KATIE: Thanks but no thanks, Waffles. I know where that tongue of yours has been.
WAFFLES: What do you mean? My tongue is right here.
KATIE: I don't care where it's been or where it is right now. Just keep it to yourself. We are NOT going to become those cats that bathe each other.
WAFFLES: How about the cats that bathe together???
Did you know it's National Hairball Awareness Day?
The last time I was aware of a hairball, I plopped it strategically in Glogirly's shoe. For some cats, all this bathing can lead to some nasty hairballs. In all seriousness though, hairballs are not something any of us kitties OR our cat parents enjoy. An occasional hairball is to be expected, but if you're coughing them up on a regular basis it could be a sign of other health problems and should discussed with your vet.
For those random hairballs though, we've got a few quick tips to keep them away.
Katie & Waffles' Hairball Prevention Tips
1. Regular Brushing and Combing
Some cats LOVE being brushed or combed, but not all cats. Treats make the world go round, and they also go a long way towards making your date with the brush a little more fun. Long hair cats may need daily brushing, whereas short hairs cats like me and Waffles only really need it a couple of times a week. Regular brushing will help cut down on hairballs and can also become a special bonding time for you and your cat parent. We use the Andis Steel Comband the FURminator deShedding Tool for Cats.
2. Proper Nutrition
A species appropriate diet high in protein, grain free and with little or no carbohydrates can go a long way towards keeping those hairballs away. Canned food and whole foods (not kibble or dry) are smart choices. There are many hairball prevention treats available too, but we believe that good nutrition is the foundation.
Some of our cat friends aren't very good drinkers. Many cats prefer a little movement to their water. We use a filtered fountain. It's always running and the bar is always open. It's best to keep your water separate and away from your food too.
4. Stress Management
Awhile back, Katie began over grooming, most likely because of stress factors like a new kitten in the house. For a short time, we used an odorless and tasteless product called Cat Lax that our vet recommended to us. Just a half teaspoon or so added into food once a day. That, in combination with things like increasing playtime for both Katie and Waffles and making sure to get plenty of one-on-one bonding time in really made a difference. Two other products we've had a lot of success with when it comes to maintaining calm in the Townhouse are Feliway's Plug In Diffusersand Spirit Essences Stress Stopper.
Please Note: We're not veterinarians and we're not experts. We're just a couple of cats who've been around the block when it comes to our own hairballs.