin)

If I'm reading this correctly, Linda, you're saying that something has changed. Patty used to throw up hairballs occasionally, but now she's vomiting more often and throwing up food, sometimes several times per day.

Chronic vomiting is pretty much a way of life for a cat, but in my experience, a cat vomiting several times per day several times a week is too much. Vomiting every day is too much as well.

Cats can get into things, eat things that don't agree with them, or have sensitivities to food as the other commenter indicated.

Frankie had lots of hair, and had problems all of her life due to her long hair as well. She would go through periods where for several days she'd work on a bad hairball. The other cats did this as well, but not as much, I'm assuming because of their shorter fur.

I've had discussions with my veterinarian about it. His position was that some periodic hairball hacking was normal. This may include food coming up (sometimes hair, sometimes not) but when the pattern changes or it becomes too often, I think it's time to see the vet for a check up.

Jul 30, 2011
by: Anonymous

I have indoor cats too and longhairs still get hairballs. I brush mine daily which helps but if they spit up too much it could be the food you are giving them is too harsh on their tummy and they might need something more sensitive. I give mine sensitive tummy which helps and change water frequently with non-chlorine water. just have to try to see if its sensitive tummy or a medicine you are using like flea med too strong, etc.

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