The Last Friday in April is National Hairball Awareness Day!

Yep you read that right…tomorrow is April 25th, 2014 and it’s the last Friday in April this year which makes it National Hairball Awareness Day.

Hairballs are common occurrences among cats in particular but sometimes other pets can get them as well.

You might ask what exactly a hairball is. Well, according to an article on Hillspet.com, “The formation of hairballs is a common feline condition that is brought on by self-grooming and the associated ingestion of hair. The ingested hair can accumulate in a cat’s throat or stomach, causing irritation. Cats with hairballs are often seen gagging, regurgitating or vomiting hair and mucus. All breeds are susceptible to hairballs…”

Dr. Debbie Davenport, a Hill’s veterinarian says “Some 50-80% of cats produce hairballs as frequently as once a month. In most cases, hairballs are normal but unpleasant, but in a few cases, hairballs can be a symptom of something more serious happening in the cat’s digestive system.”

If you cat has chronic hairball issues a trip to the vet is in order. However if your cat or other critter just has the occasional hairball, there really is no need to worry. There are also several steps you can take to help your beloved pet with their hair ball issues.

 (Photo from WhitePersianCats.com)

Here are a few steps you can take to help your pets with hairballs:

•Brush or groom pets regularly to help eliminate excess hair buildup which can get into their systems when they groom themselves. I personally like to use the FURminator pet brushes to groom my rabbits and cat. Regular grooming of your pet can help reduce shedding and in return reduce the chance of a hair ball.

•Provide multiple clean water sources for your pet. It’s best for you to keep a cat’s drinking bowl in a separate location from their food dish or at least not directly next to it as this will limit the chance of food falling from the cat’s mouth into its water and also ensure that cats drink more water if there are multiple water sources for them to choose from. Drinking more water will in turn help their body rid itself of any ingested hair.

•Diet also plays a large role in hair balls, especially if the cat is allergic to something in their food. There are special formulated hair ball foods and treats that you can give your pet but it’s always best to consult a vet before making any food changes.

•Provide play areas for your cat to exercise and stay fit.  “Keeping a cat active helps him maintain a healthy skin and coat and increases balance and coordination.” (Petfinder article by Dr. Arnold Plotnick)

•Another good tip is to always ask your vet if you are unsure about anything health related with your pet.

(photo from PetfinderBlog)

Well Hope that gave you a little information on hair balls. Happy National Hairball Awareness Day!!

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Posted on 24 April '14 by , under Pets.