Did you know that April 27th is Hairball Awareness Day? We’re guessing probably not. This definitely isn’t the cutest kitty holiday: that honor would go to Hug Your Cat Day or Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. However, hairballs are more than a yucky nuisance. They can actually be quite dangerous! In this article from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, a local vet discusses hairballs.
How Hairballs Form
As you probably know, cats are very diligent about keeping themselves clean. Fluffy may spend several hours a day carefully grooming herself. Your pet will inevitably ingest some fur during her beauty rituals. Cats are not able to digest their own hair, so, well, we probably don’t need to you what happens next.
There are a few things you can do to reduce the number of hairballs your cute little pet gets. First, take time to brush your kitty regularly. This will trap Fluffy’s dead fur in a brush before she swallows it. Keeping your furry friend indoors will help as well. Cats that go outside are more exposed to the seasonal weather patterns that trigger shedding, so they tend to grow thicker winter coats than indoor kitties. This, of course, means that they shed more in spring and fall. Your pet’s diet is another factor that will play a role. Proper nourishment will keep your furry buddy’s coat soft and shiny, thereby reducing the amount of fur she sheds. Hairball prevention remedies can also help. If you have a longhaired cat, your vet may recommend keeping Fluffy on hairball prevention year round. Ask your vet for more information.
Hairballs are not uncommon among our feline overlords. Unfortunately, thought, they aren’t always benign. Sometimes kitties are not able to properly expel their hairballs. This can result in intestinal blockages, which are extremely dangerous. Keep an eye out for warning signs. Dry heaving is one red flag. Excessive or violent vomiting is another indication of hairball trouble. Call your vet right away if you see any of these symptoms. Keep in mind that cats try to mask signs of illness, so you may not immediately notice that your pet isn’t feeling well.
Please contact us here at Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help.