Hairball Awareness Day is April 25th. Why do hairballs get an awareness day? They aren’t becoming self-aware, at least as far as we know. The point is actually to inform people with kitties that hairballs can sometimes be quite dangerous. A Bourne, MA vet explains below.
Hairballs are an unfortunate–and unsightly–downside of one of Fluffy’s best traits: her cleanliness. Kitties diligently groom themselves every day. Your feline pal may spend up to a third of her waking time caring for her fur. That could be as much as an hour a day! Over the course of your furry diva’s beauty ritual, she will inevitably end up swallowing some of her own fur. Cats can’t digest hair, so their bodies reject it. You already know what happens next. It’s not Fluffy’s cutest trick.
There are things you can do to reduce the number and volume of Fluffy’s hairballs. Brushing your feline buddy regularly will help a lot. If you remove that fur with a brush, she won’t accidentally swallow it. A good diet is also important, as it will reduce the amount of dry, frizzy fur your kitty gets. Another thing that will help is keeping up with your furry pal’s parasite control. Fleas can make cats very itchy, which can cause them to overgroom themselves. Finally, we recommend keeping your little buddy inside. Not only will she be safer and healthier, she’ll also be protected from the seasonal weather changes that trigger hair shedding and growth cycles.
Most cat owners are at least passingly familiar with what hairballs are and how they form. However, what isn’t as well known is the fact that hairballs can cause serious medical issues. Occasionally, a hairball gets lodged in a cat’s digestive tract. When this happens, Fluffy won’t be able to expel her hairball in the usual way. This can cause blockages, which are very dangerous. They can even be fatal. Keep an eye out for warning signs. These include dry heaving, excessive vomiting, and bloody vomiting. You’ll also want to watch for more classic signs that your kitty isn’t feeling well, such as hiding, poor grooming, and lethargy. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these things.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we could be of assistance. As your local Bourne, MA veterinary clinic, we are here to help!