Contents of Article
- Why Do Cats Get Hairballs?
- How Can Cat Food Help Prevent Hairballs?
- Top Recommended Cat Foods for Hairball Control
Cats are notorious for spending most of their day grooming themselves. While all that licking leads to smooth, soft fur, it can also lead to a specific problem – hairballs. Every cat owner knows what is about to happen when their cat hunches over and starts to wheeze. But are hairballs an unavoidable part of being a cat owner or is there something you can do to prevent them? What many cat owners do not realize is that there are several simple things you can to do prevent hairballs, or at the very least reduce their frequency. Keep reading to learn more about where hairballs come from and how making changes to your cat’s diet could minimize their occurrence.
Why Do Cats Get Hairballs?
Hairballs are balls of hair – that is evident from the name. But where exactly do they come from and how do they form? All cats groom themselves meticulously and, as they lick themselves, they ingest small amounts of fur. In small amounts, the cat’s digestive system is able to pass the fur through the intestinal tract without any problems, transporting it out of the body through the cat’s feces. In some cases, however, the hair accumulates and the cat vomits it up instead. This can happen in both long- and short-haired breeds of all ages.
Quick Look : Top 4 Hairball Control Foods For Cats
How Can Cat Food Help Prevent Hairballs?
The easy solution to preventing hairballs is to prevent your cat from ingesting his own hair. This is difficult to achieve, however, because grooming is a natural cat behavior. What you can do, however, is brush your cat regularly to remove dead and loose hairs from his coat to minimize the amount of hair he ingests while grooming himself. Though both long- and short-haired cats can get hairballs, long-haired cats are especially prone and may need to be groomed more often than short-coated cats. Regular grooming will also help to prevent your cat’s fur from becoming matted or tangled and it will help to distribute the natural oils produced by glands in his skin which keep his coat shiny and soft.
In addition to brushing your cat on a regular basis, making certain changes to his diet may also help to prevent the formation of hairballs. In fact, many popular pet food brands offer specific formulas designed to reduce hairballs. Many of these formulas have high dietary fiber volume to help keep your cat’s digestive system working properly so it can pass ingested hair before it has a chance to accumulate. Some veterinarians recommend grain-free diets for cats who have frequent hairballs. This is based on the idea that many cats have trouble digesting grains – some say that this is the real reason behind a cat’s frequent vomiting. Whether or not this is the case for your cat, all cats can benefit from a protein-rich, low-carbohydrate diet because cats are obligate carnivores and have an extremely limited ability to digest and process plant materials.
Top Recommended Cat Foods for Hairball Control
If your cat suffers from frequent hairballs, you may want to consider switching to a hairball control formula. Before you run to the pet store and buy one, however, it is important to know what you should be looking for. All cat food products are not created equal and you need to evaluate the quality of a cat food product before you buy it – don’t just grab the first hairball remedy you see. You should be looking for a product made with premium animal proteins, healthy animal fats, and low to moderate amounts of digestible carbohydrate and dietary fiber.
To help you find the ideal hairball control food for your cat, consider one of the top-rated products reviewed below:
Wellness Natural Hairball Control Adult Cat Food
The Wellness Company is known for producing high-quality, nutritious diets for cats and dogs that are developed around a holistic approach to pet nutrition. This company believes that quality nutrition is the key to a long and healthy life for pets, so they are very meticulous about how their products are formulated and manufactured. Wellness offers several different product lines including the Complete Health line of life stages formulas, the CORE line of grain-free recipes and the TruFood line of baked cat foods. All of Wellness’ recipes are made with high levels of animal protein to meet your cat’s high protein needs as well as healthy animal fats for healthy skin and coat support. This company uses only the best ingredients available and they do not use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients or any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
For cats suffering from hairballs, the Wellness Natural Hairball Control Adult Cat Food is a good option to consider. This formula features a unique blend of fibers designed to move hair smoothly through the digestive tract and to help pass already-formed hairballs. With chicken meal and deboned chicken as two of the top three ingredients, this formula is protein-rich and full of natural flavor. For digestible carbohydrates, this recipe relies on brewer’s rice, tomato pomace, and flaxseed plus, vitamin and mineral supplements help to reduce the number of stray hairs your cat ingests. All in all, this formula offers high-quality nutrition and natural flavor with the added benefit of reduced hairball formation. What more could you ask for?
Canned Food Alternative: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Wet Food
For cats that prefer wet food, this Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Wet Food is a great option to help reduce the formation of hairballs. Made with fresh chicken and turkey, this recipe is protein-rich without going overboard on calories – this will help your indoor cat maintain a healthy weight. Plus, with plenty of digestible fiber from sources like peas and flaxseed, this recipe will prevent hair from accumulating in your cat’s digestive tract. It also contains natural sources for key vitamins and minerals to ensure nutritional balance and it is naturally grain-free so you don’t have to worry about it upsetting your cat’s stomach if he is sensitive to grains.
Nutro Hairball Control Adult Chicken & Whole Brown Rice Cat Food
The Nutro Company offers an assortment of natural pet food products divided across several product lines. Some of their most popular products, however, belong to the Nutro line of life stage recipes – there are also options for size-specific recipes and formulas designed to address particular health problems. Nutro is known for using high-quality, natural ingredients in their recipes to ensure sound nutritional balance. Their products contain plenty of omega fatty acids to support your cat’s healthy skin and coat as well as digestible carbohydrates for healthy digestion. All of Nutro’s products start with real meat, poultry, or fish as the #1 ingredient and their recipes are free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as artificial additives. Plus, they produce all of their recipes in company-owned facilities based in the United States.
