What Cat Food Ingredients Help Get Rid Of Hairballs
High-quality wet cat food is best for hairball control with added fiber from cellulose or other plant-based food.
I recommend wet canned cat foods over dry foods for health, especially foods with a good mixture of animal-based food sources from quality sources to provide the nutrients your cat needs for health.
Small amounts of added fiber may help reduce vomiting and aid in fecal clearance.
Lets look at research that supports this recommendation:
In a 2011 trial, 24 cats followed a four-week hairball control cat food challenge.
The cats went into two groups with or without cellulose added to commercial dry food. The control group received a placebo. The owner reported rate of vomiting .
This suggests that cellulose, although it has no nutritional benefit, helps to bind and eliminate hairballs.
Unfortunately, the trial was with dry cat food, so its not known if wet cat food with cellulose provides the same beneficial effect.
In another study in 2014, cats got a diet with a higher amount of cellulose . The cellulose increased the formation of large hairballs. The study also tested sugarcane. Sugarcane helped get rid of large hairballs and they werent present in the feces. This suggests sugarcane reduces the risk of vomiting from large hairballs.
Lets sum up the research into logical actionable ideas:
High-quality wet cat food is best for hairball control with added fiber from cellulose or other plant-based food.
Theres only one problem with this solution.
Change Your Cats Food
The next thing that you can try in your mission to prevent or control hairballs is to change your cats food. There are dozens of cat foods out there that are specifically designed for this purpose and can help your cat reduce the amount of hairballs that they have to experience or even eliminate them altogether.
Though it used to be difficult to find these kinds of specialty foods, they are becoming more common. Almost every major brand of pet food now carries a hairball control version of their most popular foods. Were going to cover some of the best hairball control cat foods out there and give you a complete guide on how to find the best hairball cat food for you and your cat.
You might not think that simply changing the food that your cat eats can be that effective, but its actually one of the most effective measures that you can take to help prevent hairballs. Changing your cats food should definitely be one of the steps that you take to lower the amount of hair that enters your cats system.
The way that these cat foods work is that they improve the health of your cats coat through the vitamins and minerals that they include. This minimizes the amount of shedding that your cat experiences and that results in less hair entering your cats system to create hairballs. Additionally, they encourage digestive health that enables your cat to pass the hairballs more safely through the digestive system.
Go To The Vet If You See Frequent Hairballs
If youre finding hairballs more frequently than once a month or so, its time to make an appointment with your veterinarian to look for an underlying problem.
A complete work-up for chronic or severe hairballs starts with a patient history and physical exam and may include:
Skin scrapings to look for mites
Possibly, biopsies of the gastrointestinal tract or skin
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Best Cat Food For Hairball Prevention
Its time to knuckle down and read about each of our picks. Each food on our list is perfectly viable as a full replacement for your cats current diet.
If cost is a concern, then you may be able to feed them a hairball prevention cat food every other meal instead of at every meal. This is commonly recommended with special medical formulas as a good way to balance cost and effectiveness. Below are the best cat foods for hairball prevention that will help fur pass through your cats system safely.
Buying Guide: The Best Cat Food For Hairballs
This buying guide will help you find the right cat food for hairball control.
Before discussing food, Ill introduce the topic of hairballs, including what they are, the symptoms, and why they occur.
Then Ill look into diet strategies that help with hairball control.
Finally, Ill cover some frequently asked questions to give you more guidance.
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Hills Science Diet Hairball Canned Food
This food comes from the other leading brand when it comes to cat food with health benefits, its also aimed at adult cats, but the age range is just from 1 to 6.
Science Diet makes the only cat food that reduces hairballs while also helping your cats overall urinary health. The key here is controlling how much magnesium your cat is getting. This food claims to have the perfect amount. It also works using a variety of fibers to encourage the hair to pass through your cat easily. Being made with natural ingredients makes this a great food for your cats overall health. There is also a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. We also love that there are no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Another thing that we love is that it comes in both wet and dry varieties. Some cats will only eat one or the other, while other cats thrive on eating a combination of the two. The wet food is a pâté, which some cats seem to love while other cats wont touch it. Hills Science Diet is the #1 veterinarian recommended brand. That alone is a good reason to consider it when shopping for the best hairball cat food.
Checklist For Choosing Quality Cat Food For Hairball Control
So youâve read our article and hopefully arenât too overwhelmed by the effect of hairballs. Here we want to give you a summary of what we have advised for reducing the effect that hairballs have on your cats.
