Let’s not mince our words here. Seeing your cat throw up a hairball is a pretty disgusting experience.
But it’s worse for your cat than it is for you – just image throwing up a ball of tangled hair causing a stomach blockage!
While coughing up hairballs is normal, it’s not something to be ignored as they can potentially cause health complications (not to mention being gross).
The good news is there are some things you can do to reduce the number and size of the hairballs your cat is throwing up.
The best cat food for hairball control makes a huge difference. These foods are specially formulated to be well-rounded with nutritional content that’ll improve their coats and aid their digestive system.
You and your cat don’t have to suffer from frequent hairballs. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the best food to help reduce hairballs, and the top brands on the market.
- Best Cat Food for Hairball Control
- How Does the Right Cat Food Help Reduce Hairballs?
- Why Do Cats Get Hairballs?
- Ways to Help Your Cat Manage and Reduce Hairballs
- Final Thoughts
Best Cat Food for Hairball Control
Blue Buffalo Holistic Indoor Hairball Control Cat Food
This is Blue Buffalo’s holistic hairball control offering to the market. It contains a combination of natural fiber sources to help a cat’s digestive system work optimally and minimize the buildup of hair in their stomachs.
It also has a well-rounded balance of fruits, veg, vitamins, minerals, and all the other good stuff to meet a cat’s complex nutritional requirements.
On the taste side, it has real pieces of meat so it’s sure to perk up your cat’s nose when it’s mealtime. Most importantly it has no corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavours, preservatives, or any of the other unnecessary stuff lesser brands pad out food with.
For fussy or picky cats it’s available in all the classic flavors. I’m sure you’ll find your kitties favorite (or make a new one) among the chicken and rice, chicken and turkey, and salmon.
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Buffalo-Hairball-Control-Natural/dp/B00JN9GDGO/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1535547671&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=cat+food+hairball+control&psc=1&linkCode=li3&tag=upgradecat-20&linkId=5ef100d82ef0ddfef29b6d10519dfbbb&language=en_US’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to see this cat food on Amazon[/thrive_link]
Purina ONE Hairball Formula helps tackle the hairball issue by formulating a food rich in natural fibers, and complete with Omega-6 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals.
This forms a two-pronged attack on those hairballs. First, the fiber improves the digestive system to help cat’s pass more hair. Second, the fatty acids and vitamins keep their coats in tip-top shape and reduce the number of loose hairs.
Only available in chicken as far as I can see. But every cat loves chicken, and everything tastes like chicken, right?
This is the exact food I used with Loki, my 16 years old Siamese so I can vouch for it. She went from throwing up hairballs what felt like every couple of days, to 1-2 times a month.
She loved the taste too, so I have no complaints.
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://www.amazon.com/Purina-ONE-Hairball-Formula-Adult/dp/B000634CSW/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1535547671&sr=8-3&keywords=cat+food+hairball+control&linkCode=li3&tag=upgradecat-20&linkId=5fe6c155070b058a8b01989da9ae5f79&language=en_US’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to see this cat food on Amazon[/thrive_link]
Who doesn’t love IAMS adverts? “Because I’m an IAMS cat…”
Their range of cat food products is as good and as popular as their adverts too. This one is their proactive health mix, and it’s aimed at weight control and hairball management all wrapped up in a tasty kibble.
So, if you have a slightly tubby (I’m trying to be polite) kitty that could benefit from shedding a few calories while shedding a little less hair, this food should be a consideration.
It has 10% less fat than regular IAMS adult cat food. Has been formulated with a proprietary blend of fibers to reduce hairballs, and is led by a strong chicken flavor.
This is the food my vet actually recommended I tried when my cat was throwing up hairballs almost daily. I only went with the Purina ONE because this wasn’t in stock at the time.
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://www.amazon.com/Iams-Proactive-Health-Hairball-Chicken/dp/B01BKYFR7K/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1535547671&sr=8-4&keywords=cat+food+hairball+control&linkCode=li3&tag=upgradecat-20&linkId=d56c8ec2f37c6749e60d559f116372fa&language=en_US’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to see this cat food on Amazon[/thrive_link]
Hill’s Science make almost every list of top cat foods. Whether it’s weight control, best taste, hairball management, they always seem to nail it with both owners and cats.
This product hits the spot too. I’ve browsed dozens of testimonials from happy owners signing the praises of this hairball control mix.
The formula for a happier life is simple. Hill’s Science Hairball Control means fewer hairballs means happier cats. And, happier cats means happier cat owners.
It’s 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.
