Best Cat Food For Hairballs

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Dealing with hairballs can be a challenging process. Finding the right food can be your best first step. I created this list to highlight some of our favorites.
Maine Coon laying down

The are a lot of weird things you need to be prepared for when you decide to take in a cat. You need to worry about if your cat is going to have a sensitive stomach or if you’re going to have to keep cleaning up hairballs. Hairballs is a very common thing but definitely not pleasant. The best cat food for hairballs is readily available online and in stores.

If you want to make it easier on your floors and cleaning supplies, I would suggest trying out one of these cat food brands. Along with food, there are some other techniques and tricks you can do to be proactive against hairballs.

Best Cat Food For Hairballs

What Causes Hairballs?

Hairballs are definitely a weird thing to experience if you’re taking care of a cat. You’re sitting on the couch watching TV and all of a sudden you start hearing gagging noises in the other room. You rush in to see your cat throwing up fur and hair.

So where do the hairballs come from?

Cats are very clean animals. They are constantly cleaning themselves 24/7. It is perfectly normal for cats to be on a constant cleaning routine. One thing to point out is that a cat’s tongue has tiny hooks on it to catch hair that is dead or loose. Most of the hair passes safely through the digestive tract but on some rare occasions it stays in the stomach and forms a hairball.

The only real way to get rid of this hairball in their stomach is to throw it up on your brand new rug.

Some Common Symptoms Of Hairballs

Hearing your cat trying to pass a hairball can be a disturbing thing. Mainly because you are helpless and can’t do anything until the hairball is passed. Thankfully the whole process only takes a minute or two. Then it is time to take out the gloves and bleach to clean up the mess.

Some of the most common symptoms of hairballs include gagging, dry heaving, hacking, and retching. If you see your cat giving off any of these symptoms just let it happen. Doing any preventative measures during it can cause harm.

You should take your cat to the vet if he or she experiences the below symptoms:

  • Vomiting, gagging, hacking, dry heaving but without any hairballs. This could indicate some kind of blockage and should be examined by a vet ASAP.
  • Eating only some of their food or none at all.
  • Tired and lethargic throughout the day. Sure cats like to sleep but it shouldn’t be an all day thing.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.

Don’t Be Alarmed By Hairballs

Hairballs are 100% normal. Cats are constantly cleaning themselves and hair is constantly being put into their digestive system. It is a very common practice and isn’t bad at all for your furry pet.

Cats with a lot more hair like Maine Coons will experience more hairballs as compared to a cat with not a lot of hair. Also very young cats don’t get a lot of hairballs because they aren’t used to cleaning themselves on a regular basis. As they grow older you will start to notice more hairballs. I promise you it is perfectly normal.

Not treating hairballs early can result in a lot of vet bills and dirty carpets. Is is better to be proactive so no one has to suffer.

Some Common Remedies For Hairballs

Cat licking itself

There are some awesome “hacks” out there to help you prevent hairballs from taking over your poor cat. If you have any remedies not on this list I would love to hear about it in the comments below! There is no way to stop hairballs completely but there are a lot of ways out there to suppress it.

Brush And Groom Your Cat

Brushing your cat on a regular basis is an awesome routine to start. The less loose hair on your cat means the less hair will end up in their stomach. A good time to brush your cat is when they are sleeping or trying to snuggle. We sometimes try to brush Watson but he never wants any of that haha. He is a little stubborn.

A good routine would be to do this at night before bedtime. There are many good brushes on the market. You can essentially pick up any brush as long as it won’t hurt your cat’s skin. Brushing your cat is also a good bonding experience. Cats love being brushed and petted. Doing this on a regular basis will make you his best friend.

Give Your Cat Hairball Formula Food

Pet food companies have figured out a formula to make dealing with hairballs a little easier. Normal food is digested through the stomach and gives your cat the nutrients it needs to grow strong.

Hairball food is designed slightly different. These types of food choices are packed with high-fiber ingredients. This helps to “push” the hairballs through the digestion process. The ingredients also strengthen your cats coat so there isn’t as much shedding. Less shedding means less hairballs. Hairball formulas encourage the hairballs to flow through the digestive system instead of ending up on your floor.

