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Bezoars in a cat: what are the symptoms of distortion and how to prevent it?

Bezoars in a cat

Cats are clean-cut cats, every owner of a fluffy purr knows it.

Daily toilet before bedtime, after a nap, before and after lunch, and just like that, for relaxation, is a must for every kitten.

Unfortunately, cats, while enjoying some of this pleasure, run the risk of forming hair balls, the so-called pilobezoars.

In this article you will find out what they are symptoms of distortion and how to prevent the formation of hair balls.

  • What are bezoars?
  • Which cats are predisposed to the formation of hair balls?
  • What are the symptoms of confusion?
  • How is pilobezoars diagnosed?
  • How bezoars are treated?
  • How to prevent distortion?
    • Cat hair care
    • Stripping feeds and pastes
    • Oils
    • Snacking treats
    • Cat grass

What are bezoars?

Bezoars, or hair balls, are the fur of our hairy purr.

How bezoars are made?

How are they made?

A cat's tongue is made up of thousands of small, sharp hooks.

They have several functions.

First of all, they help in eating food - tearing meat off the bones (this mainly applies to the wild cousins ​​of our four-legged friends).

Secondly, they help to clean the flies by removing dead hair, undercoat and dirt.

The cat's tongue, then, acts as a combination of a grater with a very dense brush (or scraper).

The difference is that our kitten's licked hair is not able to spit it out - it catches on this grater.

The hair thus goes through the digestive system to the stomach.

In healthy, short-haired cats, the hair is removed with the faeces.

In more fluffy little ones, or those who suffer from hair loss, hair accumulates in the stomachs, forming dense balls, i.e. pilobezoars.

Which cats are predisposed to the formation of hair balls?

Which cats are predisposed to the formation of pilobezoars?

More sensitive to the formation of dangerous fluff are:

  • long-haired cats, e.g. Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Siberian Cat,
  • cats with dense undercoat,
  • cats that have recently been ill and have started shedding their fur.

As for age and gender, it doesn't matter.

Relatively young cats can suffer from this disease, but their hair deposits will be smaller than in their older colleagues.

What are the symptoms of confusion?

The truth is, most cats can do the fluff removal on their own.

He expels them with feces or vomiting, the so-called. pellets.

If they excrete them during defecation, the animal's faeces may contain hair or blood particles.

The pellets, in addition to the food contents, contain felted, sausage-shaped structures - partially digested hair.

On the other hand, if your kitten is in the group of cats whose hair is lying in the digestive system, you may notice symptoms such as:

  • cough,
  • choking,
  • apathy,
  • reluctance to eat,
  • vomiting, often immediately after giving water or food,
  • weight loss,
  • constipation.

Pilobezoars irritate the gastric mucosa, leading to its inflammation and catarrh, and consequently stomach ulcers.

Accumulated in the intestines, they contribute to the formation of:

  • fecal stones,
  • peristalsis disorders,
  • intestinal obstruction.
Bezoars accumulated in large quantities, they can completely clog the kitten's digestive tract. This is a life-threatening situation.

Therefore, in the event of constipation in your cat for several days, often associated with vomiting, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How is pilobezoars diagnosed?

How to check if your cat has hair globules?

If your cat has not had a bowel movement for a few days, is a long-haired Siberian with a beautiful coat, the doctor will probably suspect hair balls.

In the event of the diagnosis of this condition, an imaging test is necessary - in this case X-ray be Ultrasound.

Based on the x-ray, preferably with contrast, the doctor will be able to judge where they are in the digestive system hair balls and whether they threaten the cat's life by obstructing the digestive tract.

How bezoars are treated?

In extreme cases of hair balls, it is necessary surgical intervention.

Pilobezoars, collected by kittens for years, they create perfect casts of the stomach or intestines, preventing the ingress of food contents.

The doctor who diagnoses this condition will most likely decide, if your pet's condition allows it, to have pilobezoar removal surgery.

If the hair balls have not yet clogged the digestive tract, your doctor may recommend drip, possibly. enemas to soften the hair mass.

In the case of pilobezoars, it is also recommended to:

  • pass paraffin orally (it creates a lubricant layer for the hair), stripping pastes,
  • glycerin suppositories,
  • drugs that improve the peristalsis of the intestines (with them very carefully so as not to lead to perforation of the intestine).

How to prevent distortion?

Cat hair care

Prevention of bezoars: grooming your cat's coat

If you are a happy owner of a long-haired cat, take care of its fur.

At least once a week, brush his coat and undercoat thoroughly.

There is a wide range available on the market today brushes, scraper if furminators.

Their price ranges from a dozen to several hundred zlotys.

If your pet doesn't like home grooming, decide to visit groomer.

He will professionally brush your Frisky's fur.

In extreme cases, when your cat's fur is tangled or felted, you can choose to have it trimmed, preferably by a professional.

In my office, kittens often appear, injured by the unskillful handling of scissors, or even worse, clippers.

The last such case ended with 20 stitches

Therefore, it is better to use the services of a cat hairdresser.

Stripping feeds and pastes

Stripping food for a cat

Another thing you can do to avoid cat fluff is feeding specials feed be debuffing pastes.

You will find foods that prevent the formation of pilobezoars in every veterinary clinic.

Examples include karma, i.e.:

  • Royal Canin Hairball Care,
  • RC Fiber Response,
  • Hill 's Feline Hairball Control.

They contain fibers - fiber and specials ingredients supporting intestinal passage.

Their prices fluctuate within limits 20 - 30 PLN per kg.

Often, high-end feeds have additives to help remove lint, e.g. most long-haired breeds of food. That's why it's a good idea to read food labels.

Regarding debuffing pastes, perhaps the most popular of them is Bezo - Pet. price for 120 g paste is approx 50 - 60 PLN.

In order to remove bezoars, the manufacturer recommends using 1 teaspoon of paste a day, and for prevention, 1 teaspoon 2-3 times a week.

Other examples of such pastes are:

  • Beaphar Malt Peel Paste,
  • Trixie malt paste for a cat.

Their common feature is the content of glidants, oils, which are to help remove the remaining hair.


Speaking of oils

Recently, I heard the opinion that the perfect way to remove the fluff is to give your cat a teaspoon of grape seed oil, linseed oil or butter.

I am not convinced about this idea.

First of all, large amounts of liquid fat can harm your ward's liver or pancreas a lot.

So, by trying to help him, you can make your pet seriously ill.

Second, the amount of fat fed can lower the absorption of certain vitamins from your cat's gastrointestinal tract.

For this reason, a longer administration of paraffin is also not advisable.

I will not mention vomiting or diarrhea here, after oil experiments.

Snacking treats

Another way to anti-colic prophylaxis there are special treats.

I am not a supporter of them - it is an additional source of calories and, unfortunately, obesity is an increasingly common disease of the purring population.

I also cannot believe that giving one crisp per day will eliminate the problem of fluff.

Cat grass

Cat grass

A home remedy for preventing pilobezor formation is cat grass.

In nature, wild cats get rid of hair balls by eating certain plants.

Our cats, also, by nibbling on fresh blades of grass or oats, support the natural cleansing of the digestive system.

The grass often causes a gag reflex.

Together with the food, the cat is then able to remove the matted hair.

The price for cat grass seeds is a few zlotys.

Remember that your ward should eat only plants specially designed for him. Most of the indoor potted flora is toxic to the cat.


In short, to prevent the formation of pilobezoars in your cat:

  1. Brush him, at least once a week. Especially in the period spring - summer, when hair loss is increased.
  2. Watch the cat - if you notice vomiting with the hair or large amounts of hair in the stool, see your veterinarian. In this way, the doctor will be able to check whether your pet's digestive system is obstructed.
  3. Prevent the formation of fluff by giving your cat special food, pastes, flavors or grass. This will help the natural cleansing of your pet's digestive tract.

To sum up, the problem of pilobezoar formation is quite a common problem for indoor cats.

However, appropriate lint prevention and observation of the cat significantly reduces the risk to the cat's health.

As a guardian, prevent the formation of pilobezors by following the above-mentioned rules, and your kitten will be a happy, healthy home tiger ?

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