It’s a frightening sight if you’ve never witnessed it before. Your cat’s entire body convulses, as
loud retching rumbles from deep inside. Then a cylindrical object hurls out of her mouth and onto
the floor, much to your horror. It isn’t pleasant for your cat either, and many of them will moan
before this violent bodily act.
What are they,
What do they mean
and What to do
(besides saying, “eWW!”)
By SuSan Logan-mccracken
We have a lot of things in common with our felines,
How hairballs are formed
but this is not one of them. as mammals, we are
warm-blooded, nurse our young and possess similar
vital organs and bodily functions. although we do
experience vomiting, “coughing up” hairballs is some-
thing associated mostly with our beloved kitties.
actually, cats do not “cough up” hairballs. because
hairballs are ejected from the stomach through the
esophagus, vomiting is the correct term.
hairballs, also known in the scientific community as
trichobezoars, contain undigested hair and digestive
fluids, including bile, which might explain their yellow-
ish hue. Cylindrical in shape as they pass through the
narrow, tubular esophagus, hairballs retain that shape
as they are expunged from your cat’s mouth.
Cats are meticulously clean. they don’t take
showers like we do and, unless they have mobility issues, don’t generally need to be bathed like
dogs. Cats clean themselves with their sandpapery tongues, which contain backward-slanting
papillae. these barbs grab loose, dead hairs that
the cat swallows while grooming. overly meticulous
H!r r r oo