House Cats, Hairballs, and Hill’s!
Hairballs: The Inherent, Ever-Interesting Absurdity.
Your cat wakes you up in the middle of the night retching, perhaps mid-vomit or gag. What the hell was he doing you ask? As you fully awake the next day, realizing you weren’t dreaming, unfortunately, you see the answer; a wet hairy gross remnant of his midnight madness, the infamous hairball.
Most cat-owners know by now that hairballs are just common for cats (if you don’t – you do now); they also know that they’re surely an inconvenience for the owners who is now questioning what they just stepped right on… or right in…. or carefully around…
Often new and even some old-hat cat owners turn to our good friend Google, feverishly searching “hairballs,” “long haired cat hairballs,” or even “hairball cat” (yes “hairball cat” gets nearly 15k searches in Google a month!) and the like, seeking answers on fixing this sticky-icky pasty problem.
Fortunately, today, April 27th, 2012 is National Hairball Awareness Day — and Hill’s wants to help us all increase awareness about this all too common condition.
Hill’s, as you might not know, has foods focused around helping cat owners overcome the difficulty of hairballs. But they also have a plethora of other to offer for National Hairball Awareness Month! More on these things in a minute…
AND WE HAVE A HILL’S HAIRBALL CONTROL BAG of FOOD GIVEAWAY FOR TEN LUCKY READERS TO TOO! (See bottom of post)
First, a few things to point out.
Hill’s offered me these interesting points/facts about cats and hairballs:
- Hairballs are normal for cats – particularly those who have trouble moving hair down the GI tract.
- Cats ingest quite a bit of hair because their tongues are covered in tiny barbs (papillae) that act like brushes when they clean.
- This hair builds up in their system until it is expelled, which is when the owner finds it. May I add that this is usually by hearing it come up or by finding it next to their pillow (ahem, Sasha).
- Indoor cats that get bored may groom themselves more often which can result in morehairballs. (Ahem Tater.)
- Hairball activity can be more active in the spring and fall- when shedding is at its peak. (Ahem, Maxwell…)
- Brushing your cat helps remove excess fur, and decrease hairballs: brushing once a day may be often enough for long haired cats, 1-3 times a week for short haired cats.
- When a hairball occurs, hair often does not come up alone; any food in your cat’s system may come up too, causing an even bigger mess. (Many of you have probably realized this “engrossing” [get it?] fact on your own, but thanks Hill’s – we love you.)
Most cats spend up to 30% of their time grooming themselves and in the process up to 2/3 of what a cat sheds can be ingested. Even though it’s a natural part of your cat’s life, there are still plenty of ways to help minimize hairballs.
The first way to combat the “hairball battle” is to get in the habit of grooming your kitty daily. This will remove a majority of the excess fur so what they do ingest will pass through with no problem.
The second is to ensure your cat is eating a food with a perfect balance of fatty acids. Fatty acids are the fundamental building blocks for healthy skin and coat. HILL’S HAS MANY IDEAL FOODS TO TACKLE THIS – I AM GIVING SOME AWAY (see bottom).
With the right nutrition and good grooming habits, your cat can celebrate national hairball day free of the horrible hairball hell we all go through!
Hill’s Specials and Other Fun for Hairball Awareness:
- Hairball Sweepstakes on Hill’s Facebook Page – Monday, April 23 – Friday, May 4, 2012
- To celebrate National Hairball Awareness Day on April 27, 2012, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, makers of Science Diet® and Prescription Diet® brand pet foods, is giving away terrific prizes between April 23 and May 4th.
- Prizes will include a free bag of one of Hill’s® Science Diet® Hairball Control products that can help avoid hairballs in just 30 days and a $20 PETCO gift card.
- Head over to Hill’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/HillsPetUS to sign up.
- Deals on ALL Hill’s® Science Diet® Foods for both Dogs and Cats
- Look for the PETCO banner ad on the Hairball Battle site and click for a $3 coupon good toward any Hill’s® Science Diet® Hairball Control product.
- $3 off coupon good on all Science Diet foods for both dogs and cats at http://www.HillsPet.com/UniqueNutrition (Live starting May 1, 2012)
- Hill’s® Science Diet® and petMD offer cat owners food, nutrition resources and a chance to win $2,500 in pet retailer Gift Cards – see official press release below. http://www.petmd.com/cat/mybowl
- Additional Special Offers from Hill’s http://www.hillspet.com/products/products-special-offers.html
- 30 Days of Hairball Tips starting Monday, April 23 – Wednesday, May 23, 2012
- Join the fun and ask your readers to submit their own tips for “battling hairballs”! This is sure to be fun and entertaining…and educational for your readers.
- Here’s a link to our Facebook polling our readers to tell us about their experience and what works for them. http://www.facebook.com/223700263326/posts/10150944999263327
*** Don’t forget to play the funny-as-hell Hill’s Hairball Battle Game on Facebook and invite friends! You can choose from characters like Mattie, Shaggy, Hack, Knotty and Harry and throw furballs at your friends! Hee Hee!
** AND ENTER THE “HILL’S HAIRBALL HELL HAIRBALL CONTROL FOOD GIVEAWAY” on ThoughtsFurPaws.com RIGHT NOW!
Send me a picture of your kitty pre- and post-brush, OR leave a comment HERE OR on the THOUGHTSFURPAWS FACEBOOK PAGE on why you should get one of TEN BAGS of HILL’S HAIRBALL CONTROL (and there may even be MORE WINNERS!!! It’s a surprise!) ThoughtsFurPaws.com admins, of course, are throwing in kitty toys to this giveaway, so be sure you send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a story/comment here on on our Facebook page.