If your cat suffers from frequent hairballs, you may want to consider the Nutro Hairball Control Adult Chicken & Whole Brown Rice Cat Food. This recipe offers a nutritious balance of digestible fibers to not only help reduce the formation of hairballs, but to help ingested hair move naturally through the digestive tract. Made with chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, this meat-rich formula offers 33% crude protein and 16% crude fat. As an added bonus, this formula contains plenty of healthy supplements like chelated minerals which have been chemically bound to protein molecules, making them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb. It also contains plenty of fatty acids to promote your cat’s healthy skin and coat. Plus, your cat is sure to love the fresh, natural flavor of this Nutro Hairball Control Adult Chicken & Whole Brown Rice Cat Food.
Wet Food Alternative: Nutro Grain-Free Adult Cat Sliced Turkey Entrée Wet Food
Nutro does not offer an indoor-specific canned food options but the Nutro Grain-Free Adult Cat Sliced Turkey Entrée Wet Food is an example of a high-quality canned cat food that any cat would be lucky to have. This formula features slices of fresh turkey simmered in a flavorful broth and supplemented with egg and plenty of natural flavor. It also contains chelated minerals and vitamin supplements to ensure nutritional balance. If your cat prefers wet food, this recipe might be a good choice because it offers complete and balanced nutrition without any grains or artificial additives.
Blue Buffalo BLUE Indoor Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
The Blue Buffalo Company is one of the biggest names in pet food and they are known for producing high-quality recipes that provide complete and balanced nutrition for cats. Not only does Blue Buffalo use the highest quality ingredients available, but they offer plenty of specialized formulas for cats with unique nutritional needs. Blue Buffalo is also known for offering an extensive variety of products which are divided into four product lines. The BLUE line of products features life protection recipes that are supplemented with LifeSource Bits for balanced nutrition. The Basics line includes an assortment of Limited Ingredient Diets and the Freedom line is all grain-free. The Wilderness line features meat-rich ingredients in recipes inspired by the ancestral diet of wild wolves. Your cat would be lucky to receive any one of Blue Buffalo’ cat food products.
If you are looking for a high-quality cat food that will help address your cat’s hairball problems, the Blue Buffalo BLUE Indoor Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe might be a good option to consider. This formula is uniquely designed to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats – it offers plenty of dietary fiber and it is supplemented with omega fatty acids as well. Most importantly, however, it is very rich in quality protein with animal-based sources like deboned chicken, chicken meal, and menhaden fish meal. With plenty of protein, this recipe helps to reduce hairball formation and its fatty acid content will keep your cat’s skin looking and feeling great. This product is also supplemented with LifeSource Bits which contain a special blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for nutritional balance.
Wet Food Alternative: Blue Buffalo BLUE Healthy Gourmet Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe
For cats that prefer canned food, the Blue Buffalo BLUE Healthy Gourmet Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe is a great option to help reduce hairball formation. Most importantly, this recipe is loaded with protein-rich chicken and it is free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients. When it comes to hairball reduction, this recipe offers the ideal blend of natural fibers to help hair move through your cat’s digestive system. It is also loaded with healthy nutrients to ensure nutritional balance as well as urinary health and beautiful skin and coat. It is also loaded with natural flavor.
Canidae Grain-Free PURE Hairball Control Cat Food
The Canidae Company has been producing high-quality pet foods for more than 20 years and they are a company dedicated to the health and wellness of pets all over the world. Canidae is an independent, family-owned company committed to using the highest quality ingredients available. They use fresh meats, poultry, and fish in all of their recipes as well as protein-rich meat meals to ensure that your cat’s protein needs are met. In addition to plenty of protein, Canidae’s recipes also feature fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance as well as digestible carbohydrates for digestive support. This company divides their cat food products into two product lines – the Life Stages line and the Grain-Free PURE line. Your cat is sure to love any of Canidae’s products.
If your cat has trouble with hairballs, you may want to consider the Canidae Grain-Free PURE Hairball Control Cat Food recipe. This formula is a Limited Ingredient Diet which means that it is made with a low number of key ingredients – this helps to reduce the risk for food allergies and digestive upset. It also helps that this formula is naturally grain-free! When it comes to hairball reduction, this recipe features several digestible carbohydrates like green peas and sun-cured alfalfa to help move ingested hair through the digestive tract. It also features chelated minerals for nutritional balance and dried fermentation products which act as probiotics to support healthy digestion. All in all, this is a high-quality recipe that can help reduce hairball formation in cats.
Canned Food Alternative: Canidae All Life Stages Indoor Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Cat Food
If your cat prefers wet food, this Canidae All Life Stages Indoor Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Cat Food might be a good option to consider. It features premium proteins like chicken and turkey with chicken broth for natural flavor. Plus, it is supplemented with plenty of digestible carbohydrates like ground brown rice and fresh fruits and vegetables for dietary fiber to help move hair through your cat’s digestive system. Plus, the high fat content of this recipe will help your cat’s skin and coat remain in good condition, making sure that your cat always looks and feels his best.
Choosing the best diet for your cat is extremely important, and not just for preventing hairballs. All animals need specific nutrients in their diet to maintain optimal health and cats are no different. Because cats are obligate carnivores, the majority of their nutrition should come from animal-based sources such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs. While some cats can digest limited amounts of carbohydrates, many cats cannot and they develop digestive issues as a result – some even suffer from frequent vomiting which can look like the cat is coughing up a hairball. For some cats, hairballs are not related to any particular digestive problem – they are simply caused by the cat ingesting too much of its own hair. For cats like this, a hairball control formula could be beneficial. If your cat suffers from digestive problems which result in frequent vomiting, a grain-free hairball control formula may be the best choice.