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April 29 – National Hairball Awareness Day

March 16, 2022

National Hairball Awareness Day is every year on the last Friday in April. It promotes awareness of our cats’ health and happiness. In case you are not familiar with the wonderful world of felines… a hairball is “a compact mass of hair formed in the stomach especially of a shedding animal (such as a cat) that cleanses its coat by licking” [1].

  • Hairballs can be bigger than a baseball.
  • The scientific term for hairball is trichobezoar.
  • Hairballs are not usually ball shaped but are typically long like a tube.
  • There are other animals that suffer from hairballs: cows, rabbits, ferrets, and deer.
  • According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first use of the work hairball was in 1712.
  • Hairballs are typically seasonal. Spring and summer cats will suffer more from hairballs due to their winter coat being shed and subsequently swallowed while grooming themselves.

While it may be less than appetizing to hear your fur baby hacking up a hairball, it is a byproduct of their grooming habits and shedding schedule. While frequent hairballs or vomiting may be cause for concern an occasional regurgitated wad of hair is perfectly healthy.

[1] Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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