Cats have many wonderful qualities that make them great pets, but one of the best things about our feline friends is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will diligently groom herself every day, keeping her fur soft and smooth. Unfortunately, your adorable pet’s beauty rituals do have a downside: hairballs. As it so happens, April 29th is Hairball Awareness Day. While we know that nobody wants to actually celebrate this occasion, it is a great time to spread awareness about hairballs, and offer our clients some tips on how to prevent them. Below, a Crown Point, IN vet discusses hairballs.
What Are Hairballs?
Hairballs happen when cats accidentally swallow their own fur during their daily grooming sessions. Kitties can’t easily digest their own hair, so some of this swallowed fur comes back out in the form of a hairball. These aren’t any more fun for Fluffy than they are for you! While any cat can get hairballs, super-fluffy kitties are a bit more prone to them.
There’s no way to guarantee that Fluffy will never get hairballs, but there are some ways to help reduce the number of hairballs she produces. First, make sure you’re feeding your kitty a nourishing, high-quality diet. Good nutrition will keep your furball’s coat shiny and healthy, and can reduce the amount of dead hair she sheds. Brushing your cat regularly will also help, as you’ll be removing that dry fur before your pet can swallow it. If your feline pal has long hair, you’ll need to brush and comb her daily. Keeping your furry friend indoors can also help, because indoor kitties often shed less than outdoor cats. Last but not least, ask your vet to recommend a good hairball remedy.
Dangers of Hairballs
Hairballs can be very dangerous to our feline friends. Occasionally, a kitty isn’t able to expel her hairballs in the usual way. This can cause serious problems with Fluffy’s gastrointestinal system, and can even prove deadly. Fortunately, these occurrences are rare, but it’s still something to be on the lookout for. If your cat is dry heaving, throwing up excessively, or seems to be having difficulty with her hairballs, contact your vet right away.
Does your kitty need vaccines or an exam? Contact us, your Crown Point, IN animal hospital, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!