Hairballs in cats are one of the most troubling issues faced by cat owners. Hairballs, mostly caused by the religious self-grooming your cat engages in, are not only the owner’s headache but also uncomfortable for cats.
When your cat grooms himself/herself, microscopic hook-like contours on his tongue snag some loose and inert hair, which is accordingly swallowed. The bulk of these hair-like objects pass through the digestive branch, where, if some of this hair stays stuck in the stomach, it forms a hairball.
Correspondingly, your cat will vomit the hairball to get rid of it. As the hairballs pass through the thin esophagus on the route out, they often emerge thin and tube-like, instead of round.
Hairballs are most likely to materialize in long-haired breeds, such as Persians and Maine Coons. Cats that relieve a lot or who preen themselves compulsively are also likely to develop hairballs because they tend to eat a lot of furs.
The percentage of hairball formation in kittens is relatively less compared to adult cats. As cats grow up, they become more adept in grooming themselves, thus, wiping out the loose furs expertly with their tongues.
While on a hunt for the best cat food for hairballs, do not omit the home remedies which you have been using earlier. However, appropriate readymade cat food may give more benefits within less time and effort and prove to be the best treatment for hairballs.
You should keep in mind the three basic nutritional needs of a feline protein, taurine, micronutrients, and water. The best cat food for hairball control will be constituent of these four factors. Although the species do not depend on corn or wheat, some brands can have a mild hint of the aforesaid ingredients. You must ensure that none of the by-product inclusive food including corn and wheat, are purchased. Also, check out the best cat foods to prevent vomiting.
As a feline owner, one realizes that much is to be learned to properly care for a cat. Thus, when faced with the challenge of finding cat food specifically to prevent hairballs and strengthen your cat’s muscles, you might attempt research.
Such is the work of these factors. They assist you in making the correct decision regarding the best cat food for hairball control. A thorough study will guide you through the process of work and how to change your feline’s diet.
However, the important takeaway in this research is to read and understand the labels affixed on the pet food packets; and this article provides a comprehensive guide for the same. You will find the first three ingredients listed in a cat food package as the most prevalent in terms of weight and nutrient intake.
After determining the following factors, you can purchase the best cat food for hairballs according to its effectiveness and your feline’s preference.
What Ingredients Are Included?
Scouring through the ingredients section alerts you about any misleading information. Moreover, it has proven to be effective if you feed your feline the food they prefer. Although they are carnivorous, cats have their preferences.
Some might have a strong inclination towards chicken or meat while others find fish suitable. Hence, purchasing a pack of treats comprising of their favorite as their main ingredient will not only provide a scrumptious meal but also boost their fondness for you.
However, focusing your attention on buying fully meat packed food is detrimental to their health. Alongside the high protein diet, they need some essential vitamins and minerals to balance it all out.
Check for legumbres, antioxidants, necessary vegetables, and other vital amino acids. Avoid packages that state the involvement of grains and by-products or wheat and corn.
Canned food usually list water as their primary ingredient, but do not be put out by this. According to animal nutritionists and veterinary doctors, water is essential for cats, therefore, they recommend purchasing wet food.
Lastly, some products constitute organ meats. If they are either from the liver, heart, and kidney range of meats, then it is a healthy diet. Ensure if the package states as organ meats because skin, eyes, lungs, bladders, etc are not a suitable choice of food. Learn more about the best cat food for kittens.
Where Are The Ingredients Being Sourced From?
After sifting through the list of ingredients comes another crucial factor: their source. It is vital to wonder where ingredients come from, as their source is a significant determinant of how safe the food is for your pet.
Among the several crucial levels comes the health and hygiene factor. There have been uncountable incidences of pet food packages being tampered with by the supplier. Contamination resulting from Salmonella, pesticides, metal, or microplastics, omitting a vital nutrient, illegal use of dead animals can be a serious threat to your feline.
Therefore, purchasing a brand of food after thorough scrutiny and careful evaluation and depending exclusively on the food products made and inspected in your own country, is advisable.
How To Determine Nutritional Values
Each package contains a table showcasing the nutritional value one can conceive from it. The Department of Food and Beverage of nearly every country regulates and implements such a rule in their countries, strictly.
