Cats and kittens keep themselves clean by grooming their fur several times a day. Unfortunately, for your poor cat, this can cause horrible hairballs. You can help to prevent this by feeding them food that aids their digestion.
To help you avoid this, here is a review of the best cat food for hairball control.
Table of Contents
- Top 3 Cat Food for Hairball Comparison
- 5 of the Best Cat Food for Hairball Control
- How Can Food Help to Control Hairballs?
- Signs and Symptoms of Hairballs:
- Prevention of Hairballs
- Attributes of the Best Cat Food for Hairball Control:
- Making a decision
Top 3 Cat Food for Hairball Comparison
Before we move on to a more detailed discussion of five of the best cat food for hairball control, let’s look at the top three.
Here is a summary of their attributes.
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5 of the Best Cat Food for Hairball Control
Best: The Best Value for Money Cat Food for Hairballs
IAMS Proactive Health Specialized Care Adult is a dry cat food which consists of crunchy kibble. It is sold in 16 lb bags which means that one will last for quite a long time. You can also buy it in a 3.5 lb or 7 lb bag or even a 22 lb bag.
The product is only available in chicken which is great if your cat loves chicken. However, if your pet doesn’t, you don’t have any other option. The food is high in protein of which the primary source is chicken. Therefore, it is not only good for digestion but also for growing and active cats. The amino acids will help them to build and maintain muscles.
As a high fiber cat food, it is made up of 8.3 % dietary fiber. It comes from natural sources like a beet. This natural fiber will help to stop your cat from developing hairballs. A benefit of the product is that the formula contains prebiotics as well. All of this will keep your pets digestive system healthy.
You can support your pet’s immune system with all the bonus vitamins in this product, for example, vitamin D and E. The formula also includes minerals like calcium for bone and joint health. On top of this, it even contains Omega Acids.
As a complete and balanced food source, it offers fantastic value for money.
Best: The Best Canned Food for Hairball Control
Hill's Science Diet Hairball Control Cat Food is one of two Hill’s products on the list. It is the only canned food in the review. Wet cat food for hairball control is much less common than dry varieties.
You can buy the product in either Chicken and Oceanfish. The variety of flavors is a great benefit as it allows you to choose the one that your cat likes the most. These proteins are the main ingredient of the product.
Hill's Science Diet Hairball Control wet food is made with natural vegetable fibers from sources. It is exceptionally high in fiber as it makes up 9.9 % of its nutritional content. The fiber will help to prevent the formation of hairballs and allow fur to be excreted more smoothly.
Besides this, Hill's reinforced the product with a variety of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Additionally, it contains multiple vitamins such as Vitamin B. These nutrients will help you to ensure the overall health and well-being of your pet.
As a soft food, it’s great for pet’s who might struggle to eat dry food for example if they have dental issues. The product is made especially for adult cats. It is also suitable for seniors, who are cats that are older than seven years.
Canned food is slightly more expensive and can cost you a pretty penny if you have more than one cat.
Best: The Best Kitten Food for Hairball Control
Hill's Science Diet Dry Kitten Food is another product by the well known and trusted pet food manufacturer Hill’s. It is a dry food which consists of kibble that is small enough for kittens to eat.
The food is made especially for kittens from weaning until one year. Although it is not suitable for regular adult cats, it is recommended for pregnant and nursing cats. The calorie content is too high to feed adult cats on a long-term basis.
You will only be able to buy it in chicken flavor. It is chicken that provides is its primary protein source. The food is high in both protein and carbohydrates which makes the ideal fuel to help kittens grow and flourish.
To eliminate hairballs is made up of 2.1 % crude fiber. Besides this, all the ingredients are chosen because they are easy to digest. Optimal digestive function reduces the risk of hairballs.
It is filled with nutrients that will keep your pet healthy like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The formula also contains Omega 3 and 6 as well as DHA. It will allow you to give your kitten the right start to their life.
The product is relatively expensive but, Hill’s makes it with the highest quality ingredients.
Best: Cat Food for Senior Cats With Hairballs
Purina Pro Plan Focus Indoor Care is a dry cat food for senior cats. These are cats that are older than eleven years old. Therefore, it is not ideal for kittens and adult cats under 11 years old. The nutrient and calorie balance is not suited for them.
To maintain their health in old age, it is packed with nutrients including minerals such as zinc and vitamins like vitamin K. Its formula is unusually high in minerals like calcium that will make sure that your pets bones remain firm and supple. You can be sure that this will keep their immune system working optimally.
The product has the highest protein content of all the options on the list with no less than 42 % crude protein. And, the amino acids make it an ideal food source for an active cat that needs fuel for their muscles.
The kibble is made with 5.5 % fiber to prevent your cat from forming hairballs. In addition to this, it contains prebiotic fibers which the manufacturers source from chicory root. All of this adds up to keep your pet’s digestion running smoothly.
The flavor of the cat food is turkey, and this is also its primary ingredient. So this is an excellent option if your pet isn’t a fan of chicken.
Best: Cat Food for Senior Cats With Hairballs
BLUE Wilderness Adult Indoor Hairball Control is a dry cat food that comes in the form of kibble. You can buy the product in a variety of bag weights.
However, this cat food is only available in chicken. The chicken that is used in this high protein formulation comes from high-quality sources. It consists of no less than 38 % crude protein. If your cat is very active, you should consider this cat food.
The formula doesn’t contain any poultry by-product meals and is grain free which makes it a good option for cats with a sensitive stomach.
