A cat’s diet can play a significant role in whether or not he can pass a hairball through the normal process of elimination, rather than coughing it up. If your feline companion has been hacking and gagging lately, you should look for the best cat food for hairballs.
Hairballs are often considered a minor problem, but it can develop into something serious if ignored. Longhaired breeds are more predisposed to hairballs, but any cat with fur may suffer from it, too. As more hair is taken in, it will clump together inside the stomach.
Cats who can’t expel hairballs through their stools suffer discomfort and, worse, an intestinal obstruction that needs immediate veterinary intervention.
So, don’t wait for furballs to become a problem. The best course of action would be to choose the best cat food for hairballs.
Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Hairball & Weight Control – Editor’s Pick
Our best cat food for hairballs is the Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Hairball & Weight Control. It gets the ball rolling by listing deboned chicken as the first ingredient to help keep muscles strong and lean.
This kibble is also formulated with balanced proportions of whole grains, such as brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. Garden-fresh vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes, are also part of the recipe. The cellulose and psyllium content of these wholesome ingredients promote the normal peristaltic movement of your cat’s intestines and facilitates the removal of hairballs.
But here’s the most exciting part that sets the Blue Buffalo from other brands: LifeSource Bits. As the name hints, these are bits of kibble added into the mix, which contains a precise blend of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Additionally, the product has undergone a process called “cold forming” to preserve the potency of the formula.
The Bottom Line
The Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Hairball & Weight Control is a fabulous option for pet owners who want their cat’s food to be as natural as possible. However, this brand is almost as expensive as the likes of Hill’s Science Diet. On the bright side, you can rest assured that it uses only the best ingredients.
|Deboned chicken is the no.1 ingredient||Not the most affordable option|
|Features Blue Buffalo’s patented formula, LifeSource Bits|
|Rich in cellulose and psyllium fiber to relieve hairballs|
|No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, etc.|
Blue Wilderness Indoor Cat Hairball Control – Runner Up
Blue Buffalo makes a comeback with its Wilderness variant, the Natural Evolutionary Diet. Right of the bat, I realized this is the ultimate cat food that will awaken our felines’ wild side.
The recipe includes various meat-based proteins, with deboned chicken as its primary source. Fibrous plant-based proteins are also added into the mix. This product also offers a healthy dose of energy-giving carbohydrates from sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
Now, you might be wondering: how does it differ from Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Hairball & Weight Control? First of all, this variant is a lot more expensive than the latter. Aside from the LifeSource Bits, the Natural Evolutionary Diet comes with five strains of probiotics, which are highly beneficial bacteria for improving digestive health.
The inclusion of probiotics in its formulation is nothing less than impressive. These live microorganisms promote proper digestion, ensuring adequate absorption of nutrients that will result in a strengthened immunity. Most importantly, a healthy digestive tract makes it easier for your cat to pass ingested hair along with its poop.
Aside from addressing the hairball problem, this product has also received positive feedback for making cat pee and poop less odoriferous than normal. Since the kibble is fortified with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it should make your cat’s fur softer and silkier, too.
The Bottom Line
The Blue Wilderness Indoor Cat Hairball Control cat food is high in protein. Best of all, it is enriched with five strains of probiotics to help cats with hairball problems. If your feline companion has sensitivities, you’ll be pleased to know that its formula is also grain-free. The only factor that prevented us from rating this product as our best cat food for hairballs is its steep price.
|High protein content (deboned chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal, and pea protein)||More expensive than the Blue Buffalo|
|Enriched LifeSource Bits and 5 probiotics|
|Fortified with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids|
Purina One Purposeful Nutrition Hairball Formula – Best For Budget
If you find the first two products a little over your budget, you might want to try the Purina One Purposeful Nutrition Hairball Formula. You can get twice as much food as the first two at the same price, but it doesn’t mean its health benefits are so-so.
Similar to the best cat food for hairballs, it contains omega-6 fatty acids to help keep the skin and coat healthy. The food also works using a combination of natural fibers to aid digestion.
