(THE COMFY SOFA, My House, Annapolis, Maryland) April 22, 2015—Cats and hairballs are two things often paired together, like macaroni and cheese, only not quite as fun. However, what our humans don’t realize is that hairballs are actually an abnormal occurrence. That’s right folks: expelling large amounts of hair is not something we do on a regular basis. Shocking, I know.
This Friday is Hairball Awareness Day and thus, as an advoCAT, I am hoping to dispel a few rumors:
- Hairballs are not normal. More than one or two hairballs a year is considered to be abnormal, even for those cats with longer fur.
- Vomiting does not equal a hairball. When a cat vomits there is often hair mixed in and the assumption is made that it’s a hairball. However, there may be a larger medical issue at play.
Though the common conceptions about hairballs are false, there are still measures you can take to ensure that your cat isn’t susceptible to developing them:
- Regularly brush your cat. This helps to remove excess fur before it is ingested when cats groom themselves. Brushing is also a great way to bond with your cat and can be used as a reward; a little positive reinforcement goes a long way!
- Visit a veterinarian. Owners should seek the assistance of a veterinarian if there is periodic vomiting or their cats are producing more than a few hairballs a year. This may be an indication of an intestinal disorder, a skin disorder, or an allergy. Even with no obvious signs of problems, regular veterinary visits at least once a year are the best way to help keep your cat healthy and hairball-free.