Did you know that April 26th is Hairball Awareness Day? We’re guessing probably not. After all, hairballs really aren’t something to celebrate. They definitely are not one of the best parts of having a kitty. However, hairballs are more than an unsightly nuisance: they can actually be quite dangerous. Therefore, it’s important for people owned by cats to understand hairballs, and to know when they are and are not normal. A local Pasadena, MD vet discusses hairballs in this article.
Cats, as you probably know, are quite clean. Fluffy may spend hours each day carefully grooming herself. She really can’t avoid swallowing a bit of hair during this process. Kitties can’t digest fur, so they have come up with a much more creative way to expel it: the hairball.
There are some things you can do to help prevent—or at least reduce—your kitty’s hairballs. Brushing your feline pal daily is one thing that can help. You’ll be capturing that dead fur with a brush before your pet can swallow it. (Bonus: you’ll also find less cat hair on your clothes and sofa.) Also, make sure Fluffy is eating a good, nutritious diet. This will keep her coat healthy, and will reduce the amount of dead fur she sheds. Keeping up with your pet’s parasite control is also important. If your kitty gets fleas, she may lick and bite herself to get them. Your vet may also recommend giving your cat a hairball remedy.
Although hairballs are not pleasant for either you or your cat, they usually aren’t problematic. However, sometimes they can be dangerous. If your furball isn’t able to expel her hairballs, they could become lodged in her intestinal tract. This can be extremely dangerous! If you notice your feline friend dry-heaving and/ or vomiting excessively or violently, contact your vet right away.
Unfortunately, many cat owners discover hairballs in the least pleasant way possible: by stepping on them. Have you ever wondered if your feline buddy’s placement of hairballs is deliberate? Although Fluffy does seem to have a way of leaving them in the worst possible places, the jury is still out on whether cats do this on purpose or not.
Please reach out to us, your local Pasadena, MD vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!