What Are The Symptoms Of Hairballs In Cats
Cats will dry heave or retch until they are able to eliminate hairballs.
Other symptoms of hairballs include a loss of appetite, anorexia, frequent vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Most of the hair your cat ingests passes into the stool. This results in no symptomatic or health changes. Some hair may be visible in the feces.
The Honest Kitchen Grain
Our Top Pick for the Best Cat Food for Hairballs and Sensitive Stomach: If youre looking for the best cat food for hairballs and sensitive stomach, a high-quality formula made with no allergenic ingredients and minimally processed is the way to go. This Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Dehydrated Cat Food is an excellent choice because it supports healthy digestion as well as complete and balanced nutrition, using only the finest natural ingredients. This recipe features fresh chicken as the main ingredient with grain-free carbohydrates including fresh fruits and vegetables for energy and digestive support. Overall, this food contains 39% protein, nearly 30% fat, and over 2% crude fiber. Most importantly, however, it is dehydrated rather than cooked which means that the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients is preserved. It also means that you can rehydrate it before feeding to maximize your cats moisture intake for improved digestion.
- Pros: Dehydrated not cooked, contains 70% chicken, grain-free carbohydrates, whole-food ingredients, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, protein-rich and high in fiber
- Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet, needs to be rehydrated before feeding
The Importance Of Fiber
Tons of different ingredients can help your cat with their hairballs, but by far, the most important one is fiber. It works digestive wonders for your cat, and one way that it helps is by sweeping hair through your cats digestive tract.
The hair needs to come out, and the fiber helps push it through so it doesnt come back out through their mouth. It also helps them feel full and aids their digestion in other ways.
But when eliminating hairballs is the primary goal, the first ingredient that you want to check out in your cats food is the fiber.
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What Cat Food Is Best For Hairballs
When picking a cat food for hairballs, keep an eye on the fiber content of the formulations. In dry foods, the crude fiber percentage should be around 8 to10%, while canned foods can be in the 2 to 4% range. Make sure the option you select still meets all your pets overall nutritional needs and is an all-around wholesome food choice. The best cat foods for hairballs should still provide a good source of protein and other important ingredients like Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Best Wet Cat Food For Hairballs
Although most wet cat foods contain very little fiber, Purina Pro Plan Hairball Adult Wet Cat Food contains extra fiber to help prevent or eliminate hairballs and support digestive health.
Pros: Contains extra fiber to support digestion, reduces hairballs and promotes healthy weight, offers complete and balanced nutrition, comes in four flavors
Cons: Doesn’t contain as much fiber as dry hairball foods
Hairball control cat foods contain extra fiber to help prevent or eliminate hairballs. Dry hairball foods may be more effective since they contain more fiber than wet formulations. However, for cats that eat wet food only, Purina Pro Plan Hairball Adult Wet Cat Food is our top recommendation.
This wet food has the most fiber of any of the canned hairball cat food formulas we considered. It also contains about 50% more than Purina’s popular adult wet food . It comes in four flavors: chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean whitefish and tuna.
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Preventing Hairball In Cats
Popular cat food brands have several hairball formulas, but lets discuss some factors that can control, if not prevent, hairballs in cats.
Brush Your Cats Hair
Self-grooming is a natural behavior among cats, and they do it by licking their coats daily. However, because of this process, they ingest a lot of their furs that can form into hairballs.
You may schedule a brushing session, so your cats dont swallow the excess hair. Cat food rich in omega fatty acids can also reduce the hair volume that felines shed.
You can also avoid hairballs in your pets by feeding them high-quality food. It has ingredients that promote overall health. Felines are meat-eating animals, so they find it troublesome to digest foods that are rich in carbohydrates.
Moreover, they need dietary fiber to control hairballs, so you have to ensure that your chosen cat food has enough nutrients.
Cats, like humans, need enough water, especially if youre feeding them kibbles. You may put a small water fountain for them to improve their drinking habit.
The Best Cat Food For Hairballs In 2022
Picture the scene and unfortunately for us cat lovers out there, it’s far too easy to do so. You’re curled up on the couch after a long day at work when all of a sudden, your cat begins to hack and cough loudly in the corner. Next thing you know, there comes the slimy and disgusting hairball, which makes itself quite comfortable on your recently vacuumed carpet.