What we like best about One Purposeful Nutrition is that it uses real chicken as the number one ingredient. Despite being a budget option, it offers an exceptionally high protein content. Then again, it does come with a poultry by-product meal that the manufacturer failed to specify.
If you are wary of such ingredients, be forewarned.
The Bottom Line
You should try the Purina One Purposeful Hairball Formula if you are looking for a cheaper option that offers a high amount of protein for your meat-loving cat. The comments from pet owners who have tried this product are excellent. Many of them mentioned that the kibble is crunchy, which is a significant plus for cats.
|Real chicken meat is the no.1 ingredient||Contains an unnamed byproduct meal|
|Has no fillers||Some pet owners report of diarrhea|
|Contains omega-6 fatty acids|
|A budget-friendly solution for hairball control|
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Cat
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Cat also kicks things off right by having pure and simple chicken as its primary ingredient. Aside from a high-quality protein source, Nutro also uses fiber-rich ingredients to normalize the digestion process, such as brewer’s rice, brown rice, and beet pulp.
With Nutro, you will also feel good about feeding your feline companions. This product doesn’t contain cheap fillers and derivatives that may trigger allergies in cats. The ingredients used are 100% non-GMO, which are supplied from trusted farmers.
Moreover, this kibble is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids sourced from chicken fat, flaxseed oil, and soybean oil. These healthy fats are essential for promoting healthier skin and glossier fur. Know that a well-conditioned skin minimizes falling hair so that your kitty won’t have to lick its fur too often.
The Bottom Line
The Nutro Wholesome Essentials is an excellent choice if you are looking for non-GMO cat food. What I like most about this product is that it never fails to specify the ingredients used. This kibble offers chicken meat as its main protein source and utilizes a myriad of plant-based ingredients to help improve the overall health of our kitties.
|The main ingredient is chicken meat||Slightly larger than the average kibble|
|Made with non-GMO ingredients|
|Offers omega-6 fatty acids from plant-based oils|
|Made without corn, wheat, soy protein, chicken by-product meal, and artificial preservatives|
Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control
Hill’s Science is a proud American brand that is best known for producing vet-approved specialty diets for cats and dogs. While expensive, you can be sure that it addresses your pet’s problems efficiently.
This product is made with high protein ingredients sourced from chicken and chicken meal. A collection of fibrous fruits and vegetables are also added to aid in digestion and promote peristalsis. On top of that, we love the fact that it contains antioxidant-rich berries for extra health benefits and to give a vivid flavor profile.
But just like Purina, they don’t necessarily believe that wheat and corn gluten are bad for your kitty. So, you may want to look elsewhere if you think otherwise. Nevertheless, we like that this food doesn’t contain artificial flavors, preservatives, and additives that might distress sensitive stomachs.
The Bottom Line
We highly recommend Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Formula if you are looking for a premium-quality cat food among America’s most trusted brand. The formula focuses mainly on addressing hairball problems in cats, so it should provide quick and satisfactory results. Its recipe features whole chicken and a blend of fruits and vegetables that will leave finicky eaters wanting for more.
|Formulated specifically for hairball control||Very expensive|
|Provides high protein from chicken and chicken meal|
|Supplies antioxidants from cranberries, apples, broccoli, etc.|
|Vet-recommended USA brand|
Hill’s Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control – Best Wet Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet is the only brand that makes canned food designed for hairball control. Adding to that, this brand is a vet-recommended, which is an excellent reason to consider when shopping for the best cat food for hairballs.
This product features whole chicken as its main ingredient, along with turkey giblets, pork liver, chicken liver, and fish meal to give your little predator the much-needed amino acids. The food also offers a great mix of vitamins and minerals sourced from fibrous fruits and vegetables to make the digested fur move through the digestion tract with ease.
