Hairballs are gross and having them too often can be unpleasant for your kitty. Not to mention unpleasant for the person who has to clean them up (probably you).
Specific food is a great option, but it can be hard to know which is the best cat food for hairballs in your unique situation. Here we’re going to discuss several options in the marketplace as well as the perks of each. Let’s get started with our overall favorite.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks…
- Blue Buffalo Control
- Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food
- Royal Canin Feline Health
- Purina One Hairball Control
Best Cat Food For Hairballs Overall
Blue Buffalo’s formula is our favorite for hairball prevention. It has a ton of nutrients and is at a good price point. This cat food even prevents non-hairball related vomiting.
Blue Buffalo prevents vomiting by helping your cat digest his or her food. This formula helps to move hair buildup in the stomach to the GI track. This is great because if the hair stays in the stomach, it ends up regurgitating.
Another perk here is that this formula consists of ingredients that your kitty’s gut will thank you for: it’s loaded with proteins and whole carbs. These carbs help to ensure that your kitty is getting a good diet, but cats and too many carbs don’t get along well. Be careful with portion control as this formula could turn an inactive cat into an overweight inactive cat.
The Blue Buffalo mix is filled with all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your cat will need. There’s no need to worry about trying to find extra supplements to boost your cat’s immune system or add a few years. This cat food does it all.
What We Like
- Prevents vomiting by helping digestion
- Helps your cat move food to his or her GI tract and eliminate regurgitation
- Healthy diet through lots of proteins and whole carbs
- Promotes a strong immune system and long life through loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
What We Don’t Like
- High whole carbs could make your cat overweight if it’s inactive
Blue Buffalo is a good option if you’re looking for an all around excellent cat food to prevent vomiting. It helps your cat with digestion, prevents hair buildup in the stomach, and gives your cat a balanced diet.
Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats With Hairballs
Hill’s Science Diet has our favorite product if your cat has a hairball problem and you want to find the best cat food for weight loss too.
This cat food formula reduces hairballs by use of special fibers. These fibers help cats to process hair in their stomach and ensure that it comes out the other end. When the hair ends up in the litter box, it’s a lot less of a hassle than when it’s in your floor.
This cat food provides some other benefits as well. It’s a great cat food for overweight cats since it’s low in carbs and high in protein. If you use the right portion, this food will help your cat feel full while still losing weight. If you have an active cat, no fear. You can increase your kitty’s portion size. The active proteins will help your kitty to stay lean and strong.
Hill’s Science Diet also includes a lot of magnesium in their food for cats who are having urinary problems. It’s best to talk with your vet to be sure, but this food should be able to help your cat deal with a urinary infection or crystals in the badder.
This cat food also includes a slew of proteins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty omegas (these are a lot better than they sound). All of these nutrients help your kitty have a complete, balanced diet. You can expect full system health from this food.
One disadvantage is that at its price for pound, this food is not very budget conscious. If your cat has hairballs and is overweight or struggles with urinary problems, it is still worth considering. Hill’s Science Diet includes a guarantee that if your cat doesn’t like it, you can return the food for a full refund.
What We Like
- Prevents hairballs by use of a special fiber
- Helps your kitty lose or maintain weight
- Great for active or overweight cats
- Helps with urinary problems
- Tons of vitamins, minerals, and other helpful nutrients for a balanced diet
- Satisfaction guarantee – if your cat doesn’t like it, return it for a full refund
What We Don’t Like
- Not budget loving
Hill’s Science Diet has made a great cat food to prevent hairballs. This food fights against urinary problems and includes enough nutrients to be a great meal for your kitty’s overall health.
Best Wet Cat Food (And Best Cat Food For Urinary Problems) That Prevents Hairballs
Hill’s Science Diet makes the list again because they have another product that does a great job. It will help your cat with his or her hairballs, any urinary problems, and is a wet variety.
Wet food is a favorite of most cats. It often smells better, has more flavor, and is closer to what a cat’s natural diet would be out in the wild. Wet food will also help your cat get enough water and will help prevent dehydration. This meal is a good choice for cats who don’t want to dry food.
