National Hairball Awareness Day – What is FURminator up to Now to Promote Good Health and Grooming?

National Hairball Awareness DayWow –it’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by and it’s National Hairball Awareness Day again. I’ve barely recovered from last year’s extravaganza and now here we go again, I’m my brushing the fur of my eight cats with a FURminator deShedding tool and collecting it to glue it onto a piece of cardboard shaped like a handlebar mustache to make light of a very serious problem – hairballs. That’s right, the folks at FURminator have come up with yet another fun way to spread awareness about what a hairball is and how we can help prevent our cats from getting them by asking us cat bloggers to take a picture of our cat(s) wearing a mustache made out of their own fur… This isn’t weird at all, right? Of course not, all of my friends are cat lovers or bloggers, so to us, this is all perfectly normal and just another day in the life in the cat blogosphere.

Last year’s task was to make a celebrity of my choice out of the fur I collected from brushing my cats and naturally I decided to embarrass myself in the name of cat health to make the one and only celebrity I’ve ever wanted to meet my whole life, Ellen DeGeneres. I thought for sure I would have been invited on her show immediately after my tribute, but alas, my phone has still not rung. Anyhow, that’s neither here nor there – the first matter at hand is a quick lesson on what a hairball is, why they are potentially dangerous to you cat, and how you can help manage them.

Ellen-and-Deb

Me last year with a FURminating deShedding tool and the likeness I made of Ellen out of my cat’s fur. And I wonder why she hasn’t contacted me yet…

Basically, hairballs develop as a result of a cat’s common grooming routine. When the cat licks its fur, tiny hook-like structures on its tongue catch the loose and dead hair, which is then swallowed. The majority of this hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hairball. Typically the cat will hack up the hairball with no problems, but if you notice symptoms such as vomiting or gagging without producing a hairball, lack of appetite, lethargy, constipation, or diarrhea, be sure to contact your veterinarian, as this could be an indication that a hairball has caused a potentially life-threatening blockage.

Some breeds are more susceptible to hairballs than others, like Maine Coons and Persians, and some cats are more fastidious with their grooming than others. But, the good news, with products like the FURminator tool, the amount of fur a cat can ingest is greatly reduced, as the deShedder quickly and thoroughly removes the cat’s undercoat and loose hair which is the major source of shedding.

I have now had my FURminator for a year and my cats still enjoy it very much, which means I have greatly reduced the amount of fur that they can ingest. They love the feeling of the deShedding tool and I love how soft and silky their fur is after I use it. Because of all that FURminator love, I figured why not get to the task at hand and have some mustache making fun for a good cause. Here goes:

zee-with-furm

The first step to making a mustache out of your cat’s fur is to find a cat. Preferably one that has hair. If you happen to have a Maine Coon handy like I do, all the better.

fur

I have eight cats so I decided a nice eclectic mix of fur from all of them was in order to make my mustache as stylish as possible…

mustache

And here’s where it starts to get interesting. And messy. You try and glue cat hair to a piece of card board shaped like a mustache and you’ll see what I mean. Go ahead and try it – I’ll wait…

OKAY, LET’S SEE WHAT WE GET AS A RESULT OF ALL THAT HAIR… DRUM ROLL PLEASE…

Kizmet-furball-Zee-and-Zoey

My first victim was Kizmet… and don’t worry, no kitties were harmed in this exercise  I merely took the image of the mustache photo, brought it into Photoshop, cut it out with the pen tool to extract it from the background, saved it as a new path layer, and placed it into a new file with the picture of Kizmet. Easy as making Thanksgiving dinner…

furball-cats

Wanting all my cats to partake in the exercise, I repeated the same fun process with Kizmet’s above picture. The only difference, all I had to do was find a picture of each of my eight cats and painstakingly extract their images from the background of the photo they were in to transfer to a new document to showcase all of them, while at the same time, finding an image of sunglasses to reduce to size to fit on each of their faces along with the jpeg image of the mustache. I could do this in my sleep at this point and nothing is safe from the pen tool with me…

And there you have it – if this vigilante cat posse against furballs doesn’t convince you to use the FURminator, I don’t know what else will. And please be advised that while we highly recommend the FURminator, they do not totally prevent hairballs in cats. Other things that can be done in conjunction with regular grooming with the FURminator are using specialized cat food formulas that reduce hairballs, encouraging play activity instead of licking when a cat seems to be excessively grooming, and using one of a number of different hairball products on the market today, most of which are mild laxatives that help hairballs pass through the digestive tract.

As with anything regarding your cat, pay attention to his or her needs to determine what course of action needs to happen. Regular grooming is the first step to preventing hairballs and the FURminator deShedding tool not only removes a significant amount of your cat’s hair safely and effectively, it encourages bonding with your cat which is a great bonus. The FURminator is available in different styles for special hair lengths and I invite you to check out their facebook page today for all kinds of great posts and pictures that other bloggers and FURminator fans have shared, as well as information on how you can get your own FURminator deShedding tool!

Editors Note: I normally only post once a day, but today is also National Kids and Pet Day and I could not resist posting about such an important topic. Please be sure to click here and visit – I share some very adorable pictures that will melt your heart!

