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How Nutrition Can Help Manage Your Cat’s Hairballs
How Nutrition Can Help Manage Your Cat’s Hairballs

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How Nutrition Can Help Manage Your Cat’s Hairballs

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Why Make a Hairball Management Formula?

  • Most cats are susceptible to hairballs due to continual ingestion of hair during regular self-grooming.
  • Cat owners have told us that hairballs are one of their top concerns.
  • According to IAMS™ consumer research, a number of cat owners and their cats have found hairball treatments to be an unpleasant experience.

 

How Were the IAMS Hairball Formulas Developed?

IAMS nutritionists were looking for a way to control hairball formation while maintaining optimal feline health and well-being. They evaluated risk factors for hairball formation in cats fed diets that varied in fiber source and content.

  • 98 cats were studied.
  • Nine groups were fed test diets and three were fed control diets.
  • The test-feeding period was six to seven weeks, following a five-week control-feeding period.
  • Total cat-days of testing = 9,968.

 

Researchers found that feeding diets that contained a blend of beet pulp and cellulose was more effective at moving hair through the digestive tract, compared with the same diets containing beet pulp as the only fiber source.

  • There was an 80% to 100% increase in fecal hair excretion with beet pulp/cellulose-blend diets, compared with the beet-pulp-only diet.
  • By promoting the passage of hair ingested by the cat during normal self-grooming, an important risk factor for hairball formation is minimized.
  • Hairballs were not evident in cats fed the beet pulp/cellulose-blend diets.

 

How Do IAMS Hairball Formulas Work?

  • The fiber system (blend of beet pulp/cellulose) gently moves hair through the gastrointestinal tract while maintaining healthy digestion.
    • Beet pulp, a moderately fermentable fiber, promotes optimal intestinal health.
    • Cellulose helps to enhance the passage of ingested hair.
  • An optimal fatty acid ratio enhances skin and coat health, which decreases the likelihood of excessive shedding, a factor related to hairball formation.

 

How Do IAMS Hairball Formulas Compare with Other IAMS Cat Food Formulas?

IAMS hairball formulas provide high-quality nutrition and taste, like our other adult formulas, with the added benefit of reducing the risk of hairballs.

  • High-quality nutrition for adult cats
    • Optimal protein and fat levels
    • Higher fiber content due to added cellulose
    • Excellent stool quality, skin and coat condition, and taurine status
  • Great taste
    • Similar acceptability and palatability test results as other IAMS adult formulas

  • How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing
    How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing
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    How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing

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    If you share your living space with a feline friend, you’ve likely experienced the fascinating yet perplexing world of cat nails. From the loud, rhythmic sound of scratching that greets your early morning to those tiny prods every now and then, the claws of cats are as intricate as they are functional. Let's take a journey together to understand why cats scratch and learn how to cut a cat's nails. 
     

    Why do cats scratch?

    First and foremost, let's understand why your cat is a passionate ‘cat clawing expert’. Cats scratch for various reasons, including claw maintenance, exercise, marking territory, and even attention-seeking. Scratching enables them to remove the outer husk of their claws, revealing a sharp new surface underneath. Additionally, scent and sweat glands in their feet produce a unique smell, which is deposited when they scratch, marking their territory - a clever, multi-purpose act, isn't it?
     

    Identifying normal cat clawing

    If you're wondering, 'how much cat clawing is too much?', you're not alone. Many cats scratch indoors due to limited outdoor access, comfort, or safety concerns. If you find your cat scratching extensively, especially around doorways and windows, it could be a sign of insecurity or anxiety. 
     

    How to determine if your cat's nails are too long

    Spotting when your cat's nails are too long is crucial. Overgrown cat nails can cause injuries to their paw pads, lead to changes in gait which can affect their joints, and cause damage to your furniture. Generally, indoor cats require nail trims every couple of weeks, whereas outdoor cats may need them less frequently. 
     

    Cutting cat nails: A step-by-step guide
     

    1. Establishing a calm environment for cat nail trimming

      When it comes to cutting cat nails, creating a calm environment is key. Choose a quiet spot and find a comfortable position for you and your cat. You could try trimming their nails when they're sleepy or relaxed, like after a meal. Avoiding distractions such as windows or other pets can also make the process smoother.

    2. Building trust through paw handling

      Get your cat used to paw handling. Gently hold and rub their paw daily for a few seconds. If they're comfortable, extend a nail and reward them with a treat. This slow, rewarding process will make them more amenable to cat nail trimming.

    3. Familiarizing your cat with the nail clipper

      When learning how to cut a cat's nails, it's important to familiarize your cat with the nail clipper. Let them see and sniff it to reduce anxiety. You could also familiarize them with the sound of the clipper by cutting a piece of dry spaghetti near their paw. Always remember to reward their calm behavior.

    4. The process of trimming cat nails 

      Now it's time to clip. Carefully isolate the nail to cut and note where the quick is -- a vein that can cause pain and bleeding if cut. Cut the nail at a 45-degree angle, starting with the very tip. Be patient and careful not to cut the quick. 

    5. Importance of patience in clipping cat nails

      This isn't a race, so take your time when clipping cat nails. If your cat becomes agitated after a few nails, stop the session, and try again later. Forcing the process can cause stress and erode trust.

    6. Cat nail trimming schedule

      Maintaining a consistent cat nail trimming schedule is vital. As a rule of thumb, trim their nails once every one and a half to two weeks. But remember, every cat is different, so adjust as necessary. If you struggle with the process, seek advice from a professional groomer or veterinarian. 
       

    How to stop your cat from clawing furniture: Enter the scratching post 

    To keep your beloved furniture intact, providing an acceptable alternative to your cat's claws is crucial. A cat scratching post, sturdy and tall enough for the cat to stretch fully, is an excellent solution. These scratching posts mimic the texture and orientation (horizontal or vertical) of their preferred scratching area, redirecting their cat clawing behavior. 
     

    Caring for kitten nails: The basics

    Kitten nail trimming is similar to adult cat nail trimming, but with a few modifications. Firstly, begin the process of desensitizing their paws early. Show them the nail clipper and make sure it's not a source of fear. When cutting kitten nails, remember they're smaller and softer, so be extra cautious. And, don't forget the kitten scratching post. It's never too early to provide alternatives for their clawing needs.

    With these steps, you're now well-equipped to take care of your cat's claws. Remember to stay patient and calm during the process, and always reward your cat for their cooperation. In no time, you'll become a pro at handling your feline friend's claws, ensuring their comfort and wellbeing.