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Do All Cats Get Hairballs? Feline Health Facts & FAQs

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

Cat vomiting

If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably had the displeasure of watching your cat hack up a hairball on the new carpet, or maybe you haven’t. While you would think that throwing up a hairball would be just a part of being a cat, it’s not.

So, should cats produce hairballs? Do all cats get hairballs? The surprising answer is no; not every cat breed has hairballs. Are you confused yet? Never fear; we’ll give you everything we know about hairballs in cats below.

hepper cat paw divider

Do All Cats Get Hairballs?

No, all cats do not get hairballs. In fact, if your cat doesn’t throw up hairballs, that’s a great thing and means the cat is healthier than most. This is because your cat isn’t swallowing as much hair when grooming itself.

Not swallowing much fur means the cat is at less risk of developing an obstruction that causes the hairball.

Should a Cat Get Hairballs?

No, it’s not required for a cat to produce hairballs; your cat should only get two or three a year if any. If your cat is constantly throwing up hairballs, it’s a sign that they are swallowing too much hair, and you need to take steps to figure out why they are shedding so much.

cleaning cat vomit in carpet
Image by: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

Can a Cat Die Because of Hairballs?

Yes, a cat could choke on a hairball since it is an obstruction. While throwing up hairballs is often thought to be just a regular part of being a cat, it can be dangerous. If your furry friend is constantly coughing up hairballs, it’s time to make an appointment with your vet.

At the least, you need to start grooming your cat more often, even if it means taking the cat to a professional groomer.

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Can You Make Your Cat Throw Up a Hairball?

In reality, you can’t make your cat throw up a hairball. If the hairball doesn’t come up on its own, then the cat probably has an obstruction, and you need to get it to the vet as soon as possible for treatment. You can also give your cat food specifically for hairball prevention since it might prevent the cat from developing hairballs.

hepper single cat paw divider

Bottom Line

Cats get hairballs, but not every cat does. It’s unusual for a cat to produce a hairball more than two to three times a year. If your cat constantly has hairballs, it’s probably best to get it to a vet for a diagnosis and treatment of the problem. It’s usually because the cat is swallowing too much hair when grooming, but it’s better to get your pet checked just to be safe.


Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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