The Best Hairball Control Cat Food (Dietary Hairball Prevention)
We all love our pet cats, but walking into your kitchen to find a surprise hair ball on the floor is probably one thing we could all do without. If you manage to find it with your feet before your eyes even see it, that’s a completely different story.
Domesticated cats spend around 2-4 hours every day grooming themselves, so they can produce quite a number of hairballs in their lifetime. While a hairball isn’t necessarily a major cause for concern, it’s not necessarily something that most cat owners want to deal with. So the question on most of our minds is how can you stop a cat from making a hairball?
The answer is simple – find the best hairball control cat food. Through research, experts have been able to determine specific dietary ingredients that you can give your cat to help them pass a hairball through their rear end instead of through their mouth and onto your kitchen floor.
So, do you want to finally say goodbye to those pesky, gooey balls of fur in your home? Read on to find the right solution.
Best Hairball Control Cat Food: Our Top 3
What Causes Hairballs?
First things first – what causes a cat to make hairballs? In the wild, cats have a lot of activities to engage in – from running, to hunting, and simply exploring to enrich their physical and mental well-being. In a domesticated setting though, cats won’t get as many opportunities for activity and play. So they end up grooming themselves more often. In fact, some cats have been observed to groom themselves during 50% of their waking hours.
The constant licking of fur is a cat’s way of keeping itself clean. This also helps them cool down in warm temperatures by keeping their fur moist against heat. In some cases, cats might also lick their fur for nothing more than pleasure, as it keeps them preoccupied and well, it feels nice – like getting a massage.
Equipped with a barbed tongue, cats are basically designed to groom themselves. But this also means they ingest quite a lot of the fur their comb through. Most of the hair can pass through the digestive system without much of a fuss. But when some of the strands get left behind in the stomach, it clumps and turns into a hairball.
Unfortunately, cats will struggle to pass these large clumps of hair through their system in the form of fecal matter. So it ends up churning up through the front end. And that’s how they end up on your newly vacuumed carpet.
What are Treatment Options for Cat Hairballs?
A cat grooms itself quite a lot already, so what’s the point in grooming it more? The theory behind this treatment is that it removes any loose fur and prevents your cat from ingesting too much of it when it grooms itself.
In the same light, grooming techniques that help improve the integrity and the health of your cat’s coat might be ideal in the prevention of hairballs. With stronger roots, it’s less likely for fur to come off as your cat licks itself.
Funny enough, some suggest a dose of olive oil at least once a week to help improve the motility of hair through the digestive system. Of course, it doesn’t work on all cats, and it’s not necessarily the easiest chore to give your cat a dose of oil through a spoon. But some have said that it works.
Lots of fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines are rich in oils that could potentially help improve digestion in cats to stimulate hairballs to move through the entire tract. Giving your cat a serving or two of these types of fish 2-3 times a week could help improve how they handle the occasional hairball.
Dietary changes can help move a hairball through your cat’s system instead of out his mouth. These days, lots of cat food manufacturers have specific formulations developed to make it easier for cats to pass a hairball through their stool.
How Can the Right Cat Food Help with Hairballs?
What exactly does hairball control cat food do and how does it help with hairballs? The answer lies in the fact that these food choices contain a significant amount of fiber which helps increase the bulk of the hairball so that it’s easier to push out as poop.
Other formulations also simply work on the health of the gut itself, improving digestive motion to encourage your cat to pass its waste products more efficiently.
While most of these products work, it’s important to consider the fact that cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are hardwired to eat meat. Since fiber isn’t necessarily a part of their dietary needs, it’s best to limit the use of fiber-rich foods to 2-3 times a week to prevent further problems.
If you’ve noticed your cat vomiting hairballs more frequently, it would be best to skip the change in diet first and consult with your vet to determine what you can do to assist in optimizing your feline’s health.
The 3 Best Hairball Control Cat Foods Reviewed
The best hairball control food for cats based on what we’ve discovered through our research comes from Hill’s Science Diet. Their Hairball Control Cat Food formulation is one of the most effective on the market, and has thousands of positive reviews from countless buyers from all around the globe.
This specific cat food uses a natural fiber blend that helps make hairballs clump more effectively along with the other waste contents in the digestive tract. Ultimately, it helps your cat remove all of the waste material in his system to improve gut health.
There is a wet food counterpart for this specific formulation, so you might be wondering – does wet cat food help with hairballs? The answer is yes, it does. But because of certain factors, it tends to be slightly more expensive. Since it’s only ideal to feed your cat hairball control food a limited number of times in a week, we though the more economical choice would be a pick.
Another great choice if you’re on the market for cat food for hairballs comes from Purina. Their ONE Hairball Formula Dry Cat Food is made from premium natural ingredients, and boasts a savory flavor that most cats just can’t get enough of.
To improve hairball motility, this specific formulation leverages a blend of natural fibers that aren’t digested and simply move through the digestive tract like a broom in order to get rid of waste products and hair. The dry food also doesn’t sap the system of hydration, so it doesn’t put your cat at risk of kidney disease or infection.
Finally, we like that the formulation seems to work well with all kinds of cats, even those with a sensitive stomach. So if your pet doesn’t always respond too well to changes in his diet, this specific food formulation might be the best choice.
It was a tough pick between Wellness Natural Hairball Control and Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control. But after careful consideration, a winner did emerge.
Using a two-part kibble formulation, Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control cat food makes sure your cat gets the nutrition he needs while addressing any hairball issues you might be dealing with. Two different kibble bits provide your cat two different nutritional needs – one to address hairballs and another to provide your feline with micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals to keep him healthy and happy.
What we like about the Blue Buffalo formulation is that it’s all natural and made from organic ingredients. This simply means that while it leverages real animal ingredients and high quality, land grown plant and fiber sources that are free from preservatives, pesticides, GMOs, colorings, and other artificial ingredients.
The only reason why the Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control cat food didn’t make it any higher on our list is the fact that it might cause some side effects like dehydration especially when used as an exclusive food for your pet. Just make sure you’re not giving too much too often, and it can be a healthy choice for your pet.
No one wants to have to keep dealing with hairballs, and with most of the choices available on the market today, you won’t have to. Hairball cat food is highly accessible these days, and comes in a variety of choices to help you make the right pick for your pet.
Based on everything we’ve learned though, it seems that the Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Cat Food is the very best hairball control cat food currently available, thanks to its effective formulation, palatable recipe, and healthy list of ingredients that doesn’t weigh down on kidney health.
We can also highly recommend the mentioned choices from Purina and Blue Buffalo which also prove to be effective solutions for hairball control. So if you want to say goodbye to those nasty mushy hairballs surprising you by gushing between your toes as you take a step, you should make it a point to consider changing your cat’s diet with our recommendations