Thursday, April 29, 2010

National Hairball Awareness Day

I am the perfect choice to present today's subject. I'm Rusty, and my coat is the floofiest - longest and thickest - of all the Funny Farmers. I'm also uncooperative and won't stay still when Jan tries to brush me. She wants to keep me from swallowing my hair and hacking up hairballs. I prefer to hack up hairballs in unexpected places. I'm a hack cat. Being obstinate is natural to me. Enough said.

We joined with Romeo and FURminator for National Hairball Awareness Day -  Friday, April 30 - with a badge in our sidebar through the month of April.

To observe the day, we'd like to give you a few facts on the cat: feline wellness, aging, instincts and the dreaded hairball! *Provided by FURminator, Inc.

Did you know?:

  • When a cat coughs up a hairball, it is actually choking. This hacking can be dangerous and can cause death in some cases. Cats will over-groom themselves, especially in the spring during peak shedding season. To reduce the amount of hair ingested, and the corresponding hack that follows, many veterinarians recommend the FURminator deLuxe deShedding Tool for cats; it’s a safe, natural and holistic way to lessen the amount of hair cats ingest.

  • Cats have primal instincts and the location of their water bowl can prove it. In the wild a cat would never drag its kill to a watering hole to eat and drink at the same time. House cats have inherited this same instinct. Owners should keep a cat’s water bowl in a separate location than their food bowl. Cats will drink more water (and this increase will help their system clean itself of ingested hair).

  • A cat’s age can affect how they shed. As a kitten matures their coat changes in several ways - texture, thickness, curl and coloring. This transition may take up to two years depending on the breed. Once a kitten’s coat has matured they will begin to shed more by dropping their “kitten coat”. Consult with a veterinarian or groomer on when a cat’s grooming needs change.

  • Keep cats active to stay healthy; they’re athletes at heart. A healthy cat can jump as much as seven times its height and yet 21 percent of cats are considered obese or overweight by their veterinarians. Interactive toys with feathers on the end will encourage cats to leap, stretch and stay active. Keeping cats active will help them maintain a healthy skin and coat, as well as increase balance and coordination.
Even though Jan has a mind like a sieve, she's still doing something right. She keeps our food and water bowls separate. We have one cat food bowl hemmed in on the dryer so the dogs can't reach it and one high on a shelf. The giant water bowls sit on the floor.   Now she knows why we drink more water than some cats do.  Of course, she'll forget why this is a good thing before breakfast, but our water bowls will still remain on the floor.  Because except for Buddy, the dogs do not climb on the furniture - we're not talking couch here, we mean desk or washing machine type furniture.

For those of you on Twitter, Romeo's human will be conducting a Twitter interview “twitterview” with FURminator’s cat expert, Dr. Arnold Plotnik at 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday the 30th.  If you can make it, tune in.  Dr. Plotnik's twitter handle is @thecatexpert and the Twitterview hashtag will be #NHAD.  And when you get a chance, stop by Dr. Plotnik's feline blog, Cat Man Do.

And if you haven't already voted for Tivi, please pop over and vote for his photo. You won't need to sign up or to vote daily. If you don't know Tivi or why we're voting for him, we have a post on this here.

Have a purring and tail wagging day.


  1. Thanks for all the information! I will tell Beth all about it 'cause I have 3 kitty brothers! AND I voted!

  2. Thanx for the info too! Cricket needs the Furminator too. Mom's got to get down to PetSmart!

  3. OMG!! I did not know that hairballs could be dangerous--I thought they were just annoying!

    I am fighting a loosing battle on this with our Tigger, however. He is a long-haired floof-monster, and it is not a grooming issue at all (even though he does not cooperate any better than Rusty with being brushed.

    The issue with him is, he SUCKS HIS TAIL while 'making biscuits'!! He has done this ever since kittenhood, and we've been unable to break him of it in all of his 9 years!!!

    As far as the water, we have the food and water together, in about the only place there is to put them in our house.
    Only ONE of our kitties seems to have a problem with this--and that is our little Munchkin. She WILL drink out of the bowl, but seems to prefer to demand that we turn on the sink tap every time we use the bathroom!!