Hill’s Science Diet’s wet food works a lot like the dry. It uses natural fibers to aid your cat in his or her digestion. Once the hair has been digested and moved into the gastrointestinal tract, it passes out the other end without forming a hairball. This easy-to-digest formula will also make a dent in vomiting in general, hairball related or no.
Another way that this wet food tackles hairballs is that it works a lot on your cat’s skin and hair care. Unhealthy skin or hair will fall out and shed more than the healthy kind and will get caught in your kitty’s stomach. This is sort of an indirect way of attacking hairballs, but it gets the job done.
This wet diet is a great choice for active cats since it packs in the proteins. You can also expect a lot of vitamins, minerals, and omegas. These nutrients go a long way towards making sure your cat has great overall health. Vitamins and minerals that help your cat’s urinary system get extra helpings. This is a good pick if your cat has urinary problems.
Hill’s Science Diet’s wet food is pricey, but it comes with a guarantee: if you aren’t satisfied, return the unused portion for a 100% refund. Can’t beat that.
What We Like
- Your kitty will like the wet variety
- Prevents hairballs by helping with digestion
- Also prevents hairballs by promoting good skin and fur health
- Give your cat a balanced diet with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and omegas
- Helps with urinary health or problems
- 100% money back guarantee removes risk if your cat doesn’t like it
What We Don’t Like
- Not budget loving
Hill’s Science Diet’s wet food is our favorite option if you can’t get your cat to eat dry food or if your want to give a special treat. This food stops hairballs, aids digestion, promotes a healthy skin and fur, and removes all risk from you.
Best Cat Food For Intense Hairballs Or Vomiting
Royal Canin is our favorite pick if your cat has an extreme and consistent problem with hairballs or vomiting.
This formula attacks vomiting and hairballs using a dual approach. Like some others on this list, it helps cats move hair in their stomach into their gastrointestinal tract. Hair in the gastrointestinal tract doesn’t end up regurgitating. This food also eliminates hairballs and vomiting by using a special blend of dietary fibers. These dietary fibers help your cat to digest food better and are good for sensitive stomachs.
You can also look forward to a great, balanced diet for your kitty. Royal Canin is loaded with proteins and has a good blend of carbs and fats to provide lots of other nice nutrients for your special boy or girl. This food has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and omegas that help your cat’s heart and other organs. You can expect nice skin, a shiny coat, and plenty of energy for more active cats.
Royal Canin also helps reduce plaque buildup in your kitty’s teeth.
Some buyers mentioned that their cat didn’t love formula. We discuss strategies to handle this in the Frequently Asked Questions section. For know, know that you can always begin to introduce the new food bit by bit. Place a small amount in your cat’s favorite food, then a little bit more, and use ever increasing amounts that way to help your kitty get used to their new diet.
(Cats can sometimes be a bit picky)
This cat food will help you prevent hairballs, but it’s on the pricier side of cat foods.
What We Like
- Prevents vomiting by helping sensitive stomachs
- Ends hairballs by moving them down into the gastrointestinal tract
- Special blend of dietary fibers really helps to end vomiting and hairballs
- Great for active and less active kitties alike due to high amounts of protein
- Reduces plaque buildup
- Vitamins and minerals help organ health, skin, and coat
What We Don’t Like
- Not all cats love the formula
- On the pricier side
This cat food is great if your cat has a big problem with vomiting and hairballs. It’s on the pricier side, but does a great job of stopping the constant struggle with throwing up.
Best Budget Cat Food To Prevent Hairballs
Purina One is our favorite pick if your cat has a problem but you don’t quite have the dollars to shell out on a big purchase. This cat food gets the job done and gets your cat back to health while staying budget-loving.
Hairballs are reduced by way of increased digestion. Purina One’s unique formula adds natural fibers to your kitty’s diet. You can be sure that the hairballs aren’t collecting in his or her gut.
Purina One’s formula has a lot of perks: it’s loaded in vitamins, minerals, and omegas for one. These nutrients help to make sure that your cat has a beautiful and healthy coat as well as healthy skin. This is another way of reducing hairballs. This food also helps your cat’s organ health and will boost his or her immune system plenty. You will have an all around happier, healthier cat.
This formula does have a good chunk of grains and carbs in it, so that’s a possible downside. For overweight cats, you may need to restrict portions to ensure that your kitty isn’t getting too many calories in a day.