This acts as an assurance to the consumers as well as builds a relationship of trust. Being aware of the list of ingredients and also the weight each carries to maintain an active lifestyle assists the feline owners to determine the combination of elements their cat should receive.
Moreover, the nutritional profile is based on a certified analysis regarding the product label, specific ingredients, and feeding instructions. The fundamental macronutrient qualities such as crude protein, crude fat, water, and crude fiber are generally stated as the percentage of total weight.
Whereas, the micronutrients or the ones in a lesser quantity, like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc are displayed as international units (either grams or milligrams). Carbs are pointed as energy value in kilocalories.
Although today, there is no fixed rule to list the non-pharmaceutical micronutrients, some brands prefer providing the information for a better consumer-manufacturer alliance. Also, check out the best raw cat foods.
Are There Any Supplements?
Supplements mean the micronutrients present or those that should be present in your cat’s food packet. Consuming the primary ingredient can boost your protein intake, but their bodies, much like ours, require the perfect balance to sustain a long life.
Thereby, it is of utmost significance that you pay attention to both the macro and micronutrients. Supplements in cat food are nothing but vitamins, minerals, and amino acids inculcated through different forms. They require a regular dose of taurine, which sharpens and improves their eyesight. Unlike other animals, cats depend on taurine throughout their lives.
Lack of sufficient taurine or taurine deficiency causes a multitude of problems starting from blindness, teeth decay, and sometimes even death. Consequently, most of the brands include taurine in their products. The easiest way to eliminate excessive choices is to look for the absence of taurine.
According to the AAFCO Cat Nutritional Requirements, nutrients such as zinc, selenium, cobalt, iron, vitamins A, D, E, etc are indispensable supplements for cats of all ages.
The reason is quite similar to ours’. We rarely consume freshly plucked vegetables or fruits. The canned goods, cooked or packaged ones are processed and polished to look finer, thus, depleting it of the essential nutrients. By adding these nutrients separately, the balance is maintained and their nutritional needs are satisfied simultaneously.
What About Their Preferences?
This might be placed at the end of the list of determinants, however, it constitutes as one of the significant factors before you purchase your best hairball control cat food.
Furthermore, if you think humans are fussy regarding their food, you should watch the cats. They have a sharp sensory determinant to discover whether the constituency of the meal is heavy on the meat side or not.
To choose a brand of cat food you must ensure what your feline prefers. Some cats might be too fond of salmon while others find it repulsive. Some might incline towards dry food while others prefer moisture-rich morsels.
Such a finicky attitude makes it difficult for the owner to purchase a suitable type of packet. To avoid this dilemma, brands have launched numerous versions of their pet foods and are constantly evolving their products to become the best-suited ones.
Trial and error seldom prove ineffective. If you are a first-time buyer, try to run a few samples of food packets by your cat before purchasing the appropriate one. Although that is a lengthy and expensive process, unbiased reviews and recommendations also come in handy.
Top 14 Best Cat Food For Hairballs 2021
#1. Iams Proactive Health
With a promise of 100% nutrition and a real chicken ingredient, Iams proves to be one of the best hairball control cat food. Your feline receives a fulfilling and balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
Remembering the daily dose of Iams dry cat food is not as difficult as it seems as the packaging comes with a routine readily made for you. Based on your cat’s weight, their team has designed the appropriate amount of intake.
With a high-quality satisfaction, Iams’ ingredients include no artificial preservatives, or dyes, and/or wheat. Although it claims to be the best hairball cat food for felines of all ages, the Iams Proactive Health is best suited for adult cats of a larger breed. Its omega-6 formula promotes healthy skin and glossy fur.
Moreover, its premium recipe helps in controlling hairballs, stimulating healthy digestion and urinary tract functioning, and balances weight.
- L-carnitine – to help in shedding excess weight.
- Prebiotics and beet pulp- to help in a healthy digestion
- Chicken- to provide energy and strong muscles
- 10% less fat- to ensure a quality protein diet
- Item weight- 22 lbs
#2. Purina One
As the name suggests, Purina ONE cat food is created for the feline with a highly sensitive digestive system. Such cats often find it difficult to consume morsels due to poor health.
The brand accumulates some of the highly recommended nutritional values. Made with either meat, fish, or poultry and essential vitamins and minerals, Purina ONE is au natural.
