Perhaps you noticed it when you were on the way out the door. Maybe you heard the heaving, gurgling, and gagging late at night. We all pray we don’t find it with our feet on the way to the restroom. Whichever way you discovered it, good old Fluffy tossed another hairball, and odds are good that it happened on the carpet.
Though their stains are not as intense as urine or vomit, hairballs are typically more frequent. Since many cat owners have come to expect hairballs as part of their pet experience, they often have a place where they keep a “pet accident kit” ready to go. The kit usually includes things like:
- Nitrile gloves
- Paper towels
- Cloth towels or rags
- Pet stain cleaner or spot remover
- Spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar
- Baking soda
- Mild dish soap that does not contain bleach or lanolin
You might have other components in your accident kit that work very well for dealing with pet accidents, but many accident kits build on the foundation listed above.
When the Hairball Is Fresh
We highly recommend using nitrile gloves if the cough-up just happened, for the sake of health and safety. Start by removing the hairball remnants with paper towels. Be careful not to rub or push the hairball into the carpet, especially if it is fresh. In fact, you might want to give the clump a little time to firm up for easier removal. Blot the area with a wet cloth, and then a dry cloth. If you see discoloration, try dabbing it with a dollop of dish soap. Blot it gently, as you do not want to push the fluids deeper into your carpet. Allow the area to dry, to see if any discoloration is left behind.
When Time Goes By
What if you discover the hairball hours later? After all, cats don’t cough up hairballs on a fixed schedule or specific place. Again, start by gently removing the clump from the area. Sprinkle baking soda onto the area and spread it around with your gloved hands. Take your spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar and spray it onto the baking soda until it is between damp and saturated. Allow it to dry. Finally, vacuum up the mixture and inspect the area.
Hairballs, though expected, are a result from cats grooming themselves – but they could be a symptom of something else. If your cat is producing frequent hairballs, please discuss the issue with your veterinarian. It’s possible that a change in diet might help, or other issues might need attention.
Stains can be stubborn and tricky to remove, even ones from hairballs. If you continue to have difficulty with a stain from a hairball, Preferred Carpet Care is here to help. Please give us a call so we can discuss your issue or schedule an appointment so we can take a closer look at getting that hairball stain out of your carpet.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On June 6, 2019