Hairballs – What You Need to Know

Did you know that April 29th is National Hairball Awareness Day? While this isn’t exactly an occasion to celebrate, it is very important for kitty owners to understand what hairballs are, and how to tell if Fluffy’s hairballs are normal or problematic. A local Bucks County, PA veterinarian discusses hairballs in this article.

How Hairballs Form

Cleanliness is definitely one of Fluffy’s many wonderful traits. Your kitty will carefully groom herself each day to keep her fur clean and soft. During these daily beauty rituals, your feline pal will inevitably swallow some of her own hair. While some of this fur may make it through your furball’s plumbing, cats really can’t digest hair effectively. We probably don’t need to go into detail about what happens next, but it isn’t any more fun for Fluffy than it is for you.

Preventing Hairballs

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of hairballs your feline friend gets. First, make sure Fluffy is eating a nourishing, high-quality diet. Proper nutrition will keep your kitty’s fur soft and shiny, and can reduce the amount of dead fur she sheds. Brushing your cat regularly can also help reduce hairballs. The more of your pet’s fur you get with a brush, the less she’ll swallow! Be sure to incorporate lots of cuddles and compliments into your furball’s grooming sessions, so she knows that she’s being pampered. Keeping your cat indoors may also help, as indoor kitties often shed less than those who are allowed to go outside. Finally, ask your vet to recommend a good hairball remedy.

Warning Signs

Although hairballs are, to some extent, a normal occurrence in cats, they can on occasion cause serious medical issues. While, fortunately, these situations are rare, they can be very serious when they do happen. Sometimes a kitty isn’t able to expel her hairballs in the usual manner. This can lead to intestinal blockages, which are very dangerous, and can even be deadly. If your feline friend seems to be vomiting excessively, or if she looks like she is having trouble with her hairballs, contact your vet right away.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Please feel free to contact us, your Bucks County, PA animal hospital, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are always happy to help!