10 Interesting Hairball Facts
Falling on the last Friday of April, National Hairball Awareness Day aims to focus on your kitty’s health and wellness. In honor of the day, here are 10 interesting facts about hairballs.
- Hairballs are not balls. Instead, hairballs are shaped like tubes. This is because the hairballs get elongated when they travel through your cat’s esophagus on the way out.
- The largest hairball. The largest ever hairball to be removed from a cat was 12.5cm wide and weighed 7.5 ounces.
- Scientific name. The scientific name for hairballs is trichobezoars. ‘Trich’ is Greek for hair. ‘Bezoar’ is the word for mass that is found in the stomach or intestines.
- Hairball season. While cats groom all year round, hairballs are more frequent in Spring and Summer months. This is because cats consume more hair during these months as their environment gets hotter and shedding becomes more frequent.
- Perfectly natural and healthy. Hairballs are nature’s way of getting rid of nasty indigestible loose hair.
- Common occurrence. It’s not unusual for a cat to regurgitate a hairball once a week.
- Which breed? Hairballs are more common in long-haired breeds such as Persians, Himalayans, and Maine Coons.
- Diet makes a difference. Lack of appetite and dehydration are often caused by hairballs. Provide high-quality hairball food containing more fiber to help the hair pass naturally through the digestive system.
- Cats are not the only animals to have hairballs. Cows and rabbits are especially prone to hairballs.
- Hairballs can cause serious health problems. Large hairballs can prevent your cat from eating and cause them to become lethargic. If your cat refuses to eat or continues to hack without producing a hairball, make an appointment with your vet. Your cat could have a dangerous blockage.