Turkey being the primary ingredient of Purina ONE, your cat will relish her food due to the presence of a meaty taste. The bites are moisture-rich and crafted in different shapes, appealing to the feline’s inquisitive nature.
Available in a wide range of packaging, Purina ONE ensures to provide various grain-free nutrients based on a cat’s age, weight, and flavor. From kittens to adult cats, they can enjoy a hearty meal of nutrients either in wet or dry forms.
It includes formulas to battle digestive issues, hairball formation, weight management, and many more.
- Variety- from moisture-rich wet food to crunchy kibble to kibble with tender and meaty bites
- Drawbacks- does not prevent urinary problems
- Results- in 28 days you can see a visible difference in your cat
- Item weight: 7 lbs
#3. Blue Wilderness
Tested and approved by the Blue’s company cat, Finicky, this pack of treats is a healthy as well as scrumptious diet any feline could ever come across. Bagging a certificate of being the best cat food for hairballs.
Their motto, “Love them like family. Feed them like family” highlights their aim of eliminating the issues of a hairball, supporting the immune system, and strengthening muscles. Not only do they provide you with detailed coverage of their product, but also guide you to overcome the dilemma of transitioning your cat’s food.
Besides the real deboned chicken, Blue Buffalo features brown rice, flax, cranberries, peas and carrots, sweet potatoes, and blueberries. In short, it is a wholesome meal including all necessary protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant-rich fruits.
Cats with a sensitive stomach find this Blue Buffalo comforting as the grains are prepared with FOS prebiotics which soothes the digestive process and boost the nutrient absorbing mechanism of the body. The Omega 3 and 6 formulas of fatty acids induces a shiny texture on their coat.
One of the reasons why cat owners label the Blue Buffalo as the best cat food for hairballs is that it does not contain any artificial preservatives, by-products of meat, corn, and wheat.
- Taurine amino acid- to encourage sharp eyes and an active heart
- Balanced calories: to prevent obesity
- Lifesource Bits- blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians.
- Item weight- 7.15 lbs.
#4. Purina Smartblend
When you search for nutrients that would enable your feline’s potential to live an active life, a brand that commonly pops up in your feed is Purina ONE. They have invented the most creative style of inculcating vital elements through bite-sized morsels.
Available in both wet and dry compositions, it cooperates with your cat’s palette – either as a crunchy kibble, kibble with meat morsels, or moisture-rich wet food. Purina ONE specializes in cat food prepared with turkey as its primary ingredient.
The real meat present in each bite provides 100% nourishment. The grain-free component boasts of additional fiber that improves the digestive system and in turn lessens the possibilities of hairball formations.
Packed with an array of textures and flavors Purina ONE indoor advantage supports the palette of myriad adult cats and upholds a 28 days challenge for their consumers, to observe a noticeable difference.
- Omega 6- fatty acids help in acquiring healthy skin and fur.
- Crunchy kibble- helps reduce plaque buildup and whitens their teeth.
- Maximum quantity- 42 grams per cup.
#5. Purina Beyond
With a new look, Purina brings back their popular Beyond Grain Free cat food. A household favorite for all domestic cats this package is another best hairball cat food. Nothing can beat the love of fish that a feline constitutes, Purina, realizing so has put together some of the incredible ingredients to ensure health and pleasure.
Purina Beyond adult dry cat food makes the nutritional necessities of your feline an ultimate priority so he/she can reach his/her optimal health, both inside and out. As a carnivore, your cat inherently seeks meat and protein, and the adorable leaf shapes found in each cup of this dry food for cats help meet those appetites while strengthening her strong muscles.
Salmon being the primary ingredient is blended with sweet potatoes, pea fiber, and many more leaving out the harmful combinations of wheat, soy, or any by-product meals.
With natural recipes Beyond promises to satisfy your craving while maintaining the correct balance of nutrition.
- Traceability- Purina assures its consumers of accurate traceability regarding their ingredients.
- Commitment- each of their ingredients is recommended by a professional animal nutritionist.
- Item weight- 5.15 lbs
#6. Taste of The Wild
When you talk about uniqueness in a cat’s food, it comes down to the Taste of the Wild’s Rocky Mountain. A hunger for wilderness lingers in your feline. The Taste of the Wild lives up to its name.