Blue Buffalo has made a dedication to manufacturing pet food that is made from all natural ingredients to keep your pet healthy and in tip-top shape. In line with this promise, the product is made with a variety of fruits and vegetables like cranberries, blueberries, and peas. These ingredients ensure that the formulae consist of 6 % dietary fiber.
To maintain your cat’s health and immune system, the food is reinforced with multiple vitamins particularly vitamin B. In addition to this it contains Omega 3 and 6.
The product is suitable for adult cats. It can also be fed for older cats although they might need additional supplementation to support their joint and bone health.
It is relatively more expensive than other cat food, but its natural ingredients mean that it still offers excellent value.
How Can Food Help to Control Hairballs?
What are hairballs?
Hairballs are a clump of knotted and twisted hair that form in your cat’s digestive system. The medical term for them is trichobezoars. These masses are then sometimes retched up by your pet. They look as gross as they sound. The balls are often also covered in slime and digestive fluids.
Hairballs aren’t only difficult to clean up. These clumps can cause your pet discomfort. Even worse, on occasion, they can accumulate in your cat's intestines and cause obstructions. In cases like this, the condition can be life-threatening. These blockages need to be cleared with surgery or prescription medication.
How Do Hairballs Form?
As a cat owner, you will no doubt know how often they groom themselves. It’s part of their daily ritual. It is inevitable that they will swallow a certain amount of fur as they do this. Their roughened tongues loosen the dead hair in their coat.
Cats’ cannot digest hair at all. The fur will pass through their digestive tract and should under normal circumstances be excreted in their feces. However, instead, the hair might conglomerate and form hairballs.
If your cat has long and thick fur, it’s more likely that they will struggle with hairballs. Hairballs also become more common when the seasons’ change and they shed their coats. Moreover, it has been found that cats who mostly stay indoors have an increased risk of digestive issues.
Signs and Symptoms of Hairballs:
The most visible sign of hairballs is when they are vomited up. However, this isn’t the only sign. The clumps aren’t necessarily always eliminated in this way and can cause other problems.
It isn’t a cause for concern if your cat vomits up one of these masses once or twice a week. However, if it happens more frequently or if they show any of the symptoms discussed below you should consider taking action.
Here are some other signs that your cat is struggling with hairballs:
If the problem becomes more prevalent than usual, you should take your vet to their veterinarian.
Prevention of Hairballs
There are several measures that you as a pet owner can take to minimize and even prevent the development of hairballs. Although these measures aren’t foolproof, they can certainly reduce risks of complications and discomfort.
One way you can remedy the situation is by regularly grooming your cat. By brushing them, you can get rid of some of the excess hair that can lead to problems. You can also take them to a professional groomer for this. You can even cut some long-haired breeds fur once or twice a year.
A veterinarian can provide you with treatment and medication that can aid your cat’s digestion.
Among these, dietary changes can give some of the best and longest lasting results. Scientific studies have shown that dietary modifications can prove very useful in preventing hairballs. Increasing the amount of fiber in your cat’s diet can prove wonders for this.
Cat food that for hairball control boasts high fiber contents that will help hair to move smoothly through their digestive tract. The required daily fiber intake for your cat is 0.55 % to 10 % of their diet. High fiber cat food, is food that contains 3 % to 10 % of dietary fiber.
Other nutrients like probiotics and prebiotics can also help to support their digestion.
In addition to this, it is essential to make sure that your cat drinks enough water. You can ensure this by always making sure that your pets have access to fresh water.
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Attributes of the Best Cat Food for Hairball Control:
1. Type of food
You will more frequently find dry food than wet food which is made to reduce the development of hairballs. However, there are canned products on the market.
Some cats prefer wet food while others like dry food more. You will probably know which one your pet prefers.
The majority of cat food tastes like chicken or some fish. The same flavors are prevalent in products for hairball control. If you want to switch your cat to a new product, it is a good idea to buy a small pack first to test whether they like the taste.
3. Age of Your Cat
Cats of different ages have different dietary requirements. That is why producers of pet food make products that fulfill their varying needs.
For example, kittens need more calories than adults so that they can grow. On the other hand, senior cats need fewer calories but need more nutrients and minerals that support their bone and joint health.
4. Fiber Content
Cat food that helps to prevent the development of hairballs is usually labeled as hairball control, digestive support or as being made for indoor cats. All of these products typically have a higher fiber content.
Before making a purchase, you should check the fiber percentage which should be more than 3 % but less than 10 %. The fiber should preferably be sourced from natural plant sources.
5. High-quality Ingredients
As a pet owner, it is natural for you to want the best for your pet. That’s why you should only buy products that are made with high-quality ingredients. Pet food should be checked and approved by the FDA to ensure safety and quality.
Making a decision
My choice for the best cat food for hairball prevention is IAMS Proactive Health Specialized Care Adult Dry Food. The different products each have their pros and cons. However, this option is a great all-rounder.
IAMS Proactive Health Specialized Care Adult Dry Food offers excellent value for money as it is crammed full of a variety of minerals and vitamins that will keep your pet healthy.
In addition to this, its fiber packed formula and the added prebiotics will aid your pet's digestion and reduces the risk of hairballs forming. Therefore, it is going to help to support your pet’s overall well-being.
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Hey there, I’m Ruby Smith, founder of Pet So Fun, and I’m here to provide you with useful information about your precious pet. All pets deserve the best care, don’t they? But not all pet owners have access to the right products and tips for their pets. And the central core of my work here is to change that.