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://www.amazon.com/Hills-Science-Diet-Hairball-Control/dp/B003MW7858/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1535547671&sr=8-6&keywords=cat+food+hairball+control&linkCode=li3&tag=upgradecat-20&linkId=acf0569dc0a79ec2f702d8d546a5e067&language=en_US’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to see this cat food on Amazon[/thrive_link]
Wellness might not be a cat food brand familiar to everyone, but industry insiders (me for one) know about Wellness and how awesome their cat products are.
This is another food with all natural ingredients. No meat by-products, corn, soy, artificial flavors, preservatives, and so on. So, one for the nutritionally conscious amongst us.
The main ingredients are chicken for protein intake, cranberries for urinary health, rosemary for antioxidants, and flaxseed which is great for healthy, shiny coats.
It contains everything a cat needs to reduce the buildup of hairballs, Keep their digestive system running optimally, and give them a boost of energy.
I recommend checking out this Wellness Hairball Control (and their other cat food products for that matter) if you’re looking for a good hearty, natural, cat food to help reduce hairballs.
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://www.amazon.com/Wellness-Complete-Natural-Food-Hairball/dp/B06X9WJC8H/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1535547671&sr=8-8&keywords=cat+food+hairball+control&linkCode=li3&tag=upgradecat-20&linkId=ad58e6ab9b5b3fcac28160ae5e86f2f1&language=en_US’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Click here to see this cat food on Amazon[/thrive_link]
How Does the Right Cat Food Help Reduce Hairballs?
All of the hairball control foods above have been specially formulated to help reduce hairballs forming, pass them through the cat easier, and improve the overall health of your cat.
They do this by being higher in natural fibers than regular cat food. Helping hair in your cat’s digestive system pass through.
They are also richer in vitamins and minerals, promoting a healthier digestive system and reducing the rate of hairballs forming.
On top of this, they contain more essential fatty acids than regular food. This promotes healthier skin and shiny coats.
Both of which means less need for grooming, so less hair is being digested. Combine this with a regular grooming routine on your part and you’re going to greatly reduce the number of stressful hairballs your cat is throwing up.
Why Do Cats Get Hairballs?
There’s no mystery as to why cats get hairballs. They are exactly as the name suggests, balls of hair that cats have ingested while grooming.
It’s perfectly normal. Cat’s have loads of little hooks on their tongues that are designed to drag all the loose hairs out of their coats as they groom.
Then the only direction all the hair can go is into their digestive system. A lot of the hair will pass all the way through into their poop, but some stays in their stomach.
Over time the hair in their stomach builds up, and when it forms an obstruction large enough to cause a cat some discomfort they’ll throw it up.
Ways to Help Your Cat Manage and Reduce Hairballs
There are a few things you can do to help reduce the number and size of hairballs for your cat.
This is particularly important if you have a long-haired cat, or know they have been suffering from the effects of passing hairballs. (They’ll certainly thank you for it!)
Feed Them Food Designed to Help with Hairballs
As I’ve discussed above, the best thing you can do is feed them food designed to help with hairball management.
I’ve featured a few of the best cat food for hairball control options on the market. They are typically high in fiber and other nutrition that not only helps hairballs pass smoother, but improve cat’s coats and reduces shedding and grooming.
Groom Your Cat on a Regular Basis
Grooming your cat is a huge help in reducing hairballs. Just look at how much hair you have on the grooming brush after a few minutes and imagine them trying to deal with that!
Grooming your cat only takes a few minutes and it’s one of the best ways to bond and have some fun. Enjoy it!
Check There Are No Underlying Health Issues
If your cat is persistently throwing up hairballs there may be an underlying issue that needs to be resolved.
I had a cat that would groom excessively which was causing her to ingest way too much hair, and as a result, throw up hairballs weekly (and sometimes struggle to get them out which was horrible to see).
After a visit to the vet, we discovered she had a skin issue that was irritating her and causing the grooming. Some medicated shampoo, a couple of weeks of baths (which she hated), and she had a lovely shiny coat, no skin issues, no hairballs, and everything was perfect.
I moved her on to the Purina ONE Hairball Control food I covered above and hairballs have been a rare sight ever since.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of the best cat food for hairball control. Most importantly I hope you now know why your cat throws up hairballs, and how you can help reduce them.
They key here is to act now and do something about it. Before a simple persistent hairball issue becomes a health concern.
It’s not for your sake so you don’t have to clean up those slimy slug-looking balls of fur your cat just regurgitated in front of you (although it’s nice to see the end of that).
It’s for the benefit of your cat’s health. As always, please consult a vet if you have any concerns about your cat’s health and good luck.
If you have any questions or feedback, please drop a comment below to help others and I’ll get back to you asap. Thanks.