It's not unusual for a cat to get a hairball, but a 180 kilogram tiger needed help from veterinary surgeons when he couldn't hack up a soccer ball-sized hairball by himself.

The 17-year-old tiger named Ty underwent the procedure Wednesday at a veterinary centre in the Tampa Bay area community of Clearwater.

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The 1.8 kilogram hairball that was surgically extracted from a 180 kilogram tiger in Florida. (BluePearl Veterinary Partners/James Judge/Associated Press)

Doctors said in a statement that they safely removed the 1.8 kilogram obstruction from Ty's stomach.

The tiger, which is cared for by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Florida, was brought to veterinarians after not eating for nearly two weeks. Doctors said they detected the hairball using a scope with a camera.

Vernon Yates, whose non-profit group regularly assists law enforcement agencies with seized animals, said he's thankful the hairball was removed and Ty is doing fine.