Long-haired cats have beautiful coats, but they require a bit more maintenance and care than short and medium-haired cats. If you've noticed that your long-haired cat occasionally develops clumps in its fur, you should be aware that this could cause serious health problems if left alone. Read on to learn how simple fur clumps can be a serious threat to a long-haired cat's life.

How Clumps Form

Clumps are more common in long-haired cats fur simply because there's longer fur to work with. However, the clumps are actually created due to an excess of skin oils building up in the fur. This makes the fur stick to itself, creating a clump if it isn't untangled early on.

What Risks They Pose

Fur clumps aren't pretty to look at, but they're also dangerous for your cat. Consuming any fur at all can potentially cause gastrointestinal blockages for cats, but clumps make matters worse.

In order for a gastrointestinal blockage to occur, your cat needs to consume enough fur for it to form a mass in its stomach or intestines. This mass prevents food and waste from moving through the intestinal tract, which can quickly lead to major health problems. However, fur clumps take this one step further, as they're already a solid mass when your cat consumes them.

To make matters worse, cats will often yank out their own fur clumps while grooming themselves. As a result, if your cat has fur clumps and they aren't taken care of, there's a very strong likelihood that they have already consumed some of the clumps. There isn't a guarantee that these clumps will lead to a gastrointestinal blockage, but the danger significantly increases if your cat has ingested clumps of fur.

What To Do About It

If you suspect that your cat has already consumed fur clumps, the best thing you can do is to immediately begin giving your cats anti-hairball treats. Hairball treats are generally laced with petroleum jelly which help the fur to pass through the intestinal tract without creating a blockage. Of course, if your cat is showing signs of intestinal blockages like an unwillingness to eat or an inability to defecate, you should get to a veterinarian immediately.

In addition, your cat will need some assistance with its fur to prevent this problem from happening again. You can begin by regularly grooming your cat yourself and removing any fur clumps that you find, or you can seek assistance from a professional pet groomer. The choice is yours, but the point is to make sure that your cat never consumes a clump of fur again.

Caring for a long-haired cat is a bit more involved than if you had a cat with shorter fur, but they're worth it. If you have concerns about your cat's fur consumption, talk to a veterinarian for assistance, such as at Loving Care Animal Hospital.