All in all, this formula is kind to your wallet and doesn’t miss out on much. It’s a great pick.
What We Like
- Great buy for those on a budget
- Prevents hairballs by helping your kitty’s digestion
- Prevents hairballs by giving your kitty healthy skin and fur
- Vitamins and minerals boost your cat’s immune system
What We Don’t Like
- Has a lot of carbs – you may be necessary to restrict portions for heavier cats
Purina One is our favorite option if your cat has a hairball problem but you’re on a budget. It lacks a few benefits and comes with a few too many carbs, but this formula will help your cat overcome hairballs.
How To Pick The Best Cat Food For Hairballs
There are a lot of cat foods. How can you know which one is best for your cat?
We look at 4 main areas when deciding which cat foods we want to recommend:
- Other perks
- Buyer reviews
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these.
In the list of ingredients, we want to see something that will help your cat pass hair in the form of stool, not by making hairballs.
There are a few things we like to see.
Fiber is great since it helps your cat’s digestive system. As hair gets processed, it doesn’t form as many hairballs. We also like to see some ingredients that helps your cat move hair better. This could be vitamins or nutrients.
In general, we like to see more proteins, less carbs. We like to see above 30% protein since this is closer to your cat’s natural diet and is less stressful for his or her digestive tract.
Many cat foods often have a type of “specialty” to go along with being hairball-reducing. We’ve tried to note these where important. Some cat foods will be best for hairballs only, others will help diarrhea and vomiting, and some are just better priced.
And then others are just general purpose cat foods for hairballs. And those are okay too (often, less specialized foods are less expensive). Our best overall and best budget picks are more all-purpose options.
You can often figure out if a food has a special purpose by looking at the name of the food. It will often say something like:
- “sensitive stomachs”
- “hairballs and vomiting”
- “indoor cat”
When you see any of those, it’s a good indicator that the food has a special purpose other than being more general.
We recommend that you stick to the more all-purpose foods if your cat doesn’t have any specific issues, since the all-purpose options are often less expensive.
We like to check a lot of customer reviews before buying. In particular, we’re looking for:
- Feedback on taste (whether cat liked/disliked)
- Any ill effects
- Overall positive experience
One of the first things we want to look for is whether cats liked the taste. If he or she isn’t liking it, then he or she won’t eat it.
It’s safe to assume that your cat will have the same interests as the majority, even if he or she has been a picky eater in the past. There will always be a few cats who don’t like most foods and you’ll hear about these in the reviews. But we recommend trying a food for yourself before knocking it.
The thing to watch out for here is to make sure that most cats enjoyed the food. If you’re seeing too many horror stories of kitties who’d rather starve, maybe it’s time to try another option.
We also want to look for any ill affects attributed to the food. It’s important to look for any vomiting or diarrhea that started after the kitty began his or her new diet. It’s possible that the cat got a genuine sickness and started new food at the same time, so only start getting worried after you see several of these.
And the last thing we want to see if an overall positive experience with the food. Nothing too specific to keep an eye out for, but we like to see reviews in excess of 4 starts, but at least 4.3 is even better.
And then the price. Instead of looking at the exact dollar amount (like $23), we like to look at the price per pound (like $2.50 per pound). Cat foods for hairballs are reasonable in the $2-$3 per pound range.
The closer a food gets to the $3 per pound range, the more we consider it to be “pricey”. It’s more expensive relative to the other options out there.
Closer to $2 per pound is considered “reasonable”.
Your Guide To Your Kitty’s Nutrition
When buying cat food, one of the great hold ups is when we know our cat needs something, we just don’t know what. It seems like all companies are hailing their brand new, record breaking, earth shattering formula. “This is what your cat needs to be healthy!” they say.
But how do we really know?
Cat nutrition isn’t too difficult to understand once we take a look at it. You don’t need to be a certified vet to get a good grasp on what’s best for your cat. You just need to remember a single fact:
Being a carnivore means that cats can get all of their nutrition from meat. They don’t need peas and carrots, won’t appreciate collards on New Years, and can even go without avocado-laced superfoods.
Here’s why that’s important. All calories come from 3 sources: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Humans need all 3 to have a balanced diet. Cats get by on just fats and proteins. Fats and proteins are all that some cats eat since meats often do not contain carbs.