Dishing out a recipe to satisfy both their hunger and curiosity, it boasts of a unique blend of roasted and smoked meat and poultry.
With salmon and venison dominating the palette, it includes a grain-free recipe that conditions your cat’s digestive system. The brand also seems to prioritize food safety. A high protein diet strengthens the cat’s muscles through the fish while legumes provide sound nutritional supplements.
One of the best features of this brand is that it provides health supplements for felines of all ages – from kitten to adult.
- Probiotics- their viable probiotics are added after cooking to increase their immunity and digestive process.
- The taurine- essential amino acid is beneficial for all cats and helps to maintain a healthy heart and eyes.
- Omega 3- healthy skin and a shiny coat.
- Antioxidants- Legumes, vegetables, and fruits, comprising peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries, delivers nutrients that help promote your cat’s general well-being, while correct grades of zinc, selenium, and vitamin E favor the immune system.
#7. Hill’s Science Can
While switching your cat over to this packaged food, ensure that the process takes place over some time. Generally, 7 transition days are sufficient for imbibing a fresh manner of the meal.
Such is the suggestion of nearly every veterinarian. Securing the top spot of cat food, Hill’s is a nutritionist’s favorite. Their cans are formulated for all age groups and customized for special requirements. Made with ingredients from all around the world, each of the cans is full of a high-protein diet.
Felines seem to favor this wet food due to the richness of its flavor and the conditioned digestive procedure which follows. There are no hairball formations nor are there any urinary tract infections that arise.
Besides chicken as the primary ingredient, Hill’s Science Diet boasts other natural ingredients. The magnesium content protects the urinary system. While on the other hand, the chicken results in lean and strong muscle development.
- Omega 3 and 6- give your cat’s coat a shiny new texture.
- Natural fiber- prevents hairballs.
- Item weight- 9.66 lbs
Taking on the metaphor that a cat’s spirit lives 9 lives, the band emerged with their range of food for felines. Each of these packages constitutes specific formulae lovingly created to secure a long and healthy life of a cat.
9Lives is probably one of the rare brands whose primary ingredients include both meat and salmon. Comprised of an Advanced Nutrient System, it is one of the best cat food for hairball prevention.
It fulfills a key role of maintaining the cat’s ideal weight as well as developing his/her immunity so that there is a steady decline in the hairball formation. Made with fresh legumes and basic vitamins, it becomes an enriching high protein diet.
Their company feline named Morris has proven how effective cat food is to battle out digestive issues and lead an active life.
- Water content- as it is dry food, you need to ensure your cat drinks sufficient water.
- Quantity- the serving should be adjusted according to your cat’s age and activity level.
- Elements- lean protein and vitamin B maintain a healthy metabolism.
- Item weight- 12.15 lbs
#9. Hill’s Science
One of the most prominent brands of cat food has another product up in our category. From mentioning the list of ingredients, and guiding you through the process of transition, to guaranteeing the reduction of hairball formation, this dry cat food packet has scored quite a number amongst consumers.
Hill’s Science boasts of a creation that is developed by more than 220 veterinarians and food scientists to meet the needs of every feline. Each of their ingredients is quality checked, analyzed, and approved only after they meet the brand’s stringent standard.
Hill’s use high-quality ingredients such as chicken, lamb, and salmon alongside clinically approved antioxidant elements. The absence of by-products or any artificial products is noticeable.
Their Food, Shelter & Love project donates food to various shelters across the country, delivering the proper nutrition that helps cats find their way to loving households. With every purchase of Science Diet, you boost the campaign of feeding over 100,000 homeless cats almost every day, 365 days a year.
- Omega 6- gives your cat’s coat a sleek texture.
- Natural fiber- prevents hairballs.
- Item weight- 7.15 lbs
#10. Purina One Formula
This product is primarily for those on a budget. You might get more than twice as much of this food as the first two at the same price. That, however, does not mean it is going to be an ineffective treatment for your cat’s hairball situation. This formula is eligible for adult cats aged 1 year or older.
