Natural ways to prevent and treat hairballs

Home Remedies for Cat Hairballs

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Home Remedies for Cat Hairballs

We have three cats, and one has a frequent problem with hairballs. Does anyone have any natural ways to prevent, minimize, or treat for hairballs that does not require special costly food or medication from the vet? My cat and I would appreciate it!

Follow This Expert Advice

Our vet told us to put Vaseline® on our cats' front paws. Put a good healthy dollop on each paw. They will lick it right off while looking greatly offended. It worked very well. After that, there was still an occasional hairball, but it was usually because we had forgotten to use the Vaseline® treatment on them.

While they are still "greased up," keep them in an area (bathroom, laundry room) where they can't damage anything like upholstered furniture or bedding if the Vaseline® should touch it.

Be Sure to Brush Frequently

One home remedy is to give your cat a little oil on its food each day. This may help the hair slide down. Also, brush your cat frequently, even twice a day, so there will be less hair to swallow. If these remedies do not work within a couple of weeks, I would take the cat to the vet. I thought my cat had hairballs, but in fact, he had a tumor on his kidney and was very ill.

This Food Helps

Since I switched to Purina® Gentle dry cat food, my cat hasn't had any hairballs. I was really surprised as this isn't mentioned on the package, but when you read the online reviews, a lot of people are saying the same thing about their cats not having or at least having less hairball problems. Yes, she is brushed just about every day also.

Mineral Oil to the Rescue

I have an older cat with long fur, and as soon as he starts his hairball cough, I give him a teaspoon or so of mineral oil or olive oil and that works like a charm. He will be 11 years old next month, and I have been doing that since he was little. I don't remember who told me about this trick, but it works.
Donna from Bernville, PA

Keep Their Pipes Running Smooth

Most cats just love unrefined coconut oil. They don't tolerate a lot of it, so maybe a 1/4 teaspoon every other day or even just three times per week would be good. It helps them keep their pipes running smoothly. I give mine theirs on a Popsicle stick. Coconut oil is so very good for humans and dogs too.

Add Pure Pumpkin to Food

Add pure pumpkin to their canned cat food. I use it on my cat and she has never had a hairball. I asked my vet and he said that is what he uses on his three cats.

Salmon Oil Does the Trick

Salmon oil from the pet food store will help a lot. Give a small dose each day in a little wet food. It helps hair slide right through and is also nourishing. It doesn't prevent the absorption of nutrients in the intestine the way petroleum based products do. However, the best thing to do is wash the cat with baby shampoo at the beginning of the season and then brush them well and keep on brushing!

Visit the Baby Food Aisle

Feed your kitties a small amount of baby food squash (organic is best) or canned plain organic pumpkin (NOT the spiced pumpkin used to make pies). You can add it to their meals or offer it on a teaspoon as a treat. Most cats love it, and it serves as a healthy form of extra fiber to bind the fur and smoothly send it out the other end. Also, if you're not already doing it, a daily brushing with a cat brush will help to prevent much of the "lickable" fur.

When Cats Don't Like to Be Brushed

First, get a grooming brush and brush those cats at least weekly. They don't like brushing? When doing some petting, get the brush and do a brush stroke instead of one of the hand stroke pettings. This will teach the cat that the brush is good. The other thing is cod liver oil. This is one of the ingredients in many of the hairball products (check the labels) and most cats love it.

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