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  1. Fisher says:

    I think it is wonderful that pet bloggers don’t worry about weirdness. It’s a wonderful freedom to have!

  2. loved your post! Now why didn’t I think of just putting a FAKE mustache on Cody? I actually made him one from his fur and boy oh boy did I have a rough time with THAT!!!! HAPPY NATIONAL HAIRBALL AWARENESS DAY!

    • Deb says:

      Caren – the mustache was not fake, I actually did make it by brushing my cats fur and gluing it onto cardboard and cutting out the image and then photographing the image to import it into photoshop – after all that effort, it probably would have been easier to just stick the mustache next to their face and take a picture! The problem was, Zoey had been sick last week and had to go to the vet. I had to give her medicine which was a HUGE ORDEAL. Now when I approach the cats, I have become the Devil incarnate and none of them trust me to come near their faces, so that is why I did what I did!! xoxo

  3. mariodacat says:

    We love your pictures. I’m a short-haired cat and don’t like the Furminator. M tries to sneak a few swipes on me now and then and I turn around and give her the evil eye. Then she stops for that day. M says it sure does do a good job tho. M thinks my skin is extra sensitive cuz she even has to be careful with regular brushes or combs too. But she manages to de fur me about once every two or three days. You are so right about the hairballs being dangerous.

    • Deb says:

      Mario – we have a lot of short haired kitties too – some of them like the FURminator and some get all squirmy about it – I just do what your M does and try to sneak in some swipes here and there!!

  4. Haha! That’s the only way we’d wear a moustache, too! Happy Hairball Day! We gotta get the mom to furminate us today.

  5. Wow, you are so talented. Mom says that even with your instructions, creating a photo with all eight of us wearing mustaches, or anything else for that matter, sounds daunting and hurts her head. Did not know this was hairball day. A Furminator is in Mom’s cart on Amazon. Today’s post talks about how bad she is about actually purchasing things in her cart and has a link to your web-site and the post on the leopard spotted cat tree. Mom got us one, though not leopard spotted. Not as if you need help driving traffic to your well-respected, much-read and wonderful blog, but she did want to give credit where it is due. To you and your beautiful kits, purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

    • Deb says:

      MOL, Janet!! When I read the instructions myself, it makes my head hurt too!! I will go check out your post in a bit – and aren’t you a sweetheart for mentioning my post! That post got a lot of attention and I can only imagine how many sales they got as a result of me… and they didn’t even know I did the post – I guess I should reach out to them and let them know I deserve a commission! Now, if only my books would sell as well!! Thanks for your kind words and have a wonderful weekend!!

  6. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    sorree gals…but we could knot ree sist…

    de mustachioo crew:

    tom selleck : ZEE
    charlie chaplin: KIZMET
    groucho marx: JAZZ
    charles bronson: ROLZ
    albert einstein: PEANUT
    ned flanders ( simpsons) : HARLEY
    julius pringles ( pringles chips ) : MIA
    yosemite sam: ZOEY

    hope everee one haza grate week oh end !!

    • Deb says:

      MOL, MOL, MOL!!!! You tabbies have made my day (opps… we need a Clint Eastwood kitty)!! Your match ups are so funny and I really needed a laugh today!! Thank you!!!!!

  7. Bernadette says:

    I think they need motorcycles!

    A heroic Photoshop effort in support of hairball awareness. I don’t have a FURminator, only a common brush so no mustaches for me this year–all the fur goes out on top of the compost pile for nesting birds to use. Now there’s an interesting concept, yes?

    • Deb says:

      MOL!! Motorcycles!! What a great idea Bernadette… let me quickly open Photoshop! I do love the nesting concept and often wonder how many birds have built nest out of my own human hair – I shed quite a bit and see my hair floating around when I am gardening all the time!

  8. Marg says:

    Well that is a mighty good mustache. We probably would not allow that to happen to us. Not very many of us get fur balls so guess we are a lucky bunch. Thanks for a great post about hairballs.

    • Deb says:

      Your kitties are a lucky bunch, Marg! We don’t get them too often either, and when we do, our human always finds the time to step in them!

  9. Sue Brandes says:

    I love that all the bloggers are doing this. It really gets people aware of hairballs and what to look for. And also some fun too with the posts.

    • Deb says:

      I always like it when people can learn while having fun at the same time, Sue. I think it helps us to remember the important points a lot easier that way!

  10. CATachresis says:

    Being late to the party, I didn’t know it was hairball awareness day, so Austin has been spared the indignity of having a muzzy of his discarded furs!! Great post :)

  11. Brian says:

    That is a big bunch of fur that didn’t end up in the tum!!!

  12. Beverly says:

    Deb, this post is hilarious!! You do such creative posting! Who knew it was National Hairball Awareness Day? Thank you for your public service, even if you did have to talk the cats into it. :-)

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Beverly! Glad you enjoyed it – my cats inspire my funny bone and I get to project my inner silliness through them!

  13. louis says:

    I love that all the bloggers are doing this.

  14. Me and mom are too late for the Hairball awerness day so my mom threw out my spare hair to the birdies the other day :)
    I guess the birdies is as happy about that as I am over not to have to wear a mustasch :)