Can a cat die from a hairball?

Asked by Member 765794 on Nov 20th 2008 Tagged hairball in Other Health & Wellness
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



I don't think so. Gagging them up is uncomforable but it is a natural occurrence with long haired cats and even some short hair. But I suppose they could potentially choke on one they can't bring up. If your cat seems prone to excessive hairballs, then you should switch to a food for hairball control or else use Laxatone or another hairball remedy regularly to prevent them. I bought a seafood flavored one from Dr Fosters & Smith because my cats didn't like the ordinary malt flavored ones.

Allie answered on 11/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

As usual, Allie is right. Delilah horkers up 2 to 3 hairballs a day. One thing I've found that helps, although it's difficult to grow now that winter is here, is cat grass. Delilah loves rye, barley and wheatgrass and catnip right out of the pot. I grew it all summer and the cats were on Cloud 9. The catgrass helps with digestion and elimination of the hairballs. Also, if your cat has a hairball problem, make sure you brush her frequently (like more than once a day.) That cuts down on what she swallows.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 11/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If it was severe enough, it is possible to cause intestinal blockage that can be fatal if not treated. But, most things are -possible-, it doesn't make them likely.

Most cats with hairballs are fine and healthy. Use Laxatone or Petromalt to help hairball pass or brush your cat frequently to remove hair so he does not ingest it. Baths are also a great way to get rid of loose and dead hair. The easiest thing to do is brush your cat more often.

Atrus answered on 11/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have 3 Maine Coons, and none of them have hairball problems because they get regular baths and I use a metal comb. A comb gets out the under fur, which is what comes out when the cat sheds in the spring, when hairballs are most common. A brush is not as effective as a comb. Breeders and cat show exhibitors who specialize in long haired cats prefer combs; brushes can be used to smooth the surface hair, but don't penetrate far enough. Even if your cat is short haired, I'd recommend trying a comb as well as a brush. But I can't emphasize enough the effectiveness of the occasional bath. Gobs and gobs of dead fur come out--enough to clog the drain. That's why my cats almost never have hairballs.

Lola answered on 11/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer