Happy National Hairball Awareness Day to all cats and cat owners!
of April 2017 is a day for all cat lovers to come together to learn
more about the condition that dogs their feline companions, and
hopefully prevent it.
Hairballs form naturally as part
of a cat's grooming routine. Most of the fur removed during the normal
grooming process is swallowed and passes through the digestive tract,
but when it gets caught in the stomach it forms a hairball. Long-haired
cats are most prone to developing hairballs, particularly during the
heavy shedding seasons of spring and summer, but short-haired cats also
find themselves affected by the development of hairballs.
annual holiday was first created in 2006 by the National Museum of
Health and Medicine in Maryland, USA, to advertise their 'collection' of
hairballs from an assortment of livestock and humans, some of them
dating back to the late 19th century.
Hairballs can be
prevented, or at least the number reduced, by a few methods. The most
common is regular grooming, which limits the amount of loose hair that
could be swallowed and formed into a hairball, and many cat owners swear
by the Furminator brand. Diet is the second most touted aid, and some
food manufacturers make hairball-control food and treats with vegetable
fibres to assist with digestion. Lastly, for cats suffering from a more
persistent problem with hairballs, a hairball lubricant medication can
be given to help them pass the hair more easily.
Good luck with your hairballs in 2017!