Can Cats Get Constipated from Hairballs? Discover the Surprising Answer!

Cats can get constipated from hairballs. Hairballs can cause constipation in cats.

Hairballs are a common issue among cats, especially those with long hair. When cats groom themselves, they inevitably ingest a certain amount of fur, which can accumulate in their stomachs and form hairballs. In most cases, these hairballs pass through the digestive system and are eliminated through the feces.

However, if the hairball is too large or obstructs the intestinal tract, it can lead to constipation. This can cause discomfort, loss of appetite, and even vomiting in cats. As a cat owner, it’s important to monitor your cat’s grooming habits and provide preventive measures such as regular brushing and hairball remedies to help prevent constipation caused by hairballs.

Understanding The Causes Of Hairballs In Cats

Hairballs in cats can sometimes lead to constipation, causing discomfort and digestive issues for our feline friends. Understanding the causes behind these hairballs can help in preventing and managing this common problem.

Cats are known for their grooming habits and spend a significant amount of time licking their fur. While this grooming process helps them stay clean and removes loose hair from their coats, it also means that they ingest a considerable amount of hair. This hair typically passes through their digestive system without any issues. However, sometimes the hair can accumulate in the stomach and form a hairball.

Grooming is essential for cats as it helps them maintain a healthy coat and stimulates blood circulation. Regular grooming also allows cats to remove loose hair, preventing excessive shedding and reducing the amount of hair they ingest.

The process of hairball formation in a cat’s digestive system

When cats groom themselves, their tongues are designed to remove loose and dead hair from their coats. However, some of this hair may still be ingested. The hair travels through the digestive system and usually passes in the feces. In some cases, however, the hair may clump together in the stomach, forming a hairball. This hairball can cause discomfort and irritation, leading to symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, and constipation.

Common symptoms of hairballs in cats

When cats have hairballs, they may exhibit various symptoms. These can include frequent coughing or hacking, attempts to vomit without producing anything, lack of appetite, constipation, and lethargy. If your cat shows any of these signs, it’s important to seek veterinary attention to ensure that the hairball is properly treated and the underlying cause is addressed. Regular grooming and preventative measures, such as adding hairball control products to their diet, can help minimize the risk of hairball formation.

The Relationship Between Hairballs And Cat Constipation

Hairballs are a common issue for cats, especially for those with long hair or those that groom themselves excessively. But can hairballs actually lead to constipation in cats? Let’s explore the link between hairballs and constipation in felines.

How Hairballs Can Contribute To Intestinal Blockages

Cats ingest hair while grooming, and normally, it passes through their digestive system without any problems. However, when a cat has excessive hairballs, they can start to accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, causing a blockage. This blockage can then lead to constipation, as the normal passage of stool is hindered.

Effects Of Constipation On A Cat’s Overall Health

Constipation can be uncomfortable and even painful for cats. It can cause discomfort, bloating, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can lead to serious health issues such as megacolon. If left untreated, chronic constipation can have long-term effects on a cat’s overall well-being.

Preventing And Treating Hairballs And Constipation In Cats

  • Regular brushing: Brush your cat’s fur daily to remove loose hair and prevent it from being ingested.
  • Use a deshedding tool: A deshedding tool can help remove excess hair from your cat’s undercoat, reducing the amount of hair she ingests during grooming.
  • Consider a shorter haircut: If your cat is prone to hairballs, you may want to have her fur trimmed shorter to minimize shedding and reduce the occurrence of hairballs.
  • Increase fiber intake: Feed your cat a diet rich in fiber to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. This can be achieved by adding canned pumpkin or a fiber supplement to your cat’s food.
  • Provide plenty of water: Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times to stay hydrated and help maintain proper digestion.

Home remedies and over-the-counter treatments for hairballs and constipation:

  • Safe lubricants: There are various over-the-counter hairball remedies available that can help lubricate your cat’s digestive system and facilitate the passage of hairballs.
  • Probiotics: Adding probiotics to your cat’s diet can promote a healthy gut and aid in digestion, reducing the risk of hairballs and constipation.
  • Veterinary consultation: If your cat experiences frequent hairballs or constipation, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and potential treatment options.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a veterinarian for personalized advice.


Hairballs can be a common issue for cats and lead to constipation. It’s important for cat owners to understand the causes and take preventive measures. Regular grooming, a high-fiber diet, and encouraging hydration can help alleviate hairballs and reduce the risk of constipation.

If you notice persistent symptoms, consult with a veterinarian to ensure the wellbeing of your feline friend. Remember, a happy and healthy cat is a hairball-free cat.

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