Happy Hairball Awareness Day!
When the weather warms up and your cats shed their winter coats, it’s hairball discovery season, when you find those furry bile-coated gifts in places you least expect.
If you’ve gotten out of the habit of grooming your cat weekly (or daily, if a long-haired breed), now’s the time to step up your grooming routine. Most cats require extra grooming help as they shed their winter coats, otherwise it’s hairball city. And inevitably, it’s the first thing you’ll step in barefoot at 6am.
Senior cats will need extra brushing, since they groom less rigorously as they age. Because it’s especially difficult for older, frail cats to discharge hairballs, there can be a higher health risk with hairballs in older cats.
That’s not to say that hairballs are not a health risk for all cats: they are. Unlike owls, cats are not made to cough up “pellets.” They are designed to pass the hair (whether their own, or that of prey) through their digestive tracts. Sometimes this hair gets stuck in the stomach rather than passing through, forms a felt-like wad, and eventually gets coughed up.
An occasional hairball is normal. If vomiting or heaving occurs more than once or twice a month, you should see your vet to rule out other conditions. In rare instances, a hairball cannot be coughed up and causes an intestinal blockage, which usually requires surgery to remove.
In short, frequent grooming can save you and your cat a lot of grief.
My favorite deshedding tool is the FURminator® and I’m not just saying that because they gave me one to review last year. It is hands-down the most effective deshedder I’ve ever used, and my cats LOVE being FURminated.
This year, FURminator came out with a new-and-improved version (pictured above) with which you will fall in love. It not only has the handy fur ejector blade (the “furjector”), but also has a handle that’s been designed for ergonomic comfort. Which makes a huge difference if you have more than one or two pets to groom. The furjector is especially helpful if your cat is squirmy and you don’t have a helper. All of the grooming can done one-handed, while you hold the cat still with your other hand.
To celebrate Hairball Awareness Day, The Cat’s Meow is giving away one of these fancy new deluxe FURminators. Whether you don’t have a FURminator, or you have an older model, you really should give this one a try — which you can do for free if you win the giveaway!
Leave a comment in the comments field of this post telling ONE of the following:
One (1) FURminator Deluxe deShedding Tool with FURejector for Cats
Only one entry per household, please. But every cat in your household is free to tell her favorite hairball story within a single entry. Any cat on the planet can enter.
Winner will be drawn at random from all eligible entries using random.org.
Sunday, 9 May at 11:59 pm PT.
Monday, 10 May
At the discretion of The Cat’s Meow, additional prizes may be awarded for pawticularly memorable hairball stories.