1. The average cat spends 1/3 of their waking life grooming themselves. The math:

  • Most cats sleep an average of 10-14 hours per day
  • Most cats groom themselves for 3-4 hours per day

2. The average person spends 1 hour per week staring at a hairball and wondering what it is. (Okay, we made this stat up, but the rest of this article is true).

3. Regurgitated hairballs are variable in size. They are usually about an inch long, but can be up to five inches long and an inch thick. They are generally similar in appearance to a cigar or sausage, an elongated shape imparted by the narrow food tube (esophagus) through which a hairball passes on its adventurous journey from the cat's stomach to the outside world.

4. It's possible for a hairball, instead of being regurgitated, to pass from the stomach into the intestine creating a potentially life-threatening blockage somewhere within the digestive tract.

5. It's also possible that frequent hacking has nothing at all to do with hairballs. It may instead be a sign that the animal is suffering from a serious respiratory ailment, such as asthma, in which case emergency treatment would be necessary.

6. Items like thread, paper clips, twist-wraps, and other materials that, if ingested, can become dangerous hairball ingredients. Please keep these safely out of kitty's reach!

7. A Google search on “Hairball remedies for cats” produces MANY results that are actually terrible ideas and may be very dangerous to your cat. Always consult your veterinarian before attempting to treat this issue.

8. Many animals can get hairballs – those particularly susceptible to this problem include cats, ferrets, rabbits, cattle, deer and (believe it or not), humans.

9. The largest hairball ever removed from a cat was 5 inches wide (12.5 cm) and weighed in at a whopping 7.5 ounces. The surgery was performed by Cromwell Vet Group in Cambridgeshire, England on a cat named Gemma.

10. Having lots of hairballs is not normal for cats and can cause a lack of appetite, dehydration, and depression in your cat. Excessive grooming in a cat could indicate a health issue, just as a lack of grooming could indicate the same. This is why it’s so important to consult with your vet when you notice any change in your kitties behavior, including their hairball habits.