Like most cat foods that are formulated for hairball management, this food serves using an assortment of natural fibers. It is also accompanied by Omega-6 fatty acids that keep a cat’s skin and coat healthy. Consumers prefer this product because it lists real chicken as the primary ingredient. All the ingredients are selected with a distinct purpose, with no filler portions.
The stories from people who have used this food are remarkable. It is also a brand that is approved by veterinarians. Purina ONE is known to go beyond its ways to make its foods crunchy and healthy, which most cats enjoy.
Some of the special needs cat foods you come across neither appeal to the felines’ palette nor are they a suitable choice. Hence, an added enticement to get them to eat it is a major plus. People who need a cheaper option or those who have not found success with different products should certainly consider this one.
- Drawback- does not help in improving urinary tract health.
- Natural fiber- helps boost the dimension.
- Recommendations- veterinary approved.
- Item weight- 7.15 lbs
#11. Iams Proactive Health
Wrapped in a vibrant orange packaging with a healthy and happy-looking feline on the inset, this one attracts consumers like light attracts moths. Iams, by placing their second product in the category of best cat food for hairballs, has certainly lived up to its promise. This dry grain-free product assures you to give your feline a long and carefree life.
Real chicken being a universal cat favorite is the main ingredient used in Iams Proactive food packets. Such doses of high-quality protein without any added fillers or by-products keep the muscles lean and strong.
Furthermore, it is suitable for cats of all ages. Along with the chicken content, several green vegetables offer a balanced diet of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Omega 3 and 6- promotes healthy skin and fur.
- Benefits- reduction in the amount of hairball development.
- Additional benefits- protects urinary tract health.
- Item weight- 22 lbs
#12. Blue Sensitive Stomach
This food, by Blue Buffalo, is quite similar to the previous one that was discussed. It contains a high-quality protein source and employs a myriad of beneficial components to help nurture the internal and fur health of your cat. It also contains natural high fiber for digestive health.
This food improves your cat’s hairball problems by procuring a great source of natural fiber. As discussed earlier, this fiber will promote digestive health and increase your feline’s potential to pass hairballs out of their system more smoothly. It also helps to control your cat’s weight through its nutritious offering of ingredients.
It kicks things off right by listing real meat as the key ingredient. Aside from being the superior protein source, it also has several wholesome grains, green vegetables, and fruit to give your cat a wide range of fulfilling nutrition.
Designed specifically for felines, it categorizes as the best cat food for treating hairballs and vomiting. This food product by Blue Buffalo is a great choice from a reputable company.
- Sensitive stomach- the FOS Prebiotics formulation increases digestive capability as the sensitive stomach is given a rest.
- Omega 3 and 6- boosts fur and skin health
- LifeSource Bits- they are a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support life source requirements give a healthy oxidative balance and stimulates immunity.
- Item weight- 7.15 lbs
#13. Hill’s Science
Too many products can leave you perplexed when you are checking out a review. However, if a certain number of brands are repeated, every time with a new range of products for specific problems, you tend to develop trust.
Such is the case with Hill’s Science cat food products. This food offers many of the similar functions as the last Hill’s Science Diet food we had discussed. The only difference here is that it targets hairballs exclusively.
Does that make it another competitor for the best cat food for hairballs? Probably!
Due to this specification, is it slightly cheaper than the versions that include urinary health; although that can count as a setback too. Like the other Hill’s Science Diet food products on the list, this one too is designed for cats aged 1 to 6. If your cat is enduring no issues with urinary health, this one may be the better option. Moreover, it will save you a few dollars.
- Ingredients- the crunchy kibbles are made of natural fiber along with real chicken and ocean fish to suit even the fussiest eaters.
- Additional units- micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids fill the gap with their healthy influence.
- Shape- unlike other Science Diet products, this one comes as a minced wet food rather than a pâté.
- Item weight- 7.15 lbs
#14. Purina Pro Plan
Purina is one of the long-standing members of the pet food community and they have a distinction for generating high-quality food products. They also have a sweeping line of food variety to meet any need.
This food offers a premium real chicken protein source that is complemented with rice. It has assorted essential nutrients to support a feline’s general temperament and helps to regulate the appearance of hairballs through digestive and coat health.
