April 24th was Hairball Awareness Day! We know, hairballs aren’t really something to celebrate. They really aren’t much fun for either you or Fluffy. While it’s much more pleasant to talk about our feline friends’ odd box obsession, or their other cute quirks, hairballs are sometimes more than an unsightly mess on the floor. A local Richmond, IN vet discusses hairballs in this article.
The Hairball Life Cycle
One great thing about cats is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will diligently groom herself every day, keeping that pretty fur in shape. Sooner or later, your furry little diva will swallow some of her own fur during that process. Cats aren’t really able to digest their own fur, so this is how hairballs are ‘born.’ It’s not Fluffy’s cutest trick.
Hairballs are, unfortunately, a common occurrence in kitties. However, there are things you can do to reduce the number of hairballs your pet gets. Brushing your furry little diva will help quite a bit, as you’ll be capturing that dead fur with a brush before she swallows it. (Bonus: this is also a good way to make Fluffy feel pampered.) Believe it or not, keeping your feline buddy inside can help as well. When cats go outdoors, they are exposed to seasonal weather changes that spark shedding cycles. A good diet is important too. This will keep your cute pet’s coat shiny and healthy, therefore reducing the amount of dead fur she sheds. Keeping up with Fluffy’s parasite control is also beneficial. Kitties often over-groom themselves when they have fleas making them itch! Last but not least, we have hairball prevention products. These are often recommended for kitties with long and/or thick fur. The more fur on your cat, the more fur in your cat!
It’s probably safe to say that hairballs are never pleasant for kitties. However, sometimes they can be dangerous. If Fluffy can’t expel her hairballs in the usual way, she could end up with dangerous intestinal blockages. These are very painful, and can even be life-threatening. Keep an eye out for warning signs, such as dry heaving; excessive or frequent vomiting; reduced appetite; and withdrawal. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss. Early treatment is always beneficial!
Please contact us, your Richmond, IN vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!