Generally, cats have a thick fur that is why they easily feel warm most of the time. When they are resting, it is a very relaxing feeling for them to lick their bodies to be able to provide mild coolness. In addition, nibbling their fur body is also a way of grooming their bodies. Subsequently, this cat activity may facilitate hair fall. Therefore, it is not shocking that cats are very prone to formation of hair ball inside their stomachs. A hair ball is a clump of hair in the stomach of animals. Hair balls are formed when animals lick their bodies and ingest their body hairs. When hair balls develop into a very big clump due to accumulation of hair over time, animals occasionally throw this bunch of hair up. Rabbits and cattles also have a high tendency of forming hair balls since they clean up their bodies by licking their fur just as cats do.
A Hairball Formula is a product that aids in the digestion of hair preventing it from forming into clumps or ball of hair. These kind of products have a formulation consisting of Cellulose, Catnip and other proteolytic or protein – lysing substances. The ingredients of a Hairball Formula include:
1. Cellulose is an important component of this anti – hairball formula. Cellulose is an organic compound that cannot be readily digested by human gut but serves to increase the bulk of the feces. Cellulose is a hydrophilic agent adding more roughage to the stool thus improving bowel movement.
2. Another enzyme is Papain from an unripe papaya fruit. Papain is an effective proteolytic enzyme that can help digest protein molecules like hairs.
3. Catnip is an herb which primarily has a relaxant property. It can also help prevent digestive problems such as gastric upset, tension and indigestion.
4. Aloe Vera has a soothing effect to the gastrointestinal tract. Aloe Vera extract in the stomach stimulates the production of pepsin. Pepsin is an important digestive enzyme to break down proteins.
5. Slippery elm is a tree in which its bark is used a soothing agent for the digestive tract. It is discovered to provide relief and coat digestive tract walls. With its reflux stimulation property, it facilitates stimulation of mucus production thus protecting the digestive tract against ulcers and other indigestible products ingested.
6. Fructooligosaccharides is a common synthetic food flavoring which is popularly employed to improve digestive health because of its prebiotic effects. Fructooligosaccharide serves as a precursor of digestive microbial flora. It is claimed that this chemical compound can prevent yeast infections.
7. Psyllium seed contains chemical that can preserve more water in the feces making it easier to pass stool. Like cellulose, psyllium cannot be broken down and absorbed by the intestinal wall. It only acts as dietary roughage. Adequate bulk and moisture in the feces can significantly prevent constipation.
Most Hairball Formulas come in tablet preparations. It can be crushed and mixed with the food for your cat. For small – sized cats (about 15 lbs or less), use two tablets in the morning and evening meal. For cats weighing more than 15 lbs, mix the cat food with 3 tablets twice a day.
Look for quality hairball formulas at your local or internet vitamin store. Always choose name brands like Actipet to ensure quality of what you buy for your beloved pet.