Why do cats cough up hairballs?

If you have a cat for a pet, there may be times when you noticed them coughing. While it can happen, most experts say that compared to other animals, cats do not really cough often. 

What causes cat coughing then? 

If you see your cat coughing for more than a few days, there may  be something wrong with their respiratory tract. Cat coughing could be a sign that there is an irritation in their trachea. This could be because of a virus or inflammation. They could also be experiencing allergies that’s why they are coughing.

Will I need to go to the vet if my cat coughs too much?

This would depend on other symptoms you might see in your car. If they seem their normal self, then it would not be a problem if you hear an occasional cough or two from them from time to time. 

But if the cough is productive, meaning there is phlegm, it would be a good idea to bring them to the vet already. Now, even if there is no phlegm, but the cough progresses, and you see that your cat is starting to lose weight, you also need to bring them to your vet. 

Why is my cat coughing up a hairball? 

A hairball happens not because of a sickness but because of the cat’s grooming routine. The normal routine that happens when your cat grooms themselves is that the hair is just expelled when your cat poops. 

But there are instances when the hairs are not ingested properly. Instead of expelling it in the litter, they stay in either the esophagus or the stomach. If the hairball does not get out, it is not only uncomfortable for the cat but dangerous too. The intestines may be blocked  by the hairball so the cat needs to cough it out. While most people think that hairballs are round, they are actually more oval in shape, as they pass through the esophagus before being expelled through the mouth. Cat breeds that are long-haired are more likely to cough up hairballs than other types of cats.

While coughing up hairballs may be common, you still need to determine whether it could be because of an underlying condition. For example, they may be ingesting more hair than usual because of how often they groom. Your cat may have a skin condition that needs to be addressed. 

While you cannot really avoid your cats from having hairballs from time to time, there are some things you can do. 

If you want to help prevent hairballs from occurring, it would be a good idea to regularly groom your cat so it does not shed much hair. This will lessen the risk of them ingesting too much hair when they groom themselves. 

You should also look into their diet. WIth a more balanced diet, you may be able to prevent your cats coughing up hairballs in the future. There are also some products that you can buy that may help reduce the occurence of hairballs.