April 30th is National Hairball Awareness DayPublished April 29, 2010
Ok . . . I now have irrefutable proof that when leave the house our cats sneak into my office and boot up my laptop. How they love to surf the internet! And after a thorough history search of their recent visits, this time I am thrilled with the results since they were well behaved, not looking for kitty porn! This morning as I was sipping my coffee, Hubble, our white Oriental Shorthair cat jumped onto the dining room table, begging to share his excitement over their online discovery. He cocked his head and smiled. This is what he had to say! (For folks not fluent in "kitty talk" several translations are available at: http://speaklolcat.com/) "Welp itz abowt tyme dat yew hoomans hav fynally relized dat haerbalz iz a serioz biznez and set asides itz own speschel day. Wemembur da artikle yew rote abowt dis a cupple ov yeers ago strezzing da imporence of managink our fer and wat haerbalz weally ar? I meen it iz no funn to swalow all dat haer wen we groom ourselvez and it getz stuk in our tummeez. It makes uz sik and us all wayz hirl dose nasty pyles of fer all over da house. And it kan also bee dangerrouz! " I realized that Hubble was getting extremely passionate about what he had to say as he continued his tirade concerning trichobezoars; the "technical" word for hairballs. He said, "We iz sew glad dat yew use dat wonerfull Furminator comb. We love dat tink and it helps kepe away those fer balz. Even Romeo da cat maid a speschel website abowt it!" He then begged me to share some information about hairballs and what we do at our house to help prevent the majority of these icky "gifts" our cats present along with that ever so familiar hacking choral cacophony. People owned by cats share an amazing statistic I found while doing my own "surfing" the other day. About 60-80 percent of all kitties will present their "staff" with a hairball approximately once a month. Of course this depends on whether one's cat is a long-hair or short-hair, how often they groom themselves, and how regularly their staff makes time to brush or comb them. Hairballs may appear as matted fluffs of fur presented on the floor, on carpets and on furniture. Some may appear as small cigar-shaped objects or even resemble cat-poop, but they are comprised of (ugh) . . . hair and vomit, accompanied by any dirt or dust lingering on their coat. Fortunately most of the time all the hair and stuff that your cat grooms from his coat will pass easily through his digestive tract and be eliminated into the litter box in a bowel movement. However large amounts of hairballs may not be able to pass through your cat's system and occasionally may cause intestinal blockages. If you observe your cat attempting to "hack up" a hairball without success, or becomes constipated, it is wise to consult with your veterinarian immediately. In our opinion, the FURminator is a terrific grooming tool to lessen hairball formation. Our cats totally enjoy being "Furmed", purring their hearts out during a session. And while there are excellent fur ball prevention products on the market, such as Laxatone, since it contains petroleum products, we feel safer giving them a small amount of butter each day as a more eco-friendly treat. How do you control hairballs in your household? Leave a comment and share your favorite tips. Photo credit: Hub Pages For more information about hairballs, check out the Hairball Awareness Day page!