- Start to groom your cats on a daily basis, whether or not they are short or long haired. Brushing them yourselves can get rid of unwanted cat hair which they might instead swallow.
- Change their diet to an anti-fur ball cat food which will help with their digestion.
- Make sure that their new diet contains plenty of dietary fiber which will help the hairs go through the intestinal tract together with their food.
- Food high in animal protein is recommended as cats are carnivores. As protein is good for a healthy skin and coat, it will minimize shedding.
- Choose a food which has a low carbohydrate content. Many cats have a problem digesting carbs which can affect the smoothness of their digestion.
- Avoid meat by-products as they have little nutritional value. Too much of this means a lower protein count which leads to lank and falling out hair.
- If your cats have trouble bringing up a fur ball, head off to the vet because if it is stuck, your cat will probably need emergency surgery.
- So youâve read our article and hopefully arenât too overwhelmed by the effect of hairballs. Here we want to give you a summary of what we have advised for reducing the effect that hairballs have on your cats
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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Chicken Recipe Grain
Our Top Pick for the Best Grain-Free Cat Food for Hairballs: Another Blue Buffalo recipe, this Wilderness Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food is an excellent option. This recipe consists of high-protein kibble supplemented with a blend of natural fibers to support healthy digestion and prevent hairballs. It is loaded with healthy nutrients, thanks to the inclusion of LifeSource Bits and it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This recipe features lean chicken as the main ingredient with supplemental sources of protein such as chicken meal and turkey meal. It is made with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of key nutrients with chelated minerals and vitamins for nutritional balance.
- Pros: High-protein and low-carbohydrate, formulated for hairball control, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, rich in omega fatty acids, fresh fruits, and vegetables, chelated minerals and probiotics
- Cons: Contains plant proteins , could be higher in moisture content
Hills Science Diet Hairball Control Cat Food
Hills Science make almost every list of top cat foods. Whether its weight control, best taste, hairball management, they always seem to nail it with both owners and cats.
This product hits the spot too. Ive browsed dozens of testimonials from happy owners signing the praises of this hairball control mix.
The formula for a happier life is simple. Hills Science Hairball Control means fewer hairballs means happier cats. And, happier cats means happier cat owners.
Its a circle of joy, all of which starts with good hairball control cat food. On a more serious note the blend of natural ingredients, plus vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and so on makes this is a smart choice for cats throwing up hairballs too frequently.
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Potential Causes Of Hairballs
The occasional hairball is normal. It can happen with long and short hair cats and continues from the kitten stage to old age. All cats groom and ingest small amounts of fur. If the digestion system can pass it, there is no problem. If the hair starts to accumulate in the stomach, you start to get the vomiting.
It is possible your cat is experiencing hairballs more frequently than normal due to an underlying issue, such as inflammatory bowel disease or a food allergy. If IBD is an issue, you can find foods that are aimed at sensitive stomachs.
Food allergies are a bit more complicated. There are limited antigen foods available both commercially and from your vet that can help to determine if a food allergy is causing your cats hairballs. It involves feeding your cat that new food for 8 weeks and observing any changes.
Making The Switch To Purina One
Although youll be anxious to see the difference Purina ONE can make in your cat, please allow 7 – 10 days to ease the transition from your cats current food. Each day, simply feed a little less of the previous food and a little more Purina ONE until youre feeding Purina ONE exclusively. This gradual transition will help avoid dietary upsets.
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Blue Buffalo Blue Indoor Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
The Blue Buffalo Company is one of the biggest names in pet food and they are known for producing high-quality recipes that provide complete and balanced nutrition for cats. Not only does Blue Buffalo use the highest quality ingredients available, but they offer plenty of specialized formulas for cats with unique nutritional needs. Blue Buffalo is also known for offering an extensive variety of products which are divided into four product lines. The BLUE line of products features life protection recipes that are supplemented with LifeSource Bits for balanced nutrition. The Basics line includes an assortment of Limited Ingredient Diets and the Freedom line is all grain-free. The Wilderness line features meat-rich ingredients in recipes inspired by the ancestral diet of wild wolves. Your cat would be lucky to receive any one of Blue Buffalo cat food products.
Cystitis Bladder Stones And Utis
Cats urinary tracts are highly sensitive, and nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping your kittys bladder healthy.
Animal protein helps keep your felines urinary tract at the correct pH level to hinder the formation of bladder stones that lead to the most common UTIs in cats.
Most cats suffer from some form of UTI at various times, but Untamed can help minimise their frequency and severity.
