Cats Get Bezoars

by catfood

Bezoars, which are digestive lumps, can be harmful to humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. In essence, most feline bezoars are hairballs.

If a mass is felt, the veterinarian will likely suggest abdominal radiography (X-rays). Some, however, cannot be naturally passed and obstruct the gastrointestinal tract totally or partially. Veterinarian treatment will be needed for these pets.


The Function of Cats’ Bezoars

Bezoar is the name given to a mass of foreign substance that develops in cats’ gastrointestinal tracts, most frequently the stomach (pronounced “BEE-zorr”). The substance may become a solid, sphere-shaped ball in the stomach. Some bezoars will be broken down and transferred through the rest of the GI tract, through the feces, or through vomiting. Some, however, are too large and densely packed to be removed from the body. These bezoars have the capacity to seriously obstruct the intestines.

Bezoars can have many distinct forms in cats.

  • Trichobezoars, also referred to as hairballs, are mostly formed of hair that was ingested while being groomed. Typically, the curly hair is mixed with stomach contents, dirt from the coat, and other debris.
  • Phytobezoars are composed of fiber from fruits or vegetables and plant material.
  • Pharmacobezoars are not frequent in cats. These take place when medications, in particular antacids, combine in the stomach. Part of the reason for this can be attributed to the coating on the pills, which may stick together when damp.

Cats with bezoar symptoms

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Diminished appetite
  • Retching, hives, or attempts to vomit
  • Vomiting, especially watery vomiting (especially liquid)
  • Diarrhea, perhaps watery (may be watery)
  • Abdominal discomfort and/or swelling
  • Restlessness
  • Vocalization

A cat with a bezoar might not at first show any signs of illness. In an effort to vomit the contents of its stomach, your cat may begin to heave or retch, but little or nothing may come up. Your cat may have started spitting up hairballs on a regular basis, lost interest in food, or not been acting properly.

It’s crucial to consult your veterinarian if your cat displays any of these symptoms or any other symptoms that suggest a medical problem. Remember that cats have an instinctive need to hide illness for as long as they can in order to survive.


Cats chewing hair and other debris while grooming themselves are the main source of bezoars. Small dosages of these drugs could be able to pass through the GI tract, or the cat might present them as hairballs. When food and too much hair and trash accumulate in the stomach, a trichobecomecomezoar, which cannot be passed, can form.

Trichobezoars, which develop when fibrous plant matter accumulates in the GI system and forms into a mass, are more frequent but less typical than phytobezoars. These are uncommon among felines.

A pharmacobezoar can develop in the stomach when numerous medications interact, although being uncommon in cats.

Getting Rid of Cats’ Bezoars

Your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive check to determine your cat’s general health and condition. The vet may be able to feel a lump when feeling your cat’s belly. The majority of bezoars are either easily digested by cats or are vomited up by cats. Blood and urine tests may also be necessary to assess organ function and blood cell counts, particularly if your cat may have a GI obstruction.

Some bezoars can be managed medically by administering lubricants and laxatives, which facilitate the cat’s bezoar passage. Some bezoars, however, are too large and challenging to treat with these medications. In this more extreme case, the cat will probably need surgery to have the bezoar removed.

Surgery in the abdomen is performed under general anesthesia. Your cat’s abdomen will be opened by your veterinarian, who will then examine the GI tract to find the bezoar. Before the bezoar is removed, the GI tract will be extensively inspected for damage. Unhealthy tissue may need to be removed before your veterinarian can properly sew the GI system back together. Your cat will likely need a few days in the hospital, and the abdomen will be sewed up. Before being returned home, your cat will likely receive medication from your veterinarian to speed up the healing process and prevent endozoar recurrence.

Cat Bezoar Prevention

Limiting how much hair and other garbage your cat consumes at once is the simplest way to prevent cat bezoars. Your veterinarian can provide you suggestions on nutritional supplements and preventative drugs.


Never give your cat laxatives, any medications, or vitamins without first consulting your veterinarian. Some medical procedures could ultimately be harmful.

  • You can keep your cat hydrated by switching to a wet food diet and/or making water sources more alluring (cat fountains work for some).
  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil to your cat’s food if they can handle it.
  • Give your cat vitamins like Omega-3 fatty acids if your vet says they’re safe to take.
  • Wipe up your cat’s fur using cat-specific cleaning wipes to stop them from consuming additional allergies and filth.
  • Brush your cat frequently to reduce the amount of hair it ingests and to eliminate debris from the coat.
  • As suggested, bring your cat to the veterinarian for a routine wellness checkup (typically every six to 12 months). Your veterinarian might be able to detect a minor problem before your cat displays symptoms.

If you suspect your pet is sick, contact your veterinarian straight away. When in doubt about your family pet’s health, always see your veterinarian. They have examined your pet, are aware of its medical history, and may be able to offer the best guidance for your pet.

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