  4. Thanks for that good information. We need to get one of those FURminators too. There are two long haired kitties here and I sure everyone could use some shedding.
    Thanks for visiting our blog too. Have a great day.

  5. That was a good post. My long haired sisters get furminated but us short hairs get brushed lots.

  6. That was a lot of good information about the hair balls. I have only given one up for the mom. She got all upset about it, though I didn't understand then but after reading all now I know.

  7. Here's some interesting views on hairballs from a cat vet...

    Dr Crist actually takes care of the Furrydance crew from time to time and we value her opinions and ideas, too.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Great info on kitties - our human sister had a cat and she did keep the food and water bowls separate.

    Good luck to Tivi.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  10. I never knew that about food & water bowls - how interesting! We used to keep Lemon's next to each other and then wondered why she never drank much! (Although she tended to drink from rain puddles in the garden - and we always had lots of rain in Auckland so it was in constant supply!)

    Must remember that for our next cat!


  11. Hi Rusty!

    First you are adorable! Yes you are!

    Second thank you Jan and all at Jan's Funny Farm for such good advice.

    My cats taught me about keeping water separate from their food. It took me many years tho - I think I'm a very slow learner!!

    I can't bear it when cat vomits out furballs!! It's so distressing to watch so imagine for a little itty bitty cat? Awwwwww!

    Well done you and Furminator for having Hairball Day to raise such awareness.

    Me and Charlie are now going to vote for Tivi!

    Take care

  12. This is great information - we had the feeling that caughing up furballs was not as simple as it sounds. And we had no idea about the water bowls. We have one by the food but others around the house too - and they do use the one by the bowl, but usually prefer the others - now we know why!

  13. No wonder the khats run...

    They are trying to save me from hairballs!


  14. Wow! We didn't know that about the water bowl. Ours is right next to my food dish. I'm gonna make mom move my dish right now!!


    FYI...using is really easy!

  15. Hey guys,
    Thanks for posting about the food and water thing - Pellie didn't know that and thanks to you she does now. So I figure things will improve around here- cuz - she does try to make sure I drink more.


  16. Whats a "hairball"? We never seen one. We DO hack up grass, but thats why we eat it. But we dont even get brushed (hate it, hate it, hate it). Mebbe The Big Thing strokes us so much we dont need it.

    Envy us and despair! Bwa-Ha-Ha...

  17. Mom says great info. But I am like you Rusty, I'm not into getting brushed, let alone furminated. Mom tries though. The girls don't mind Mom brushing them. Good luck Tivi.


  18. Many less hairballs in the casa since the Furminator arrived!

  19. Our Mommy brushes us everyday, but we think we need a Furminator!...Happy day friends!...xo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

  20. We has to tell our Mom to move our food bowls. Although we don't seem to mind our food and water being together. ~AFSS

  21. Thanks for sharing with us about hairballs -- we are aware!

  22. WHOA who knew about hairballs(well we didn't anyway as we are ahhhh not exactly close to any kitties except you guys of course) and we went ot vote for Tivie( such a sweet kid) Love and kisses A+A

  23. That was some really good info! Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend! :)

  24. I did not know all those facts about hairballs!
    Thanks for sharing it!
    Kisses and hugs

  25. Thanks for the information I learned alot.

  26. Thanks for the information.. we never knew that a cat's food and water bowl should be separated!
    We've got a doggie FURminator and it works wonders (according to our mom)... We don't like being FURminated though..

  27. We did not know that hairballs were so dangerous! We get brushed and furminated regularly, but we still hork up the occasional "fur turd", as Mommy calls them. She's going to start us on some petromalt to help move things along.
    xx lounge kats

  28. Around here, Trouble makes sure every day is Hairball Awareness Day ...

    Actually Trouble once became dangerously constipated and dehydrated because of a hairball she couldn't pass. Once the vet finally figured out what was wrong with her we started her on a regimen of enulose for a while to help keep her regular. Now she gets fluids every other day and that seems to help immensely.


Thanks for coming by for a visit. We love to hear from you.