National Hairball Awareness Day – The Furry Facts and a Little Help From the FURminator deShedding Tool

Hairballs in cats can be a sign of something dangerous. Regular grooming with the FURminator deShedding tool helps to eliminate hairballs

Peanut, Kizmet, Jazmine, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, and Zee go undercover to fight the battle against hairballs!

Cats and hairballs – they go paw in paw. More than likely you have stepped in at least one mushy projectile on your floor in your lifetime and it’s a subject that’s universally joked about because it’s something that pretty much any cat lover on this earth can relate to. But, the truth is, hairballs actually can be the sign of something much more serious in your cat and are no laughing matter. Having a good grooming plan in place to help your cat stay hairball-free is essential and that is why in our household we use the FURminator deShedding tool on a regular basis.

Using the FURminator deShedding tool helps to eliminate hairballs.

I first found out about the FURminator deShedding tool back in 2012 when I was asked to try one out with my gang on behalf of National Hairball Awareness Day which falls on the last Friday of every April. It was an instant hit – I loved how easy it was to use and how much fur it got off my cats, my cats loved the bonding experience of me grooming them, and we all loved the fact that hairballs have been virtually eliminated in our household!

The FURminator deShedding tool is available for long and short haired cats

This was Zee during his first FURminator grooming experience and I was using the large deShedding tool for long-haired cats (The large/long hair tool is for cats over 10 pounds with fur over 2″ long).

But why are hairballs so dangerous and what exactly are the benefits of using the FURminator deShedding tool? Basically, hairballs develop as a result of a cat’s common grooming routine. When a cat licks its fur, tiny hook-like structures (filiform papillae) 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 issues but if some hair stays in the stomach, a hairball can form. 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, your veterinarian should be contacted, as this could be an indication that a hairball has caused a potentially life-threatening blockage.

The tiny hook like structures on a cat is how they catch loose hair from their bodies and why they can get hairballs

If you look closely, you can see the tiny hook-like structures on Zoey’s tongue that enable her to catch the loose and dead hair on her body. Without the aid of a grooming brush like the FURminator deShedding tool, much of this loose hair is swallowed which can cause dangerous hairballs.

When you see it in black and white like that, you can understand why hairballs really are a serious subject and why grooming regiment is necessary for our feline friends. I am happy to say the FURminator company has a full line of pet hair solutions available to help, in particular with my favorite item, the FURminator deShedding tool.

WHAT is the FURminator deShedding tool? It’s an easy to use brushing tool that has a carefully-crafted, precise, stainless steel edge that will not cut or damage your cat’s coat. It’s recommended by both veterinarians and professional groomers and has been designed to reach deep beneath your cat’s top coat to gently remove all the cat hair that might otherwise end up in your cat’s belly, under your couch, on your floors, or on your clothes.

Grooming the FURminator helps to bond with your cat

Jazmine loves to be groomed with the FURminator deShedding tool and I enjoy the bonding time with her. Kizmet is kind enough to hold her tail down and help me with the process!

WHY should I use it on my cat? Because cats can ingest up to 2/3 of the hair they lick while grooming – regular use of the FURminator deShedding tool reduces shedding up to 90% so this hair does not end up in your cat!

The FURminator gets right to the dander in the hair.

This very quickly and easily came off of Kizmet – need I say more? Do you really want your cat to be able to potentially ingest some of that?

WHEN should I use it on my cat? The FURminator deShedding tool should be used 1-2 times a week for about 15 minutes each session (always make sure your cat is free of tangles and mats BEFORE you use it).

The FURminator is great for cats of all ages!

I love that the FURminator deShedding tool helps minimize the possibility of hairballs in my cats, but I also love that my cats look forward to being brushed and see it as a special time of the day. Seen here is Peanut being brushed with Zee waiting for his turn! Kizmet and Jazmine will be next!

HOW do I use it on my cat? When using the FURminator deShedding tool, brush your cat in the direction of hair growth, typically starting at the base of the neck and brushing to the tail. Don’t concentrate on only one area – use the deShedding tool over your entire cat (you can use it on the ears and tail – it’s non-abrasive to the skin – just be extra careful because these can be sensitive areas for our cats).

If you brush your cat's belly, it is best to be gentle

The stomach is typically a very sensitive area on a cat, but Kizmet loves being gently brushed on his belly!

That about sums it up – for more information about other pet hair solutions for your cat and what sizes and types of FURminator deShedding products are available, please visit


This article is being re-published from 2015. The information remains relevant and I was not compensated  for this post to share my views on the FURminator deShedding tool. 

If you’re allergic to cats, regular grooming is also a great way to reduce dander. To read more tips on managing cat allergies, please visit my post, The Top 10 Tips for Managing Cat Allergies.

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  1. We still have ours and I use it daily! It’s strong, sturdy, doesn’t rust and gets the job done. It really helps in reducing hairballs, cat fur bunnies.

    Johnny Walker does not groom himself like most cats. He thinks he’s a prince and that I must groom him. He reminds me I have my manicure and pedicure and massage done by another person, why not him? Good point. Can’t argue with him.

    Kizmet lets you shed his belly? Wow.

    • Deb says:

      Johnny Walker is a very smart cat for sure. Zee is the same way – he waits for me to groom him! I guess they were both born of the same royal blood!

  2. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    we loves R brushings heer in de land o trout !! combings two & boomer getz a nice warm cloth smoothed over
    hiz furz afturr hiz brushin & he loves it..heerz two a noe hairball fryday guys and heerz two a frogmouth catfish kinda week oh end ♥♥♥


  3. super great post dear furiends!!! Yeah remember those pictures we had to make in 2012 and you did Ellen? Hilarious!!!! Love, Cody

  4. Great post ! Silly Mum misunderstood her calendar (yeah, yeah, we know…) and planned our Hairball Awareness Day post on tomorrow ! Can you believe it ? Purrs

    • Deb says:

      Don’t let your Mum feel bad, Swiss Cats… our Mom had it wrong too… she thought the day was always April 25, but it turns out it is always the last Friday of April. Sigh… humans…

  5. We have a couple furminators and the mom hasn’t used them on us in a while. She needs to do that.

  6. We have yet to find a grooming tool that beats the Furminator – we use our two all the time. (one upstairs, one downstairs. Yeah, our mom’s lazy like that)

  7. jmuhj says:

    Our beloved Mainey man was adopted into our furmily at age 14, after living all his life with his first human family who found themselves unable, due to age and sickness, to care for him past that point. As part of his “kit”, he had his own FURminator. I soon found that there was a very good reason for this. 😉 He usually tolerated his FURminations quite well.

  8. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    all hair ball stuff a side guys….ewe all R rockin thoz shadez !!

    heerz two an earthworm eel kinda week oh end ♥♥♥