Friday is National Hairball Awareness Day!

The last Friday in April (which is April 26 this year) is designated as a time to recognize the hazards of hairballs and take steps to eliminate them.

FURminator is inviting bloggers everywhere to groom their cats with FURminator deShedding Tools, mount the removed fur onto paper mustaches, take photos of their feline fashionistas and post the photos on social media sites (including FURminator’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FURminator). The idea is to spread the word that hairballs are more than unpleasant messes, they are signs of potential health problems.

Veterinarian Shelby Neely explains that because cats groom themselves with their tongues, they naturally ingest hair in the process. Up to two-thirds of shed hair can be ingested as cats self-groom. These loose hairs can pack together in a cat’s stomach and form a hairball. In most cases, the cat will need to vomit to force out the hairball, which is not good for the cat or household. If hairballs are not spit out, they may block the passage of food in the stomach or become impacted, requiring surgery to remove the blockage.

Traditional hairball treatments (lubricants, diets, etc.) address the problem after the hair has already entered the cat’s body. Brushing to remove loose hair and undercoat keeps the hair from getting in the cat’s body in the first place.

FURminator Cat deShedding Tools (small breed MSRP: $42.99 and large breed MSRP: $49.99) are available in long and short hair varieties. FURminator Hairball Prevention Waterless Spray for Cats (MSRP: $8.99) and Hairball Prevention Shampoo for Cats (MSRP: $8.99) are available in 8.5 oz. bottles. The products are sold at pet specialty stores and online at www.FURminator.com.

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