By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
If you live with a cat, chances are that you have heard a retching hacking sound coming from your cat at one time or another. When Earl Gray, my cat, is about to upchuck he makes an almost unnatural sound and then I know he is about to eject a hairball.
April 29 is National Hairball Awareness Day. This may sound a bit silly, but hairballs at the very least are unpleasant to your cat and at the worst can create severe problems. According to the folks at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, “in most cases, hairballs are normal but unpleasant. Hair accumulates in the cat’s throat or stomach and at some point causes enough irritation to trigger vomiting—a quick fix to the problem. In a few cases, however, hairballs can create a real problem in a cat’s digestive system. Hair that passes beyond the stomach can accumulate and harden in the intestines. Ultimately, the hairball can block the intestinal track, preventing the cat from regurgitating the hair or passing it in feces. In severe cases, these hairballs must be surgically removed.”
Signs to Watch Out For
Think your cat has a serious problem with hairballs? Then contact your veterinarian, especially if you notice excessive gagging, hacking and vomiting, constipation or extraordinary amount of hair in stools, and a loss of appetite and or energy. For more information about hairballs, watch the short video. It’s quite entertaining, and then visit Hill’s Facebook page.