Friday 13 May 2011

A great use for hair balls in cats

Man made cat hair balls look great when used in imaginative, designer jewellery. We know that hair balls in cats can cause the cat to throw up. This is all pretty normal stuff. Sometimes they can become compacted and cause an intestinal blockage leading to vomiting and worse - serious stuff.

This page, though, is about a completely different aspect of cat hair balls. I am reminded how useful hair balls can be. They can be made up into cat toys as well.

Hair Ball Jewellery - see base of page
for copyright issues
Cat hair combed out is very fine as it is usually the undercoat, the downy fine hair that is brushed out with some binding awn hairs.

This fine, pleasant to touch cat hair rolls up very easily in the hand, between two hands or the fingers of one hand into a shape of your choosing.

Cat hair is something that people who dislike cats, hate. But it is a really pleasant material that is easy to work with. It binds together very nicely.

In this instance small man made hair balls in muted greys and fawns accompany precious metal such as silver to form very interesting jewellery including necklaces. Perhaps the idea came from a well known video on home made cat toys using cat hair.

The creator is designer and silversmith Heidi Abrahamson. It is popular jewellery, mark my words. In the USA, there are, after all, 80 million domestic cats in homes with about 1.5 cats per home (a guess), which makes over 50 million potential and ready made customers!

There is one little caveat. Cat hair might have the cat allergen Fel D1 on it as this protein comes from the cat's saliva and is deposited on the fur when the cat grooms.

If you are allergic to cats the jewellery might affect you. However, I wonder if Heidi washes the cat hair before forming it into neat balls. I would have thought that she might but I have a feeling that she does not as washing it would change its properties even after drying, I suspect.

One other thing. Cat hair balled up in the hand is quite rigid and firm but it has a certain fragility about it too. It can be easily forced into a different shape and damaged. Does Heidi do something to the cat hair balls to protect against this?

Maybe she will tell us by leaving a comment. Thanks Heidi for an imaginative use of cat hair. The idea will help cats too. Some people think cats are useless - wrong. This is one good example.

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From to Home Page

Image of Heidi's jewellery - this is reproduced here under fair use as it is small, does not have a negative impact on her business, quite the contrary, it promotes her business.

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