We love that this food also helps cats in other ways. By using a combination of antioxidants, fatty acids, specific fibers, inflammation can be minimized. According to the manufacturer, it also helps promote the renal function of our feline companions.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a specialized diet that offers benefits beyond hairball control, you can’t go wrong with Hill’s Science Diet. While it can be very costly, you can be sure that your pet is eating with gusto and have its digestive tract back on track.
|Formulated for hairball control and renal support||Not a budget-friendly option|
|High protein content sourced from chicken and various named meat by-products|
|Rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids|
|America’s no.1 vet-recommended cat food|
How To Pick The Best Cat Food For Hairballs and Vomiting
Cats are Mother Nature’s classic carnivores; they need meat to thrive. Since it’s no longer practical for the modern-day cat to hunt for food, we, as pet parents, should fulfill the specific nutritional requirements of our feline companions.
Unfortunately, a lot of pet food manufacturers use meat meals or meat by-products as the primary source of protein. Don’t wild cats eat their prey whole, including the bones and organs? Sure, they do!
Meat meals and meat by-products are a welcome addition to commercial pet food. However, neither of these two ingredients should be listed as the number one ingredient.
The first item listed should be whole meat, and the manufacturer should specify the protein source. Instead of “poultry,” it should be “chicken” or “turkey.” Don’t feed your little meat-eater with low-quality proteins, such as legumes. Certain amino acids are only present in meat.
The best cat food for hairballs contains fat. Although fat often gets a bad rap for causing pet obesity, it is a micronutrient that our feline companions need to thrive. In fact, fats should account for 35% of your cat’s diet.
Without fat, your cat can’t absorb fat-soluble vitamins from its food, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins don’t dissolve in water. So, what fats should you look at it?
Look for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 is sourced from nuts, seeds, and cold-water fish, such as salmon. Your kitty can also get omega-6 from plant oils, such as canola and sunflower.
Omega-3, in particular, plays a vital role in keeping our pets’ skin and coat in optimum condition. Additionally, it promotes heart health and lowers the risk of skin diseases that stem from allergies.
Our pampered kitties don’t hunt for food and eat their prey whole. As a result, they aren’t privileged to eat the plant fiber inside those gooey intestines, unlike their big cousins in the wild. For this reason, you should pick the best cat food for hairballs all the more.
Your cat is likely devoid of dietary fiber. However, cats would rather starve than eat a bowl of chop suey. By feeding your fussy eater with the best cat food for hairballs, you can rest assured he gets the fiber he needs to promote a more effective bowel movement.
Fiber increases the weight and size of your cat’s stools, and at the same time, it softens them to decrease your cat’s chance of constipation. Bulkier stools are a lot easier to pass. So, think of fiber as a broom that sweeps away waste materials, including clumps of fur.
Keeping a healthy gut flora is the key to your cat’s immunity against inflammation and skin diseases that could otherwise trigger your cat to lick itself even more. Just like humans, our cats’ immunity resides in their digestive tract.
Therefore, keeping the belly bacteria of your cat in balance ensures that he is healthy. Strengthening the digestive system with gut-friendly bacteria also helps prevent the deposition of loose hair strands. A fantastic way to do that is to incorporate probiotics into your cat’s diet.
Another reason why you should feed your kitty the best cat food for hairballs, is that it comes with a blend of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that your kitty would never eat in raw form. Antioxidants help improve the overall health of your cat.
Cats are clean animals that they spend several hours a day grooming themselves. As a result, they quickly accumulate hairballs. Since it is impossible to stop your cat from licking its fur, all you can do is feed your pet with the best cat food for hairballs. The right diet will give your pet more energy, as well as a softer and shinier coat, among many other things.
Any of the brands in the list above should help your cat with its hairball problem. Besides, we wouldn’t cherry-pick those items if they don’t come with amazing success stories from satisfied pet owners. But if we had to choose only one for you, we would pick the Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Hairball & Weight Control without hesitation.
The Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Hairball & Weight Control is formulated by holistic vets and animal nutritionists. The best part is that it satisfies a cat’s palate and fits most cat owners’ budgets.