Got Hairballs?

Shedding is a natural process for cats. There has been a lot of publicity as of late about knitting and craft books claiming to put shedded cat hair to good use. I must admit a scarf knitted from my cats’ shedded hair seems a bit weird. But it does bring attention to the enormous amounts of fur that cats shed annually. Another way to bring attention to cat hair is to celebrate National Hairball Awareness Day on April 27.

The reason why it’s such an important day of the cat calendar is that it brings attention to the fact that if cats don’t get help from their favorite people to remove loose hair, they ingest it, resulting in hairballs. In fact, it can be quite dangerous because ingesting wads of fur can cause intestinal blockages.

Long-haired cats need to be brushed daily and short-haired cats at least once a week. It’s really important to ensure that your cat’s hair doesn’t mat because not only are mats painful as they pull against the skin, but they are tricky to remove without cutting into the skin. In fact, it’s a job for a professional groomer.

The right grooming tools and products for hairball relief are a great help in keeping the situation under control. An awesome product that my cats love is Petromalt, which is available at pet specialty stores. It relieves constipation, dry cough and occasional vomiting associated with hairballs. Another fantastic product that I highly recommend is the Sergeant’s Fur-So-Fresh 2-in-1 Brush for dogs and cats. It is a double-sided deshedding blade and rake in one.

It’s important to never consider brushing your cat a chore — rather, consider it quality time that the two of you get to spend together. The secret to success is to let you cat pick the place where she is the most comfortable being brushed. For my kitties, Fudge and Ziggy, it’s on my lap while we are watching TV together.

If you find it easier to brush your feline on a hard surface, consider the kitchen counter, but put down a towel for your cat to feel more secure sitting on as it will stop her sliding around on the smooth surface.

And don’t forget to give your favorite feline treats when you’ve finished brushing.

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