One of the most common traits of cats is their cleanliness, that they frequently groom themselves and therefore rarely need bathing. But although this is usually positive behaviour, as we don’t need to help them in their hygiene, it can also have disadvantages: the famous and much-dreaded hairballs in cats.

They are formed because cats use their tongues as brushes to clean themselves, sweeping up the hairs they shed and, as they can’t spit them out, swallow them. They normally expel the hairballs themselves, without any problem. But at times these hairballs get stuck, and that’s what causes problems. If your cat seems listless, regurgitates and vomits without expelling any hairballs, this is a sign of trouble.

But how can we help them?

First, to prevent this, we should try and get into the habit from the start of brushing our cats daily to get rid of excess hair. That will reduce hair build-up for the cat to clean and facilitate hairball elimination. For this purpose, it’s good to have catnip, a plant like cats like and that also helps them to purge.

Another home remedy to help your cat if he’s suffering from this is to rub some Vaseline on his leg, so when he starts to clean himself and lick his leg, it will help him to expel any hairballs. If you haven’t got any Vaseline, try butter, it’s also effective. If none of these methods helps, the best thing is to take him to the vet.

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