Hairball Awareness Day

Did you know that April 29th is Hairball Awareness Day? We know, hairballs aren’t exactly something to celebrate. This unofficial holiday would be much more fun if it was Cuddle Your Cat Day or Give Your Kitty Tuna Day. However, hairballs are not uncommon among our feline friends, and can affect your kitty’s health, so it is important for cat owners to understand what they are, how they form, and how to reduce them. Below, an Isle of Palms, SC veterinarian discusses—you guessed it—hairballs.

How Hairballs Form

As you’ve likely noticed, cats are very diligent about keeping themselves clean. Fluffy may spend hours each day carefully grooming herself. Sooner or later, during these daily beauty rituals, your furry little diva will swallow some of her own hair. Fur isn’t really something cats can digest easily, so, while some of it may go through your pet’s gastrointestinal system, most of it will come back up in the form of a hairball. (Some kitties have a knack for leaving hairballs in the most inconvenient places possible, but that’s another topic.)

Preventing Hairballs

There is no way to completely eliminate the chances of your kitty getting hairballs, but there are ways to reduce the amount of hairballs Fluffy produces. First, make sure your kitty is eating good, nutritious food. This will help her coat stay soft and shiny, and can reduce the amount of dead fur she sheds. It’s also a good idea to brush your feline friend regularly. This is especially important if your kitty is super-fluffy, as longhaired cats tend to be highly prone to hairballs. The more dead fur you capture with a brush, the less your pet will ingest. Because cats that go outside shed more than those who stay inside, keeping Fluffy indoors can also help. Last but not least, ask your vet to recommend a good hairball preventative.

Dangers of Hairballs

While hairballs are not unusual in our feline friends, excessive hairballs can indicate a medical issue. Occasionally, a hairball can get stuck in a kitty’s digestive system, which can be very dangerous. If your furry buddy is having a lot of hairballs, or is having difficulty expelling her hairballs, contact your vet immediately.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your kitty’s health or care? Call us, your local Isle of Palms, SC animal hospital. We are here to help!