Do big cats cough up hairballs too?

Here’s a good question, if we know that long-haired cats like Angoras or Persians regularly cough up hairballs, do their distant wild cousins such as lions, tigers and cougars suffer from the same affliction?

Did you know domestic cats spend half their waking hours bathing? No wonder then that you’ll often find a little gift of a ball of fur full and saliva on the floor in between some vomit and a half-devoured insect.

This action is perfectly natural, and it is a phenomenon that is indispensable for the health of your cat. But the question still comes to mind, do big cats such aslions, tigers, pumas and leopards experience the same phenomenon of fur regurgitation?

Lion or cat, same problem?

Wildlife experts agree, all felines, big or small, cough up hairballs since these great predators spend several hours per day grooming themselves. Not only does it keep them perfectly clean, but it is also an activity that relaxes them and makes them feel good.

However, using their raspy tongues which are covered in thousands of tiny bumps requires them to swallow a large amount of fur which is not digestible. The cats must, therefore ‘expel’ this hair one way or another.

Complicated digestion

These small bumps covering the tongues of wild cats are also useful during their daily meals. They help them to tear the flesh off of the bones of their victims and correctly position the piece of meat in their mouths before swallowing it. Nevertheless, it is rare forwild big cats to cough up hairballs.

More often than not the hair is expelled from the other side… if you see what we mean! In 2015, a veterinarian in Colorado surgically removed a huge ball of fur from the stomach of an adultlion in captivity at the Keenesburg Wild Animal Sanctuary. To sum up, it is possible, but the king of the jungle or the proud Central American leopard has never really been observed coughing up a furball!

This may be the most stunning cat! This may be the most stunning cat!