Release The Stress & Energy

Sometimes cats will clean themselves if they have a lot of built up stress. Why not release this stress and energy with some play time. Buy your cat some kind of toy for them to play with. Allowing your cat to run around and play with their toy will distract them from constantly cleaning their hair.

According to Web MD For Pets, exercise is also a great way to get your cat’s digestive system flowing. The exercise will be the most “natural” way to keep your cat’s digestive system healthy. If you feel uncomfortable about giving your cat high fiber food then exercise should be your second option.

What To Look For In Hairball Food

When looking to buy food for your cat, especially hairball food, you should pick the one with the finest ingredients. You should try to avoid fillers and artificial flavoring. This can do more harm than good for your cat.

Wet food is definitely better than dry food but if your cat only eats dry food that’s ok. Just make sure to have extra water available because dry food won’t give your cat the full hydration it needs. I have highlighted both food options on this list to make it easier for you to decide on a suitable formula.

I always like to tell people interested in a new cat food that the price you pay is what you get. If you are buying cheap brands then the cat food is also going to be cheaply made. That’s when a lot of fillers and artificial flavoring gets introduced. You should spend a little bit more to get some quality food. Your cat will also thank you.

The Best Cat Food For Hairball Control (Top 5)

Luckily if your cat gets frequent hairballs there are options out there to ease the pain and frustration. If there is a food you use that is not on this list I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Does the food reduce hairballs and make your cat’s life a little easier?

Purina ONE Hairball Formula Dry Food

Purina ONE Hairball Formula Dry Food

Purina is a very strong name you can trust in the cat food market. Justine and I currently use Purina for Watson and he loves it! Purina ONE is made with 100% real chicken and not packed with fake ingredients or fillers. Everything is natural and not manufactured. This food blend contains natural fibers to reduce hairballs in your cats stomach. Other vitamins keep your cat’s coat healthy and strong.

Purina ONE puts their food through a rigorous testing process before it hits the shelves. The company wants to be sure that what they are providing your cat is 100% honest. This food is easily digestible and won’t cause anymore harm. Another great benefit is that the crunchy kibble will keep your cat’s teeth clean and plaque free. You’re basically getting two benefits in one!

Pros

  • This food blend is made with 100% natural ingredients to make digestion easier.
  • Fiber rich ingredients reduce hairballs in your cats stomach.
  • Vitamins and nutrients give your cat a strong coat. This prevents excessive shedding that typically causes hairballs.

Cons

  • Some cat owners thought the price was a little high but you get what you pay for.
  • A couple cats did not like the taste of the food.

Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Dry Food

Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Dry Food

There is a reason why Hill’s Science Diet is the #1 recommended cat food by veterinarians. Their ingredients are 100% natural and none of their food is packed with artificial flavors and preservatives. This well balanced cat food blend reduces the risk of hairballs in your cat and also tastes great. Your cat will be crying for more when his dinner is finished. Just like the Purina ONE blend, this dry food has a healthy balance of fiber rich ingredients. This will help to reduce hairball formation.

Hill’s Science is actually driven by science believe it or not! The company was started in 1939 and has been a household brand ever since. Their team of scientists know what works and what doesn’t for your fur friend.

Pros

  • Natural fibers in the food mixture helps to get rid of those pesky hairballs.
  • High quality protein and 100% real ingredients give your cat the nutrients it needs.
  • Vitamins C + E help to promote a healthy coat and prevent any excessive shedding from happening.

Cons

  • Some cats would not eat the dry food unless it was mixed with a different food as well.
  • A couple owners mentioned that the food pieces were a little bit too big for their cat to eat.

Blue Buffalo Hairball Control Dry Food

Blue Buffalo Hairball Control Dry Food

Blue Buffalo is a very strong name in the cat food field. Everyone that buys Blue Buffalo knows they are getting quality products and a well made food blend. Blue Buffalo is known for sourcing only the finest ingredients. The company has their promise printed on every food label.

