Did you know that April 26th is Hairball Awareness Day? We know, hairballs aren’t exactly something to celebrate. However, it is important for people who are owned by cats to understand what hairballs are, why they happen, and how to prevent them. In this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX animal clinic, a local vet discusses hairballs.
Why Kitties Get Hairballs
One great thing about cats is that they are naturally very clean. Your furry little diva will spend hours each day carefully grooming herself and making sure that pretty fur stays soft and shiny. Inevitably, your pet will end up swallowing some of her own fur during these daily beauty rituals. Cats can’t digest fur, so once Fluffy has swallowed too much of it, well, you pretty much know what happens next. It isn’t pretty. (We know that some of our feline friends have a knack for leaving hairballs right where they’re most likely to be stepped on, but that’s another topic.)
While the occasional hairball is not uncommon in our feline friends, if Fluffy seems to be getting a lot of hairballs, she may have a medical issue. Occasionally, hairballs can get stuck in a cat’s digestive system. This is very dangerous! If your kitty is vomiting excessively, loses interest in food, or shows any other sign of illness, such as hiding, poor grooming, or litterbox issues, contact your vet immediately.
There are some ways to reduce the risk of your kitty getting hairballs. First, make sure your feline pal is eating a nourishing, high-quality diet. Good nutrition will help keep your kitty’s fur shiny and healthy, and can help reduce the amount of dead fur she sheds. Less dead fur on your cat will eventually translate to less dead fur in your cat, which, in turn, will reduce the amount of hairballs she produces. Brushing Fluffy regularly will also help. The more fur you trap on the brush, the less she’ll swallow. Keeping up on parasite control is also important. If fleas are making Fluffy itch, she may groom herself more, and could swallow more fur than usual. Last but not least, if your kitty gets a lot of hairballs, ask your vet to recommend a good hairball remedy.
Does your kitty need veterinary care? We can help! Please contact Fairfield Animal Hospital, your local Cypress, TX veterinary clinic, anytime.