A Closer Looks At Cats:
Wellness, Aging, Instincts, and Hairballs
In observation of National Hairball Awareness Day (April 30th), we’re taking a closer look at the cat: feline wellness, aging, instincts and the dreaded hairball!
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. (Wow! I didn't know this. No wonder it scares mom so much when she hears me in the hallway. Mom, it's time for that FURminator!)
- 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). (Another interesting piece of information. Mom started putting out a separate water bowl in her bedroom underneath the air condition vent. She always thought I liked the water because it was cool, now we know the real reason.)
- 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. (Mom used to take me to the groomers every six week during the first six years of my life. I would get a bath and a good comb out. The vet doesn't recommend baths for me now that I am a senior ladycat.)
- 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. (I love fev-ver toys! At almost 15 years of age, I still like to play.)