diets for Cats?
Special diets to avoid hairball
contain high levels of fibre, which increases the amount of
water held in the digestive tract. This helps to keep the
swallowed hair soft and moist and so aid in its expulsion;
there is potential for creating a problem here.
In many cats, water metabolism
is critically balanced. They may not drink much water, for
example because they don't like the smell of the chlorine
in tap water. They may not go outside to drink if the weather
is cold or wet. There is also a growing tendency to keep cats
indoors permanently. Increased secretion of water into the
gut will lead to a tendency to produce a more concentrated
urine and this may predispose to health problems.
I do not know if the pet food
companies which make hairball diets have investigated this
and will have taken avoiding action. A healthy system means
that the cat will not over-groom. Also the cat will not ordinarily
shed hair which can be swallowed.