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Hairballs 101 with Simon

IMG_0114By Simon

Have you ever heard anyone say anything good about hairballs? No, probably not! In this blog post, I am going to cover the important and obnoxious topic of hairballs. What are they? Who gets them and how can they be avoided or minimized? And I’d say I’m probably the purrrfect blogger to be writing about this – being a furry feline myself for the past seven years.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am Simon and I am a cat. I’m one of two four-legged representatives for Essential Pet Products sold at PetSmart stores and manufactured by 21st Century AnimalHealthcare. I started working with 21st about two months ago and it’s been quite the adventure. I’ve tried great products and learned a lot over that last couple months. I’ve even learned a ton about how to work with a dog that’s totally and completely my opposite in every way (sounds like a future blog post idea!). Like I said – it’s been fun! But I digress…

Let’s chat about hairballs:

What causes hairballs?

Hairballs are caused exactly how you think they are. When grooming themselves, small pieces of hair will attach to the hooks of the tongue and get swallowed. Most of the hair that is swallowed gets digested, but some of it stays in the stomach to form a hairball. Hairballs can cause hacking, vomiting, lack of appetite, constipation and diarrhea. It’s not fun hacking up one of those gross hairballs! They can also be caused by a moisture-deficient diet or a problem in the GI tract. If you see that your pet is having excessive hairballs, a visit to the veterinarian might be in order.

Are hairballs harmful to cats?

Have you ever seen a cat vomiting and appearing uncomfortably ill only to find a yucky pile of hair (and liquid) on your dining room floor? Yes, that’s how it happens. The cat’s body is smart enough to try to eliminate this unwanted hair from the body, but in some cases it’s not a pretty or pleasant experience for anyone. In most situations hairballs are not a huge issue. For cats that groom very frequently or have long hair there could be cause for alarm if the hairballs become too big for the cat’s digestive track. This can cause a blockage that could become life-threatening.

Can hairballs be eliminated?

There are a few things you can do to support and lubricate your cat’s digestive tract. To promote your cat’s healthy ability to pass ingested hair use a product like Essential Pet Hairball Paste for Cats. This product is incredibly easy to administer and has positive results. You can also help by grooming your cat on a regular basis. This is especially helpful for long-haired breeds and cats that groom often. Use a grooming brush to help eliminate loose hairs. If you know that your pet excessively grooms him or herself, intermittent use of a hairball paste and help with grooming should definitely do the trick.

We hope you learned a lot about hairballs. They are not fun to see and certainly not fun for your cat to deal with – I should know! Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. If you ever have any questions, please visit us on our Facebook page where you can find other great tips and fun!

And don’t forget that for the entire month of May you can BOGO 1/2 OFF our products at PetSmart stores!

Purrring Out, Simon

– Other posts from Simon include: Meet Simon the Smarty Cat

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