A Letter Regarding Hairballs

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Long-haired-cat-hairball

A beautiful piece of artwork gifted to my human

Dear Baker,

My humans seem to regard my hairballs as “messy” and “gross.” I don’t understand it. What, aside from a half-eaten sparrow, could be a better symbol of my affection for them? I consider my hairballs a multimedia form of feline artistic expression: the sound, the odour, even the look of these objects d’art meld together to provide a commentary on my innermost feelings. But my humans continuously refer to them as “disgusting furry piles of vomit.” I try to encourage my humans to make full use of my gifts, collect them and perhaps build sculptural pieces, but now my humans have begun discussing a “remedy” for these wonderful little things. Please help, Baker.

Your fan,

Fluffy McFurcloud

cat grooming

Lance demonstrates a good licking

Dear FF,

While it certainly is difficult to comprehend the thoughts that must be going through the minds of our humans, I have good news for you regarding your hairball horror: this “remedy” your humans seek may actually be your free ticket to a better life!

Causes of Hairballs

Cats get hairballs in a good way – through our regular and fastidious grooming routine. The cleaner you keep yourself, the more hair you’ll swallow. Most of our swallowed hair passes through our digestive tract, but occasionally it will accumulate in our belly. When your belly is full of hair, you don’t have room for tuna, so you have to vomit it up.

Remedies for Hairballs

  1. cat brush filled with fluff

    Get rid of excess fur before you swallow it!

    Human assistance with grooming.

If your humans don’t want you swallowing and subsequently barfing up your hair when you groom, they can remove it daily with a brush. This is a win-win situation: you get a daily scritchy massage, and your humans can collect your excess hair before it becomes a sticky, vomity mess.

2. Dietary Changes

taste of the wild

This food is delicious, it makes your coat smooth and shiny, and it has a picture of a mountain lion on it! Yum!

Your coat will improve with an improved diet. Have your humans talk to your vet about purchasing an “indoor” or “hairball” formula. A healthier diet leads to healthier skin, less shedding, and better digestion. Also, it’s yummier! I recommend Royal Canin or Taste of the Wild. Your humans may also be able to give you supplements to aid with your digestion, so your hair passes through more effectively and doesn’t accumulate in your tum.

 

3. Vet visit

Much as I hate to recommend a trip to the vet, where you are likely to get poked with needles and such, if you suspect that you have a grooming problem (too much grooming), it could be a symptom of an underlining psychological or physiological cause. In other words, if you lick yourself too much, have your human take you to the vet for a thorough examination. You may have a skin condition or a parasite, or you might be an overly stressed cat.

So there you have it, you fluffy beast. A few good ways to improve your life and cut down on the hairballs that your humans hate so much!

Baker - ask me anything byline

Have a question about cat life? Ask Baker.

Your pal,

Baker

 

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