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Malt paste for cats – an effective way to get rid of hairballs? What you should know about using malt in cats

Hairball vomiting is a regular occurrence in many cats. However, some cats have a hard time choking up hairballs. Malt paste is often advised to ease the cat’s digestion. In the article you will learn when it makes sense to use malt paste, whether it can be harmful, how best to use the paste and what alternatives there are.

When is malt paste useful for cats?

While it is uncomfortable for cats to throw up hair, it is a normal and healthy process. However, certain cat breeds, especially long-haired cats, often have to struggle with annoying hairballs. Cats also pick up more hair when they are changing their coat. In addition to cat grass, malt paste is a well-known aid that helps cats digest hair. The malt paste encloses the accumulated hair in the stomach and promotes lubricity. The hair can then be excreted through the intestines. For owners of long-haired cats such as Maine Coon cats, Norwegian Forest cats, Ragdoll cats or Persian cats, prophylactic administration of the malt paste may make sense after consultation with the veterinarian.

When is cat vomiting a concern for hair?

Is your cat vomiting hairballs? Don’t worry – it’s completely natural and usually harmless. Cats are extremely clean animals and clean themselves several times a day. Extensive grooming is used to remove dirt, parasites and dead hair. The rough tongue acts like a natural brush here. After the cat swallows the hair, it collects in the stomach and forms into a ball. Small amounts of hair are excreted in the faeces, but the cat has to regurgitate larger hairballs. Here, elongated balls form in the esophagus, which are up to 10 centimeters long.

Hair vomit is a natural reflex unique to cats.

Hairballs only become a problem when cats can no longer choke them out. If the hairballs in the abdomen become too large or harden, then in rare cases hairballs may become stuck. This can result in restricted gastric activity, inflammation of the mucous membranes, a blockage in the stomach outlet or an intestinal obstruction. Loss of appetite, weight loss, unusual withdrawal, constipation and diarrhea are possible symptoms.

Outdoor cats usually spit out the hairballs outside. The grass they eat along the way helps them retch their hair. Holders usually don’t notice anything. Domestic cat owners, on the other hand, occasionally stumble over the ball of hair – whether under the sofa, on the bed or on the way to the bathroom.

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Can malt paste be harmful to cats?

To ensure that malt paste is not harmful to cats, it is important to pay attention to certain ingredients. Some products contain substances that are not good for cats:

Paraffin oil: Paraffin oil promotes the lubricity of the intestinal contents in cats and is used for constipation and digestive problems. However, paraffin oil may only be given after veterinary advice. If a cat chokes on ingestion, there is a risk of life-threatening pneumonia.
Artificial Additives: Some malt pastes contain flavorings and colorings. For humans, the paste appears more appetizing – for the cat, however, many additives are unnecessary.

Caution with malt paste in diabetic cats
Most malt pastes contain sugar. If your cat has diabetes, it’s important to use a sugar-free malt paste. Sugar may be labeled on the tube as glucose, maltose, maltitol syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, or sucrose.

Tips on using and dosing malt paste for cats
The correct use and dosage of the malt paste for cats is just as important as the ingredients. The daily dose stated on the cream tube must not be exceeded. Due to the fat and sugar content, the malt paste is a calorie bomb for cats. If you would like to feed your cat malt paste regularly, then also discuss the dosage with your veterinarian.

Not every cat likes malt paste. If your gourmet is reluctant to lick the paste straight from the tube or from a spoon, then we have four simple tips for you:

Mix the malt paste into the wet food: your cat will not notice the paste.
Put the malt paste on your cat’s favorite treat: the paste becomes a treat.
Smear some malt paste on the cat’s paw: your cat will lick up the paste while cleaning.
Put some malt paste on the cat’s nose: Cats can’t help but lick the paste off their nose.

This is how you can prevent the development of hairballs in cats with malt paste
Malt paste and cat grass help digest hairballs. However, you can ensure in advance that your cat eats less hair:

Help your cat with grooming. Comb and brush your cat regularly. The additional care unit is particularly important for long-haired cats and when changing coats.
Make sure your cat’s food contains enough crude fiber. Crude fiber is the dietary fiber in cat food and regulates digestion. Species-appropriate feed contains a small but important proportion of crude fibre. A lack of raw fibers means that digestion becomes more sluggish and the hair is therefore more difficult to remove.
There are several ways to help your cat digest hairballs. Most of the time she manages it all by herself, but now and then a little help from malt paste is useful.

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