Vomiting hairballs or fur balls is not normal - especially if they are coming up more than twice a month. New research reveals that chronic feline vomiters nearly always have an underlying gut problem.
Speaker at the Cat Medicine conference I attended in February, Texan cat vet Gary Norsworthy, finds changes in the intestine of chronically vomiting cats whenever he ultrasounds their stomachs and intestines.
He said that hairballs are a sign of a gut problem, not the problem itself. The vomiting is what we notice.
Most chronic vomiting is due to chronic inflammation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD must be controlled because it often morphs into lymphoma, a type of bowel cancer.
If the ultrasound shows that a chronic vomiter has changes in its intestine then a sample of the intestine is taken to see whether the change is due to IBD, lymphoma or other less common disease.
IBD is controlled with diet and anti-inflammatory drugs.