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Hairball Awareness Day

April 26th is Hairball Awareness Day! We know, hairballs probably aren’t something you want to celebrate. They are, unfortunately, more or less par for the course for people owned by cats. A local Portage, MI vet discusses hairballs in this article.

Why Hairballs Form

One wonderful thing about our feline pals is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will carefully groom herself every day to keep that pretty coat soft and clean. You won’t have to bathe your cat, though you can if you want to, as long as your vet doesn’t object. There is a downside to this, however. As your furry little diva is in the process of cleaning herself, she will inevitably swallow some of her own fur. Kitties can’t digest hair, so they expel it as hairballs. (Note: Fluffy does seem to have a knack for leaving hairballs in the worst spot possible. The jury is still out on whether or not they do this deliberately.)

Dangers of Hairballs

Although hairballs are not uncommon, occasionally they can be dangerous. If Fluffy can’t throw up the fur she swallows, it could cause an intestinal blockage. This can quickly turn into a very serious—and potentially life-threatening—medical emergency. Keep an eye out for warning signs. If your feline buddy seems to be dry heaving and/or is throwing up violently or excessively, contact your vet right away.

Hairball Prevention

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the odds of your furry friend getting hairballs. Brushing Fluffy regularly can be very beneficial here. You’ll be capturing your kitty’s dead hair with a brush before she gets a chance to swallow it. The less fur your cute pet ingests, the better! Hairball remedies are also helpful. As the name suggests, these products help prevent hairballs. Ask your vet for recommendations. A good diet is important as well. If your cat is getting proper nutrition, her fur will be smoother and shinier, and she’ll have less dead, dry fur to shed. Last but not least, keep your furball indoors. Kitties that go outside are much more exposed to seasonal weather changes that trigger shedding than indoor ones. Plus, cats are both healthier and safer staying indoors.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Portage, MI vet clinic, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to offering excellent veterinary care.

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