GACK! Are Hairballs Normal?

hariballsNo sound is quite as unsettling as the midnight “hack,” “gag,” or “bletch” from Fluffy the cat. Not only is the sight and sound of hairballs being coughed up disturbing, it often also seems equally distressing for our cats. So, what are these mystery lumps of fur, and are they a normal and healthy function of being a cat?

Defining Hairballs

Despite their name, “hairballs” or trichobezoars are not orb shaped as the name implies. Instead, they’re typically thin and cylindrical, a shape formed by emerging through the esophagus. Hairballs are essentially wads of undigested hair along with digestive fluids, bile, and sometimes undigested food.

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