Best Cat Food For Shedding: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

A shedding cat can make a mess and sometimes is a sign of a serious health issue. Ending bad shedding can help you have a clean home, stop allergies, and prevent a trash can full of lint rollers. We’re going to take a look at some of the best cat food for shedding in your cat’s specific circumstances.

Read on to learn which option is best for you.

In A Hurry? Here Are Our Favorite Picks…



Something To Know Before You Buy…

What Kind of Shedding Is Bad?

In our other posts that deal with cat food, we always leave this section after the product reviews. We know that life is busy, you’re in a hurry, and you may just want to get your cat food and get out. We respect that.

Shedding is a little different than other topics. Problems like vomiting are always bad, but not so with shedding. There is a difference between good and bad shedding. All of the cat food on this list can help fend off bad shedding, but don’t do anything for good shedding.

Bad shedding is when your cat doesn’t have a shiny coat, has bald patches, rashes, or other abnormalities. This type of bad shedding can be caused by almost anything: vitamin deficiencies, fleas, hormonal imbalances, stress, or obsessive licking.

Cat food for shedding works by helping your cat be healthy, with a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Some cat food could help with hormonal imbalances by fixing other systems, can help your cat’s stress, and can repair skin to prevent too much self licking.

Good shedding is something that all cats do year round, but it is most common during summer months. When spring starts or when summer is in full force, you can often pull out huge swaths of cat hair with a brush. This type of shedding may look worse if your cat has long hair or has any white in his or her coat since white stands out more than other colors.

Cat food can’t fix good shedding, but can help it stay at a reasonable level. We discuss non-food-related tips to stop shedding after the product reviews.

Read on to see the best cat food for shedding and tips on how to stop your cat from shedding.

Overall Best Cat Food For Shedding

Crave Grain Free

Crave’s grain free cat food is our overall favorite. It helps keep your cat healthy, gives a nice nutritional balance, prevents allergies that cause shedding, and is affordable.

crave grain free cat food

Crave’s formula prevents shedding by making sure that your cat has a healthy nutritional balance. This cat food also works as an allergy prevention method and helps stop any bad shedding that’s due to an allergic reaction.

Crave packs a ton of vitamins and minerals in it to make sure that your cat is staying healthy. You can expect a lot of vitamins and minerals to boost your kitty’s skin and fur health as well as making sure his or her immune system is up to par. This food helps promote skin that has all the nutrients it needs to repair itself as well as a shiny coat for your cat.


This food has a lot of meat and passes on much of the grains that other cat foods stuff in their formula. Low grains means that this food is easier for your cat to digest and helps with gastrointestinal health. If your cat suffers from hairballs due to lots of shedding or self-licking, this food will help.

The proteins and fats are high (that’s a good thing for cats) and the carbs here are low, so this is a good pick for weight loss or very active cats. This food provides the energy your cat needs and helps him feel full, but some buyers mentioned that the smell could be a bit strong.

What We Like

  • Ends bad shedding from allergies
  • Ends bad shedding by helping skin and fur health
  • High in proteins and fats, low in carbs (that’s a good thing)
  • Helps end hairballs and promote gastrointestinal health
  • Good pick for active or overweight cats
  • Reasonable price

What We Don’t Like

  • Some buyers mentioned that the smell could be a little strong (but their cats liked it)

Crave’s grain free cat food is our favorite overall pick. It stops bad shedding, promotes overall health, and is very reasonable.

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Best Cat Food For Long Hair Cats That Shed

Royal Canin Indoor Long Hair

Royal Canin’s cat food is our favorite if you have a cat with long hair. It stops shedding by giving your cat healthy skin and fur that repairs itself and prevents damage.

royal canin indoor long hair cat food

Royal Canin’s cat food for indoor, long haired cats works by giving your cat’s coat all the nutrients it needs. Your furball will have healthy skin that doesn’t release hairs and healthy hair that doesn’t need to be dropped. Both of these solutions together help prevent your cat’s bad shedding.

Royal Canin packs their food with a whopping portion of protein that your kitty needs for a good diet. This cat food includes a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids (they are better than they sound) to give your cat healthy skin and healthy fur. He or she can look and feel better.

If your cat struggles with hairballs due to his or her shedding, Royal Canin makes sure that their food gets digested easy. This easy digestion prevents hairballs and vomiting so that your house stays as clean as you can get it with a shedding kitty. The easy digestion also makes sure that your cat’s poop smells better. Or, at least, not as bad as it used to.

This cat food can be used for any cat, but is best for long haired cats that shed since it targets so many nutrients at the cat’s skin and fur. Healthy skin and fur does a better job of locking in the hairs to make sure that they don’t escape onto your couch or clothes. Since this cat food adds in extra nutrients to target fur and skin health, the price per pound is a bit higher than some other cat foods.

