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
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- adp_description_block61Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean
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Listen up, Mom or Dad, because your feline definitely has something to say. Cats use more than 100 different vocal sounds to communicate. Here are nine of the most common sounds you’ll hear and what your cat’s unique language means.
While your cat’s purrs are usually a sign that they’re happy, comfortable or content, it’s important to point out that your cat might also purr when they are anxious, agitated or sick — because purring soothes them. The key to figuring out if it’s a “worry purr” is to check if their ears are folded back, if they seem tense or if they just aren’t acting normal. (If that’s the case, call the vet and grab the cat carrier.)
Why do cats meow? It’s simple: It’s their way of communicating with us!
Meows are your cat’s most common “word,” and every one means something different. For example, your cat might meow to greet you when you come home, to ask you to open your bedroom door so they can curl up on your pillow, or to say, “I’d like some more tasty kibble.
Chirps and Trills
Chirps and trills are the loving language of cat mothers. Chirps, or chirrups, are staccato, bird-like sounds mother cats use to say to their kittens, “Follow me.” Trills are higher-pitched chirps your cat uses to say hello or “Pay attention to me.” When your cat directs these sounds at you, chances are they want you to give them some love or follow them somewhere, usually to their food or water bowl. (Shocker, LOL.)
If you have more than one feline fur baby, listen closely. You’ll likely hear your cats talk to each other with these sounds.
When your kitty spies an unsuspecting bird or squirrel frolicking outside the window, they might make a chattering sound at it. This distinctive, repetitive clicking noise is caused by a combination of lip smacking and your cat rapidly vibrating their lower jaw. This odd behavior looks like teeth chattering, and a lot of cats also chirp when they chatter.
This clickety sound is thought to be a mix of predatory excitement and frustration at not being able to get to the elusive feathered or furry prize. Some animal behaviorists even think the sound mimics a fatal bite used to break the bones of their prey. Who knew your li’l feline was so ferocious?!
Regardless of the exact reason cats chatter or chirp at birds and other small animals, most feline parents find it fascinating and amusing to watch.
The unmistakable sound of a cat hissing is like a steak hitting a hot skillet, and it can only mean one thing: Your cat feels threatened and will put up a fight if they have to. Just as important as the hissing sound, however, is the cat body language that comes with it. Your cat will flatten their ears, arch their back, puff their fur, twitch their tail and usually open their mouth to flash their fangs — aka the classic defensive pose.
Snarls and Growls
In addition to a hiss, if your cat makes a deep, guttural growlsound, they’re saying, “Back off.” Similar to a dog’s growl, this noise means your cat is annoyed, scared or angry. Some cats even make short, higher-pitched snarl sounds before launching into a full-blown growl.
While these sounds usually signify an unhappy cat, it’s important to note that some cats growl because they’re in pain from an injury or a health problem. If you suspect this is the case, a trip to the vet is in order.
If your feline snarls or growls at you for any reason, though, it’s best to leave your feisty friend alone.
A yowl, or howl, is a long, drawn-out meow that almost sounds like moaning; it’s your cat’s way of telling you they’re worried or distressed, or that they need you. They might have gotten locked in a closet, can’t find you anywhere or, heaven forbid, have discovered their food bowl is empty. Your cat might also yowl when they don’t feel well or when a new neighborhood cat trespasses on their turf.
Whatever the reason, make sure you immediately help your cat whenever you hear a yowl. Trust us — you’ll both be glad you did.
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