There are only three ways for hairballs to get out of your kitty: Via stool, vomit or surgical removal. Rubbing or massaging your cat anywhere will do nothing to move along a furball lodged in your cat's esophagus, stomach or intestines. You may even hurt your pet attempting to rub out a hairball, so don't try. Normally, your kitty can take care of the problem on her own, so when you see her retching or hacking, expect vomit to be forthcoming. If your kitty doesn't expel a furball, treatment is required. Ask your vet about using a lubricating product or a laxative to help your kitty pass the furball. A lubricant will help a hairball move through the digestive tract. In rare instances, furballs that don't pass all the way through the intestines to be expelled with stool require surgical removal.
Hairballs in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies - Pets WebMD
Tony rolled his eyes and settled next to Bruce. He grinned as the girl kitten made herself at home on Bruce. "All you, Bruce. Just, you know, more hyped up." Tony held his finger out for the kitten to sniff. "Any idea why he called them furballs?"
But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hairball
Hairballs are caused by the accidental ingestion of fur. When cats groom themselves, they use their tongues, so it's no surprise that they often swallow a little bit. If your cat doesn't have particularly obsessive grooming habits, then the lack of hairballs is no shock. Some cats neglect grooming as a result of stress, anxiety, depression or various other medical problems. If you suspect that this is why your cat doesn't cough up hairballs, then it's time to investigate the situation further -- with the veterinarian. And younger cats and kittens are less likely to have hairballs. Cats at a tender age haven't fully developed their grooming behaviors yet, unlike adults who may be busy licking away from morning until night.
Usually, your cat will vomit the hairball to get rid of it