What We Like

  • Stops shedding by helping your cat’s skin
  • Stops shedding by giving your cat a strong, healthy, beautiful coat
  • Ends hairballs by being easy to digest
  • Less smelly poop
  • Great for long haired cats

What We Don’t Like

  • Best used only on cats with long fur (if your cat has short fur, there are less expensive options)
  • Higher price per pound than some options

Royal Tanin’s cat food is our favorite pick if you’re the proud owner of a long haired cat who tends to leave a little too much fur laying around.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

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Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats That Shed

Hill’s Science Diet Weight Management

Hill’s Science Diet has our favorite cat food if your cat is shedding and if he or she needs to drop a few pounds. No worries, it happens. A good food can help you get your cat back to the right weight fast.

hill's science diet weight management

Hill’s Science Diet’s cat food works against shedding by helping your cat lower his or her stress levels and achieve a healthier weight. Overweight cats are subject to a variety of stimuli that promotes shedding. These cats tend to be more sedentary, can get allergies from being indoors, and are subject to higher levels of stress. All of things things will send your cat’s hair everywhere you don’t want it to be.

Hill’s Science Diet has done their own study that found 70% of cats who ate their formula had lost weight within 10 weeks of trying it out. Hill’s Science Diet doesn’t deprive your cat of nutrition; their food makes your cat feel more full. When the kitty feels full, he or she stops eating. Easy and painless weight loss follow.

This cat food doesn’t skimp out on the things your cat’s body will be needing. Your cat will get his or her share of vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, and amino acids for a balanced diet. A special emphasis is placed on the nutrients that help your cat have a strong immune system. Hill’s Science Diet packs in a lot of good stuff, but this option is a little lower on protein than other cat foods.

This cat food also helps make sure that your cat has a healthy coat and healthy skin. Keeping these two essential parts healthy will help your kitty to shed less around the house and keep his or her hair to him or herself.

What We Like

  • Helps your cat get back to a healthy weight and stop shedding
  • Stops shedding by promoting skin health
  • Helps with fur health to stop shedding as well
  • Special emphasis on boosted immune system
  • Plenty of vitamins, minerals, omegas, and amino acids

What We Don’t Like

  • Best used only on cats that need to lose weight
  • A little bit lower protein concentration than other options, but nothing drastic

Hill’s Science Diet’s option for overweight cats is our favorite pick if your shedder is on the chunky side. This cat food helps thicker cats lose weight, be more active, less stressed, and attacks shedding through overall health.

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Best Cat Food For Shedding Cats With Unhealthy Skin Or Coat

Royal Canin Hair And Skin Care

Royal Canin’s Hair and Skin Care food is our favorite pick if your cat suffers from skin or fur problems. This food helps fix him or her up and rid of bad shedding.

royal canin hair and skin

Royal Canin works against shedding by placing a special emphasis on your kitty’s skin and fur health. This food packs in the nutrients that target your cat’s skin and fur so that he or she can retain as much hair as possible and stop leaving it on your coats. The nutrients in this food work for all sorts of skin or fur problems, including dandruff and dry, cracked skin.

Royal Canin’s emphasis on this food is coat health, so you’ll be getting more than a formula that just stops bad shedding. Royal Canin’s food makes your cat’s coat look healthier too. In one of their own studies, they found that cats had a significant and noticeable coat shine after 21 days of eating exclusive Royal Canin.

This food is good news if your cat has allergies, skin problems, or cleans his or her fur to the point that there are bald spots. This food fights allergic reactions and gets rid of itchy sensations for your kitty. His or her scratching or self licking will decrease and allow fur to regrow in bald patches.

You can also expect a lion’s share of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and omegas in this food. But due to the cost, this food is best bought when your cat is in severe need or other things just aren’t working. It’s not a bad idea to mix some of the Royal Canin with your cat’s regular food to see if that stops the problem. Up the dose until the allergies, obsessive licking, or bald spots go away.

What We Like

  • Super healthy skin and increased skin repair
  • Strong, shiny coat that doesn’t shed
  • Fixes allergic reactions on the skin, obsessive self licking, or bald patches
  • Prevents dandruff
  • Tons of vitamins, minerals, and omegas
  • Great if other options just haven’t worked

What We Don’t Like

  • Works fine as regular food, but a bit pricey
  • May be best used in cases when nothing else has worked

Royal Canin’s cat food is our favorite if your cat is really struggling with coat or fur problems. This food places special emphasis on skin and hair health. It stops bad shedding, repairs the skin, and puts an end to a huge portion of skin or fur related problems.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

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Best Budget Cat Food For Shedding

Nutro Max Cat Food

Nutro Max’s formula is our favorite budget buy. It comes in at a great price point but just misses out on a few features. If you’re trying to save a few bucks, this is a great pick.

nutro max cat food

Nutro Max’s food works against shedding by helping your cat have overall good health. This helps eliminate bad shedding caused by allergies, stress, or general bad diet. Nutro grain makes their food pretty easy to digest, so this will also help with your cat’s hairballs.

This cat food places a bit of an emphasis on your cat’s skin and coat, but not as much as the Royal Canin above. It helps your cat get over his or her allergies, skin problems, obsessive licking, or bald patches. Nutro Max helps your cat to have a shiny and soft coat that is healthy enough to stay locked into the skin.

The cat food here packs in a ton of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Nutro wants to solve your cat’s problems through prevention and they place a lot of emphasis on immune system health. If a problem never arises, you’ll never need to fix it.