“The True Blue Promise ALWAYS Starts with Protein-Rich Chicken. NO Chicken (or Poultry) By-Product Meals. NO Corn, Wheat, or Soy. NO Artificial Flavors or Preservatives.” (Cite: Blue Buffalo)

True Blue Promise

This hairball formula is designed to ease your cat’s digestion and allow hairballs to pass through easily. This food comes in a dry form so it is easy to scoop out when your cat is hungry. Another great feature of this food is it’s weight management element. The formula is blended together to help your cat maintain a healthy weight. There are so many benefits that come along with Blue Buffalo.

Pros

  • Natural fiber ingredients like cellulose and psyllium help to reduce hairballs in your cat.
  • Taurine will give your cats a much healthier heart and eyes.
  • Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids give your cat’s coat a much stronger feel. This will reduce the amount of shedding that produces hairballs.

Cons

  • Blue Buffalo is more on the pricier side. When you start to go into the larger bags it can get expensive. You get what you pay for though.
  • Some owners reported the food having an almost “dusty” look to it. Easy to fix with a little bit of water.

Meow Mix Hairball Control Dry Food

Meow Mix Hairball Control Dry Food

This dry food blend is great for those picky cats. With the Meow Mix hairball control formula you are getting food proteins from chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish. This makes it easier then trying to figure out what flavor your cat will enjoy the most.

Now Meow Mix does have a “cheaper” reputation in the cat food community. I’m here to tell you that they have the same quality ingredients as a Blue Buffalo or Purina. This hairball control formula is packed with wholesome ingredients and the nutrients your cat needs. Meow Mix is looking to eliminate hairballs before they start with essential fibers and vitamins. If you are looking for a less expensive cat food but with the same 100% quality ingredients then Meow Mix is your best choice.

Pros

  • Well balanced food blend for any type of cat looking to reduce hairballs.
  • Food mixture consists of proteins like chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish. Your cats will love the flavor!
  • Vitamins in this dry food will keep your cat strong as well as their coat.

Cons

  • Some people in the cat community think that Meow Mix is not quality food because it has a smaller price tag. This is not the case at all.
  • A couple cats were still shedding even after being on this cat food blend.

Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Wet Food

Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Wet Food

The best cat food for hairballs list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t have a wet food option as well. Justine and I prefer to use wet food when we can but for snacks we usually give Watson dry food. Wet food definitely keeps your cat more hydrated than dry food. Dry food isn’t going to make your cat deathly dehydrated but they will need to drink more water to keep up their levels. If you simply leave out a bowl of water they will be ok.

Just like the dry food. Hill’s Science Diet focuses on 100% natural ingredients. You can be certain that what your cat is eating is real and not produced in a factory. This wet food will make it almost impossible for your cat to get hairballs. Also the added taurine will keep your cat’s organs strong and healthy.

Pros

  • This mixture by Hill’s Science reduces hairballs but also supports the cats urinary health. This mixture has the perfect magnesium level for a healthy urinary tract system.
  • Not every cat has the same taste. Hill’s Science knows this and made this blend almost irresistible to any cat.
  • Hairballs will flow through your cat with ease. Fiber rich ingredients help to pass hairballs a lot easier.

Cons

  • The consistency of wet food appears to vary between larger and smaller cans.
  • A couple cat owners said that the food had a bad smell to it...but the cats loved it!

Overall Conclusion

Dealing with hairballs is a very common thing for any cat owner. Luckily there are a lot of brands out there doing something about this common thing. Food blends have become more advanced and better at eliminating hairballs in your cat.

Some foods have added fiber to push the hairballs through the intestines while other foods keep your cat’s coat strong and healthy. Hopefully finding the best food for your cat is simple and painless. I also hope this list gave you a lot of options to choose from. If we had to pick one brand though it would be the Purina ONE Hairball Formula Dry Food. Purina is a name you can trust and their cat foods are next level.

Do you have any hairball stories you would like to talk about? Leave us a comment below! What foods worked best for you?

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