Did you know that April 27th is Hairball Awareness Day? We know, hairballs aren’t really something to celebrate. However, they are a fairly common occurrence with our feline buddies, so it’s important for people owned by cats to understand what they are and how they form. A Carolina Forest, SC vet discusses hairballs in this article.
What Hairballs Are
As you have probably noticed, our feline pals take their beauty regimes quite seriously. Fluffy will carefully groom herself every day to keep her coat clean and soft. Sooner or later, your furry little diva will swallow some of her hair during this process. Cats can’t digest their own fur, so, well, you probably know what happens next. Suffice it to say, it’s not the best part of having a kitty.
There are some steps you can take to help reduce the amount of hairballs your kitty gets. Brushing Fluffy regularly will be beneficial. You’ll be trapping your cat’s dead fur in a brush before she can swallow it. This is particularly important with longhaired kitties, and during heavy shedding times. (Bonus: this is also a great way to bond with your furry pal!) Keeping your pet indoors can also help, as cats that go outside tend to shed more than indoor kitties. This is because indoor cats aren’t as exposed to seasonal weather changes that trigger shedding. Feeding your furball a good, nutritious diet will help as well. Proper nutrition will keep your pet’s fur soft and shiny, and will also reduce the amount of dead fur she sheds. Last but not least, ask your vet for advice on using hairball prevention products.
While hairballs are, unfortunately, fairly common in our feline friends, they aren’t always just an unsightly inconvenience. Occasionally, kitties can’t expel their hairballs properly. This can cause intestinal blockages, which can be very dangerous. If you notice your pet having trouble throwing up, call your vet immediately. Excessive vomiting is another red flag. Watch for other signs of illness as well, such as reduced appetite, hiding, and poor grooming. Keep in mind that cats often don’t let on that they aren’t feeling well until they’re quite sick. Fluffy may be quite ill by the time you notice something is wrong! Please contact us, your Carolina Forest, SC veterinary clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help.