April 27th: National Hairball Awareness Day

April 25, 2012

Yes, it’s true there really is a National Hairball Awareness Day! We wanted to make a lot of fun about this day – and we still might at the end of this blog, but we thought we would at least start with some serious stuff.

Hairball, officially called trichobezoars, are caused because when they’re grooming themselves cats swallow loose hair. How much they swallow depends both on their coat and how often they are brushed. Most times the hair will pass through your cat’s digestive system with no problem, but sometimes your cat (and thus you) are not so lucky and hair that accumulates in the digestive track is vomited back up. Of course, the hair doesn’t come up alone – it is joined by anything else in the digestive track making the experience even more of a mess. And as we all know, hairballs are not balls at all, they are tubes of wet-mushy hair.

The easiest way to avoid hairballs is to brush your cat. If you are brushing away loose hair there is simply less of it for your cat to swallow. Professional bathing or grooming will remove even more loose hair. There are special hairball cat foods and treats available that have extra fiber in them to help your cat process the hair better so that it ends up in the litter box – not on the sofa when guests are arriving. Lastly, there are hairball lubricants that you can purchase. Most cats will lick these lubricants right off your finger.

Now for some fun stuff. While sure there are some corporate interests jumping on the proverbial hairball band wagon (Furminator is sponsoring all kinds of stuff this year) – we think that National Hairball Awareness Day is something that every cat and their human can participate in with or without corporate sponsorship. Think about all the great sounds made during the hairball creation process and the amazing motions your cat makes during the regurgitation process. I can picture it in my mind now. A video of this performance is bound to be HUGE hit on YouTube. What about the amazing hairball art that can be created after the fact.

National Hairball Awareness Day – this is really a holiday you can share with your cat!

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