Friday, April 30, 2010

Hairball Awareness Day

I'm serious. Today is Hairball Awareness Day.
In honor of the day, I've learned one new fact about hairballs: Popular Science tells us that in 11th century Europe hairballs were used to cure poisoning, epilepsy and the plague.

While hairballs are generally a feline condition, some cows and goat also get hairballs. And, while the word may sound funny and be the butt of numerous cartoons and gags (pun intended) it's no laughing matter. Hairballs can be serious if stuck in the throat or lodge in the intestines.

Here are five things you can do to help prevent or treat hairballs:

1. Brush your cat daily.

2. Use a "hairball control" variety of cat food.

3. Ask your veterinarian about mixing 1 tsp mineral oil with your cat's food.

4. Make sure your cat has plenty of water.

5. I've been told that offering cat a small amount of butter or mashed pumpkin twice a week can help lubricate the intestinal tract.

Check for hairballs if your cat has lost interest in food, has trouble in the litter box, or has a hacking cough, or is vomiting.

2 comments:

Kate Fenner said...

I find it very interesting that to the best of my knowledge, in the two years we've had our cat, she's never had a hairball. We certainly don't brush her daily, probably more like once or twice a month. We do bathe her a couple times a year as well. But we really don't do anything special - just lucky I guess!

Peggy Frezon said...

Then your cat Cinnamon certainly is the appropriate spokescat and model for Hairball Awareness Day!

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