Hairball Awareness Day

Cat owners, put a pawprint on your calendar for April 27th: it’s Hairball Awareness Day! While hairballs are definitely not the cutest part of having a cat, it is important for people owned by kitties to understand what they are and when they are—and aren’t—normal. A Diamond Bar, CA vet discusses hairballs below.

How Hairballs Form

Our feline pals take their beauty rituals very seriously. Fluffy may spend hours carefully grooming herself, and keeping her pretty coat clean. Sooner or later, your furry buddy will swallow some of her own hair during this process. Cats can’t really digest their own fur, so instead they expel it in the form of a hairball. (Fluffy often manages to leave her hairballs in the most inconvenient spots, but that’s beside the point.)

Hairball Prevention

There are a few things you can do to lower the amount of hairballs your kitty gets. First, be sure to brush your cat regularly. This will trap your kitty’s dead hair in a brush before she swallows it, thereby reducing the number of hairballs your furry little diva gets. (Bonus: you’ll also find less fur stuck to your clothing and furniture.) Regular brushing is particularly important with kitties that have long and/or thick hair. Keeping your feline friend inside will help as well. Cats that go outdoors shed more than indoor cats, because they are more exposed to seasonal weather cycles that trigger shedding. Proper nutrition is also important. Good food will keep your cute pet’s fur soft and shiny, which will in turn reduce the amount of dead fur she sheds. Last but not least, ask your vet for advice on using hairball remedies. As the name suggests, these products are specifically formulated to reduce or prevent hairballs.

Warning Signs

As you’ve probably noticed, hairballs are, to a certain extent, somewhat par for the course when you have a kitty. However, this doesn’t mean that they are always harmless. In fact, if your furry friend can’t expel her hairballs, she could experience some very serious medical issues, such as intestinal blockages. Keep a close eye on your feline buddy. If your kitty is producing a lot of hairballs, is dry heaving, or is vomiting excessively, call your vet immediately.

Please contact us, your Diamond Bar, CA pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent care.

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