It is easily digestible and lacks fillers that could otherwise slow your cat’s digestive system down as well as cause additional long-term health issues. The natural fiber in this food promotes digestive health and can help your cat overcome its hairballs dilemmas.
- Micronutrients- comprised of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it helps in quick and efficient digestion.
- Item weight- 7.14 lbs
FAQs on Cat Food For Hairballs
What Can We Add To Our Cats’ Food For Preventing & Treating Hairballs?
Other than splurging on the best cat food for hairballs, home treats can also battle the growth of hairballs in your cat. It only takes a keen sense of knowledge and a little effort.
While serving your feline their daily meal, slip a teaspoon of fish, safflower, or flax oil into it. The oil helps the hairball to pass through your cat’s system smoothly.
Another method is to use a hairball prevention jelly. This jelly must contain marshmallows, papaya, and slippery elm.
Does Wet Cat Food Help With Hairballs?
Veterinary doctors and animal nutritionists recommend moisture-rich, wet canned food products for cats. As they hardly drink water, these moisture-rich grain-free products help in keeping them hydrated.
The food, whether it contains salmon or venison, or any kind of high protein carries essential nutrients to support their active lifestyle and boost the immune system helps in preventing the formation of hairballs through improved digestion and coating them.
How Does Cat Food Prevent Hairballs?
The hairball prescribed food contains higher quantities of fiber that assists in forcing the intestinal contents through the system easily.
This food also comprises certain enzymes that help curb hairballs creation in the stomach.
As stated earlier, fish, safflower, or flax oil, or butter in an occasional supply is beneficial to your cat’s health. They coat the hairballs and ensure a smooth passage for those formations.
Acting as lubricants, the hairballs are ably pushed through their intestines and out of their bodies in no time. Other than feeding them some of the best cat food for hairballs and vomiting, you can use gels to expel swallowed fir and hardened stools smoothly.
What Oil Is Good For Cats With Hairballs?
The most common types of oil used as a lubricant are safflower, flax, and fish oil – the latter chiefly due to its smell. Apart from these, you can use a teaspoon of olive oil, corn oil, saffron oil, and mineral oil.
These not only aid in digestion but also eliminate fur from the stools. Thus, saving the feline from suffering any stomach aches and hairball formations.
Why Do Cats Get Hairballs?
Hairballs are usually harmless for cats. Their tongue helps them wash themselves and they can swallow some of the hair that comes out of their fur. But if too much hair gets stuck in their throat, it causes them to cough and choke.
How Can I Stop Hairballs?
You can’t prevent hairballs completely, but you can reduce the amount of hairball incidents by brushing your cat regularly. Cats need exercise to stay healthy. Playtime with your cat is essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Cats need to drink water daily.
Are Hairballs Dangerous?
Cats produce hairballs naturally. Large amounts of hairballs can be a symptom of an intestinal problem. Smaller amounts of hairballs may indicate that the hairball is moving from the stomach to the intestines. Retching without producing hairballs indicates that the hairball has moved into the intestine.
Does Hairball Control Gel Work?
Gels containing substances designed to help hairballs pass through the digestive system can be used safely. Cats should be limited to the amount of gel they use, as it can cause diarrhea.
Cats use their paws to groom themselves. This substance helps cats when they’re grooming by making it easier to lick off fur balls. Cats also love flavored foods. This gel has a flavor designed to appeal specifically to cats. The gel makes it easy for cats to consume, but it doesn’t taste bad.
Aside from those several determinants and products lined up above, there are a few points you must remember before purchasing the best hairball cat food for your feline.
Each of these cat foods has not only received outstanding customer grades, but they also have terrific labeling and website input. They are also readily available at all major retailers and have impressive ingredient procurement ideals. Moreover, they are in full compliance with AAFCO’s Cat Nutritional Guidelines.
Remember there are a lot of high-quality cat food products ready for your use. Some also offer special needs formulae like hypoallergenic cat food, age-specific mixture, and weight loss/weight management diet. Cats, like humans, develop allergies over some time. Hence, it is good to provide them with a variety to repel possible allergies to certain ingredients.
The recommended list of this article simply shows those products we feel are outstanding in today’s market. These brands offer a broad range of ingredients, recipes, and types. At the end of the day, it is your choice of the best cat food for hairballs that would make the difference.