Nutro Max sells their food for a lot less per pound than some other options here, but their proteins are a bit low and carbs are pretty high. Proteins make up just 30% of this food, which is low compared to the other items we’ve looked at. That’s nothing horrible, but this food may make your cat a bit more prone to weight gain than other options. To solve this, Nutro Max also offers a weight loss option.

Just watch the portions you give your cat and there won’t be any problems.

Nutro Max offers a 100% money back guarantee if your kitty doesn’t love the taste, so that’s nice.

What We Like

  • Ends bad shedding by promoting overall system health
  • Helps your cat combat problems before they start
  • Helps promote skin and fur health
  • Tons of vitamins, minerals, omegas, and antioxidants
  • Great budget buy
  • Money back guarantee if your cat doesn’t love it

What We Don’t Like

  • Not as much protein as other options, pretty high amount of carbs here.

Nutro Max is our favorite option if your cat is shedding and you need to save a few bucks. Even if budget buying isn’t your top priority, it may be worth getting a less expensive food (this one) and seeing if it solves the problem. If the problem isn’t fixed, you can always buy premium brands later.

Check Price and Reviews on Chewy

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

More Things To Know Before You Buy…

Other Ways To Stop Shedding

If your cat isn’t going through the bad kind of shedding, then these foods may not do a ton of good. Here are some other things you can try to stop the tyranny of cat hair all over your stuff.

First, make sure it’s not a health problem.

If the weather isn’t getting hotter and your cat is shedding a lot or if your cat sheds a ton out of nowhere, it won’t hurt to get your vet to take a look. It’s best to rule out this step first for peace of mind, safety for your cat, and so that your vet can explain what is or isn’t normal for your kitty.

The problems could be anything from a sunburn (yep, cat’s get them too) to ringworms to allergies to an infection. The foods we’ve listed here fix a ton of these health problems, but it’s still best to have a professional take a glance.

Second, get nutrition right.

Once you’re sure that the problem isn’t health related (parasites, infections, bacteria, etc.) then the next step is to get the diet right. Getting diet right could solve most of your shedding problems itself.

You’ll want to make sure that your cat has a lot of omega-3 and omega-6. These two omega fatty acids are nicer than they sound and help your cat to have a healthy, shiny coat. These omegas work on keeping your cat’s skin healthy, beautiful, and ready to retain all the hair it can.

Protein is never bad for a cat (as we’ll discuss in a minute) and the best cat diets have a ton of protein packed in. Getting your cat’s diet right solves a lot of problems without any additional work from you.

Third, brush your cat.

Brushing your cat helps remove stragglers. These straggling hairs are just waiting to fall out, often due to natural causes.

Brushing removes these hairs that have already left the skin and the hairs that are trying to leave the skin. Be sure to brush all sides of your cat and as much of his or her fur as you can without making your cat uncomfortable. He or she will probably like how it feels, so just be careful around the eyes, ears, and so on.

Once the hair is removed, you can throw it in the trash can or outside. Recommended brushing frequency varies. Some experts say to brush long haired cats once or twice every day and let your short haired cats get by on one to three times a week. My cats are short haired and for me, it’s closer to once every two weeks.

But cat hair seems to grow of its own accord in my house, so it may be best to not follow my lead.

Fourth, wash your cat.

Your cat will probably like being brushed. He or she may not be so fond of this part.

Washing acts like brushing and helps get rid of a lot of loose hairs and hairs that are going to be loose soon. Some shampoos will be packing in special types of oils for your cat’s skin that helps him or her retain fur in the skin.

Once a month should be fine for bathing your cat. You are still expected to to take daily baths.

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:

Cats are carnivores.

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 tell you 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.

Does this food help with hairballs?

Yes. All of the foods we listed above include ingredients that are easy to digest and help with your kitty’s gut health. As a general rule, you want less carbs and more proteins for better digestive health, so plenty of the foods above do a great job of that.

All of the foods above include extra helpings of fiber. Since cats that shed a lot tend to hair more hairballs, all of the foods we reviewed help get rid of hairballs too.

Best Brands


Crave styles themselves as a premium cat food. They make sure that their number one ingredient is always meat (serving up enough of those precious proteins) and want to help your cat get to perfect health. Crave has high quality ingredients and avoids “ash” that a lot of brands put in their food.

Royal Canin

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.

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.


Thanks for reading our post about the best cat food for shedding! When it comes down to it, the best cat food for your kitty is going to be the one that suits his or her needs best.

Take a moment to consider what the source of the problem may be. Does your cat lick obsessively? Is there an infection, bacteria problem, or other underlying issue? If so, it’s worth taking your cat to see the vet to make sure you’re on the right track.

Think about the diet your cat is on. Do you know that he or she is getting enough vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants from his or her current food? If not, his or her shedding may be due to a bit of malnutrition in that regard. Any of the foods here will help.

Ask yourself how serious the problem is and if there are any side effects. For example, some of the foods here deal with digestion and hairball prevention better than others.

If we could recommend one food for everyone, it would be the Crave Grain Free. It’s easy to digest, solves all nutritional problems that cause shedding, and sells at a great price.

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