Cat Fur Balls & Hair Balls

What is a Fur Ball or Hair Ball?(For the purpose of this article we will call them Fur Balls)

Put simply a fur ball is made up of the fur a cat gets stuck on its tongue when it is licking itself clean.  A cats tongue is covered with tiny little barbs for exactly this purpose.  When a cat is moulting the act of cleaning itself is also an act of removing excess hair.  It is natural for a cat to lick itself clean and you should not try to stop your cat doing this unless you believe they are obsessively over grooming themselves, the reasons for this can be varied and you should talk to your vet about it.  Cats are actually naturally very clean animals.  However a consequence of this is that each time they lick their fur a small amount of fur sticks to their tongue and they swallow it.  Often the fur passes through their system in the natural way and no action is needed.  In other cases the fur is not able to be digested properly and it begins to build up inside the cat.  The fur collects into what is known as a fur ball.