A lot of modern cat food doesn’t follow a cat’s natural diet and preferences though. Many cat foods include carbohydrates since carbs are an easier and less expensive way to give your cat some extra nutrients. This isn’t a problem since carbs aren’t usually bad for cats.
The only time that carbs are bad for cats is when carbs don’t allow your cat to eat enough proteins. Not enough proteins and too many carbs can lead to overweight cats, lazy cats, and even diabetes. Being overweight for a cat is much like being overweight for a human: mortality and chronic problems rise across the board.
This isn’t to say to make sure your cat doesn’t get carbs. This is to say that you’ll want to make sure your cats get a high amount of protein. All the items we’ve reviewed above cover this requirement, but some do it better than others. High amounts of protein help your cat to stay trim and energetic. Protein has a higher chance of giving your cat all the nutrients he or she needs.
When it comes down to it, just remember: cats are carnivores. You don’t have to feed him or her like a carnivore. But you can’t go wrong if you do.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my cat doesn’t like his or her new food?
Cats can be picky eaters and it’s not guaranteed that yours will fall in love with his or her new meal.
Have no fear. The same skill that made the steam engine can help your cat change his or her diet: we just need a little creativity.
If your cat isn’t loving the new meals you’re putting on the bowl, you can try to change your kitty’s diet a bite at a time. First, start with something like 90% of the original food and 10% of the new. Over the course of a few weeks, change that percentage at a rate your cat will eat. Go to 75% original and 25% new, then 50% and 50%, then 25% original and 75% new, all the way until you’ve made the full change.
Cats, like people, enjoy the feeling that they are having a bit of input in a decision. As long as you’re making the change gradual for your special guy or gal, he or she won’t mind it too much over the long run. Just give a little extra affection and be patient. Good things come to those who wait (and our cats are worth waiting for).
Can I feed this to my kitten?
You can, but it’s best to buy a kitten specific food. As cats grow older, their dietary needs change. These changes are never so pronounced as they are during the first year of life.
What are the benefits of grain free?
As we discussed in the Things To Know Before You Buy section, carbs aren’t always the best option for your cat. Grains can sometimes be hard to digest and having a cat food without them can go even further to prevent vomiting.
Blue Buffalo started when the Bishop family’s dog Blue developed cancer. This family didn’t just sit down and take it. They were convinced that Blue had developed cancer because of unhealthy ingredients in common dog foods. The Bishops set out to provide healthy, nutritious food for dogs and cats. They want to increase health, life, and happiness.
Purina started all the way back in 1894 when Willam Danforth began feeding farm animals. Since then, they have expanded to take care of all our home pets. Purina strives to lead the charge in helping animals of all shapes and sizes live their happiest and healthiest lives. They back their products with the top notch in scientific research so that your cat can be healthy.
Hill’s Science Diet
As you could guess by the name, Hill’s Science Diet wants to be a leader in the field of science. Since the 1930s, Hill’s Science Diet has been led by the mission of enriching the relationship between people and animals. They think that when we give our cats good nutrition, we give our cats a better life. Hill’s wants to provide that life for your cat.
Jean Cathery was born in the French town of Puy-en-Velay. When he began working as a vet for horses and bulls, he started to believe that the food we fed animals could impact their health. Royal Canin was born when Jean decided that he would take a stand. He would provide cats and dogs with the nutrition they needed.
Thanks for reading our guide on best cat food for hairballs! When it comes down to it, the best cat food for your kitty will be the one that suits his or her unique needs best.
First, ask yourself if the problem is just isolated to hairballs. Is your kitty vomiting too? Does he or she have problems with his or her coat, hair, skin? If so, your cat’s food needs will vary.
You should also think about whether your kitty is active or lazy. For active kitties, you’ll want a lot of protein in his or her diet to fuel strong muscles. For lazy cats, avoiding carbs may be best if you don’t want your kitty to gain weight.
Last, take a look at the other benefits of your cat food. Some foods offer special blends of vitamins and minerals to promote overall health. Other foods are a little bit more lax.
If we could recommend a single product, the Blue Buffalo is our favorite since it prevents vomiting and hairballs.