We can unquestionably agree that both cats and humans aren’t big fans of hairballs, especially during the shedding season when it seems like your kitty is producing a new hairball every minute. Thankfully, there are ways in which your cat’s production of hairballs can be limited. Below, we’ve compiled together the best cat food for hairballs out there to ensure it won’t be necessary to prepare yourself for an onslaught of gruesome hairballs this shedding season.
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Blue Buffalo Adult Hairball Control Food
- Contains meal
- Strong odor
Blue Buffalo Adult Hairball Control Food is a natural holistic cat food that provides essential amino acids and vital nutrients they need every day. Formulated with hearty whole grains like brown rice, barley and oats that will keep your cat supplied with the complex carbohydrates needed for energy.
Healthy garden veggies and fruit like whole carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley and cranberries contain phytonutrients that help your cat stay healthy. De-boned Chicken is the first ingredient on the label and you will not see chicken by-products meals.
Purina Hairball Adult Formula Cat Food
For those on a budget, this might be the right hairball cat food. You can get more than twice as much of this food as the first two at the same price. That does not mean it isnt going to be an effective treatment for your cats hairball situation. This formula is suitable for adult cats aged 1 year or older.
Like most cat foods designed for hairball control, this food works using a combination of natural fibers. It is also full of Omega-6 fatty acids that have been shown to keep a cats skin and coat healthy. We like this food because it lists real chicken as the number one ingredient. All of the ingredients are chosen with a specific purpose, with no filler items.
The success stories from people who have used this food are downright amazing. It is also a brand that is recommended by veterinarians. Purina ONE goes out of there way to make their dry foods crunchy, something most cats enjoy. Many special needs cat foods are not very tasty, so any added enticement to get them to eat it is a major plus.
People needing a cheaper option or those who havent found success with other products should definitely consider this one.
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How To Choose The Best Cat Food For Hairballs
Many hairball control cat foods on the market offer hairball-control formulas or ingredients that assist in hairball control and prevention. When youre shopping for food, here are some factors to consider.
A high-fiber diet helps many cats with hairballs by assisting with digestion. Different foods offer different types of fiber, such as lignins, hemicelluloses, and cellulose to move hair through the digestive tract. Healthy sources of these fibers include chicory, fructooligosaccharides, psyllium, oats, barley, beet pulp, and fruits and vegetables.
Ideally, you want a dry diet that has a crude fiber percentage of 8-10%. Canned foods should have a fiber content of 2-4%. Crude fiber doesnt indicate the insoluble fiber content, however, which is what moves digestion, so check ingredients for different types of fiber. Alternatively, you may add psyllium or small portions of canned pumpkin to your cats food to increase its fiber intake.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for healthy skin and smooth, shiny coats. When your cat has good skin and a healthy coat, they require less grooming and are less likely to take in a lot of loose hair.
No Fillers or Byproducts
What Else We Considered
Cat Lax Cat Supplement: Cat Lax uses two lubricants to move hairballs through your cat’s digestive tract. Unlike Tomlyn Laxatone Hairball Remedy for Cats, it does not carry the National Animal Supplement Council seal.
PetAg Hairball Natural Solution Chicken Flavored Hairball Control Gel for Cats: This petroleum-free hairball gel uses one lubricating ingredient . Our pick Nutri-Vet Hairball Paw Gel uses three non-petroleum ingredients to help move hair through a cat’s digestive tract.
Hartz Hairball Remedy Plus Savory Chicken Flavor Soft Chews: These treats contain fiber to support digestion and prevent or eliminate hairballs. Unlike Feline Greenies Hairball Control Smartbites, they do not contain a lubricating ingredient in addition to the fiber.
VetriScience Hairball Chews: These soft chews contain only fiber to support digestion and prevent hairballs. Our pick Vet’s Best Hairball Relief Digestive Aid supplements contain fiber plus plant-based ingredients to support digestion and prevent hairballs.
Zesty Paws Core Elements Hairball Salmon Flavored Soft Chews Hairball Control for Cats: These chews contain both fiber and lubricants to support digestion and prevent or eliminate hairballs. However, an abundance of user reviews across several platforms report that many cats do not like the taste and will not eat them.
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What To Look For In The Best Cat Food For Hairballs
The ingredients you look for when youre searching for the best cat food will depend on your moggy. All cats have unique dietary requirements, and your vet can tell you if yours needs anything special. There are many pet food manufacturers out there that now add fiber to their formulations to improve hairball management.
Usually, youll need to look for diets with a good percentage of fiber and plenty of extra delicious ingredients too. All cats need plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals to help them stay healthy.