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Less Shedding Means Fewer Hairballs
Shedding is inevitable for most cats, but cats with healthier coats tend to do it less. A great diet and the right supplements can help to keep your cats coat in top condition and shedding as little as possible.
On top of feeding one of the best cat food for hairball control, you can promote skin and coat health by introducing an omega-3 fatty acid supplement and ruling out any sensitivities or health conditions that cause excessive shedding.
Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Cat Food
Our Top Pick for the Most Popular Hairball Cat Food: If youre not sure where to start shopping for hairball control cat food, why not go with a popular recipe like this Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Cat Food? This formula is very affordable for the quality it delivers, and it is uniquely formulated for indoor cats, offering both hairball prevention and weight management benefits. This recipe features real chicken as the main ingredient to support lean muscle mass with digestible whole-grain carbohydrates for energy and fiber. It also contains several supplemental sources of fiber for a total crude fiber content of 9%. This formula is rich in omega fatty acids for skin and coat support, plus fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance. It contains probiotics for digestive support as well as chelated minerals.
- Pros: Formulated for hairball & weight control, lean chicken as main ingredient, digestible carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, supplemental protein sources, rich in omega fatty acids
- Cons: Not a grain-free recipe , contains plant proteins
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Does Hairball Control Gel Work
Aside from experimenting with foods specially intended to remove hairballs, you can also consider using the gels that we mentioned above. These lubricated gels contain various substances that are intended to help hairballs slide through the GI tract.
Ultimately, you need to avoid giving your cats too much of this substance, because it can make them feel sick or lead to issues like diarrhea. However, if you follow the guidelines given by your vet, then using a gel could be a safe strategy.
Vets recommend substances like the Nutri-Vet, Multi-Vite Paw-Gel for cats. Vets are responsible for this particular gels formula. The great thing about this lubricant is that you dont have to force it into your cats mouth. All you need to do is apply the gel to your cats paw, and theyll consume it as they groom themselves.
Another bonus for this particular gel is that it comes with a flavor designed to appeal to your kitties. That could make encouraging them to eat it is a much easier process.
Best Chews: Tomlyn Laxatone Hairball Remedy Chicken Flavor Cat Chews
Another hairball control product by Tomlyn that is worth considering is their Laxatone Hairball Remedy Chicken Flavor Cat Chews. These soft chews double as a treat, so your kitty will gladly eat them, and you dont have to worry about any messy gels that you have to get your cat to lick up. In fact, this can be an easier-to-administer option if your pet doesnt like the gel.
This product is veterinarian formulated, gentle, and effective for preventing and eliminating hairballs in cats. It contains omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and coat, and its ingredients may help your kittys digestive system move hairballs through the stool so she will be less likely to vomit them up.
The active ingredients in this product include:
Inactive ingredients in this formula include:
- Brewers dried yeast
- Corn starch and corn syrup
- Rye flour, oat flour, and oat meal
- Propionic acid and sorbic acid
- Sodium alginate
Cats that are 10 pounds and under should get 1 chew daily, while cats that weight 11 to 30 pounds can get 2 chews daily.
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Nomnomnow Fresh Food Delivery Service
Our Top Pick for the Best Hairball Control Cat food: When it comes to preventing hairballs, healthy and regular digestion is key. Veterinarians and animal nutrition experts agree that fresh food for pets is at the top of the list when it comes to quality nutrition and NomNomNow is one of the best fresh pet food delivery services out there. When you create a profile for your cat on NomNomNows website, you can input information that will be used to create a custom diet for your cat using one of two proteins chicken or fish. Both of these recipes are loaded with protein and high in moisture as well as other essential nutrients to ensure healthy, regular digestion as well as complete and balanced nutrition. Though NomNomNow is not specifically designed for hairball control, quality nutrition and healthy digestion will reduce the frequency of hairballs.
- Pros: Fresh food delivered to your door, high in animal protein, very rich in moisture, premium natural ingredients, perfectly portioned for your cat, no artificial additives
- Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet, only two protein options
Royal Canin Feline Intense Hairball
Royal Canin is an excellent company in the special kitty diet landscape. The company has something for everyone, including a unique food for cats. Royal Canin Hairball Care is tailored to suit cats over the age of 1, so its best to avoid using it for kittens.
This food reduces hairballs by moving the hair gently through the GI tract. This also controls hairball development thanks to a specific blend of dietary fibers intended for healthy stomachs! Unfortunately, there isnt a lot of variety in flavor. Whats more, this isnt the cheapest food around.
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