A Hairy Dilemma: Brush Up on Hairballs For National Hairball Awareness Day

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Brush Up on Hairballs with Petco for National Hairball Awareness Day

Hairballs are synonymous with the gag reflex and the hairball hacking feline isn’t the only one gagging. Pet parents often find themselves retching alongside their kitties during the delivery of these unpleasant “gifts”, which are not only disgusting, but a frequently overlooked health issue. On April 27, 2012, National Hairball Awareness Day, cats across the United States have their paws crossed that pet parents will pay close attention to the following hairball prevention tips from Petco™.

Hairballs Defined: It is important to be aware of the causes and symptoms of hairballs. These sticky, wet clumps of hair are caused during a cat’s daily grooming regimen. Cats inadvertently swallow loose hair, which collects in their stomach or small intestine and is uneasily digested. This blockage can cause cats to hack, gag or retch until they regurgitate the detritus. Symptoms of cats experiencing a hairball attack include coughing, lethargy or loss of appetite.

Hairball Prevention: To prevent cats from hairball attacks, start with proper nutrition. Many different types of food reduce shedding and help hair move safely and naturally through a cat’s digestive system so hairballs do not form. For example, Hill’s Science Diet makes a hairball control cat food that contains natural vegetable fibers to help aid this process. For those who have questions on their cat’s diet, contact one of Petco’s Certified Nutrition Advisors, who can help lead any feline to a hairball-free life.

Hairball Fun: In honor of National Hairball Awareness day, there are many ways to get involved online. Help spread the word by hacking up a virtual hairball and sending it to friends on Facebook thanks to Hill’s Science Diet. FURminator is also sponsoring a celebrity-themed “FUR creature” contest. Favorites include Katie Purry and Gene Simmons from HISS. The best FUR creature will be awarded $1,000 to donate to their animal charity of choice, and up to $250 in FURminator tools will be given to the four finalists’ charities.

About Petco:
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that provides the products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,100 stores nationwide, including more than 30 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop, and http://www.petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $90 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support approximately 7,500 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 250,000 animals through in-store adoption events every year.

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Krista Lamp