My cat vomits a hairball on my carpet every one to two months. What can I do to prevent this?
Use a hairball medication.
Hairballs are a common problem in cats that groom themselves frequently, as well as in those that have long hair. When a cat grooms itself, it swallows hair, and over time the hair can accumulate within the stomach. Eventually, the hair causes enough irritation to the stomach that the cat will vomit it up.
Owners may opt to use hairball remedies such as Laxatone, which contain ingredients such as petroleum jelly that help bind the hair in the stomach and move it into the intestines and passed in the feces. A cat treated with such a remedy will defecate the hairball instead of vomiting it.
Laxatone treatment initially is given daily for about a week, and then every couple of days thereafter for maintenance. Some cats need treatment only every few weeks to keep hair from accumulating. For those cats that reject Laxatone, there are now hairball diets and treats available that claim to decrease problems with hairballs. If a cat continues to vomit, have it examined by a veterinarian to be sure that the vomiting truly is caused by hairballs and not by an underlying disease. Cats that swallow string or toys may also vomit, but the ingesting of foreign objects is a more serious condition that requires veterinary attention.