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 Chicken Recipe Indoor Hairball Control Grain
Blue Buffalo Wilderness for Hairball Control of indoor cats is a favorite of my little feline buddy. It has real deboned chicken, and menhaden fish and chicken meals as primary protein sources. However, I notice that it has tapioca starch in the top ingredients.
This type of carbohydrate, together with potato starch, is a bulk-adding filler that doesnt provide any nutritive value to my cats diet. Moreover, dried egg and menhaden fish meals can be problematic for pets with food allergies.
- Not all cats like it
If you want to control the hairballs of your favorite pet, you may want to try the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken Recipe.
It has an average amount of fiber and protein, less fat, and more carbohydrates than average. Your veterinarian may recommend this special diet for the control of hairballs. Its AAFCO-approved and has 381 calories per 100 grams.
Overall Rating 4.7
Honorable Mention: Licks Hairball Support Holistic Remedy Pill
Lastly, theres Licks Hairball Support Holistic Remedy Pill-Free Cat Supplement, which is a little different from all of the other products on this list. It comes in packets, and you can easily give it to your kitty by placing it in her bowl or on her paw, or you can let her eat it right out of the packet.
With its 100% human grade ingredients and 98% absorption rate, this product may help lubricate, emulsify, and expel hairballs, while also breaking down the buildup of hair to reduce the occurrence of future hairballs. Plus, it may also work on supporting the health of your kittys skin and coat.
- All natural chicken flavor
Carefully read the label for instructions on how much of this product to give to your cat, based on her weight.
Get Hairballs Under Control with the Right Product
In addition to the hairball control products discussed above, keep in mind that there are also a variety of cat foods and treats that are formulated to help keep hairballs to a minimum, so you can discuss those options with your vet as well. And, whether you opt to try a gel, chewable tablets, or soft chews, just be sure to follow the directions on the label closely for the best and safest results. Hopefully, with the right strategy, your cat wont throw up as many hairballs, and youll have fewer messes to clean up.
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A Quick Glance At Our Favorites In 2022
Any cat can benefit from the carefully crafted recipes Smalls Cat Food has to offer, especially if your feline friend suffers from hairballs. These recipes are crafted to meet the nutritional needs felines based on your individual cat making Smalls Cat Food some of the best around for overall health and hairball control. To get a handle on hairballs, you want a food that contains real meat, high fiber content, and high levels of protein. Smalls delivers on all these fronts with their human grade cat food. You can choose either a pate or ground textured food for each of their flavors ranging from chicken, turkey, beef, and fish options.
You can rest assured that youre getting the healthiest ingredients no matter which flavor you choose for your cat. Smalls avoids fillers, artificial flavors or colored dyes, and high processing heat . You can be confident that youre feeding your cat food high in protein and moisture content to help in combating their pesky hairballs.
Protein is always the number one ingredient in any of Smalls recipes. High protein and high moisture foods are the best when seeking hairball control for our furry felines. Smalls Fresh Bird Recipe, for example, features chicken as its primary ingredient and sole source of protein. It contains 92% chicken breast and thigh, 6% chicken liver, and 2% chicken heart.
Smalls offers an excellent variety of the highest quality foods to satisfy your frisky felines food needs.
The Best Cat Food For Hairballs: The Right Diet For Prevention And Control
Updated: March 17, 2021 by Kristen Chapple
Hairballs can end up being dangerous and not managing them can be fatal. When they get out of hand the excessive fur can cause all sorts of digestive issues, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting nonstop.
The vet may recommend the best cat food for hairballs, but sometimes your fussy felines may not like it. Ive reviewed nine recipes to try when you want to control, if not eliminate, hairballs in your pets.
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Royal Canine Cat Food
Royal Canine has both dietary and insoluble fiber as natural ingredients, which are effective for digestion. Insoluble fibers boost the absorption of nutrients while dietary fibers push hairballs down the tract, this important for your cat since it improves the skin and fur. It also has a high protein and fat content, which are the building blocks for skin and fur issues.
It contains corn and wheat and is not ideal for people who are concerned about these ingredients.
Things To Avoid In Choosing Hairball Food
If youre buying cat food, you have to ensure that the recipe doesnt include artificial preservatives, flavoring, and color. These ingredients are unhealthy options for your pets.
Moreover, you have to stay away from foods with Ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT additives because they may cause diseases. You must also avoid food without any real meat content but full of by-product meat.
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