Best Cat Food for Hairballs

We all love our cats. But we really don’t love their hairballs. It is truly horrible to see them choking, and just as horrible cleaning up the mess.

But we love our cats, so we put up with their hairballs. Depending on your cat’s breed, lifestyle, and diet, they will experience more or fewer hairballs throughout their lifetime.

Hairballs occur when your cat swallows too much hair when grooming themselves. This hair then clogs with the food digesting in their stomach and forms the dreaded hairball. 

If your cat experiences a lot of hairballs, there are ways to try and reduce this. The main way is through a change in diet and here are lots of different cat foods available designed to reduce hairballs.

But with so many different types available it can be difficult to know which is the best for your furbaby.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide to the best cat food for hairballs available, complete with everything you need to know to buy the best food for your cat. 

In a hurry?

If your cat is suffering badly with hairballs, and you need food that can help fix this problem quickly, you should choose the Royal Canin Hairball Dry Food. This scrumptious formula is sure to go down a treat with your feline friend and help fix their hairballs with a variety of great features, including:

  • Tailored nutrition for all adult cats who are prone to hairballs. 
  • Helps speed up digestion and move hair through the GI tract quicker. 
  • Contains lots of fiber for healthy digestion. 
  • Manages hairballs so that they do not lead to digestive sensitivities. 

Top 5 Best Cat Food for Hairballs

OUR TOP PICK

Our favorite cat food for hairballs on the market is the Royal Canin Hairball dry food. This cat food is only available in 6-pound bags, but it has one of the most effective formulas on the market for reducing hairballs. 

This food is only suitable for adult cats over the age of 1 and is very effective with older cats who are prone to hairballs. It prevents hairballs by speeding up the process of the hair moving through the GI tract.

This stops the hair from clogging in the stomach, ensuring it does not form into a hairball so that it will not be regurgitated. It does this through an increased amount of fiber in the formula which blends with the other ingredients to speed up digestion.

By preventing hairballs, this food also helps prevent any digestive sensitivities that could occur due to prolonged exposure to hairballs.

While it’s completing all this work inside your cat’s stomach, it’s also supplying your cat with a scrumptious chicken-flavored meal.  

With all these amazing qualities, it’s clear to see why we’ve rated this the best cat food for hairballs on the market. 

Pros

  • Tailored to prevent hairballs 
  • Speeds up digestion 
  • Contains lots of fiber
  • Manages hairballs 
  • Moves hair through the GI tract quicker

Cons

  • No notable drawbacks

EDITORS CHOICE

We also love the Purina One Hairball Formula cat food. This amazing formula is available in 4 different bag sizes, allowing you to try it with your cat before investing in a larger (but cheaper) bag. 

It is made using real chicken as the primary ingredient to ensure your cat has a balanced, healthy diet. The chicken also supplies your cat with lots of protein, this formula is 34% protein, giving your cat lots of support and strength for their muscles.

The recipe also contains a lot of fiber as this is the ingredient that reduces hairballs. The fiber works to prevent hair from building up in your cat’s stomach by increasing the speed of digestion.

As well as reducing hairballs, the fiber will also provide a lot of nutrition to your cat for a balanced diet. It comes with a blend of antioxidants to help support your fur baby's immune system and provides extra energy to your cat’s everyday life.

With all these wonderful features, there’s no doubt that this is one of the best options on the market. 

Pros

  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Made with real chicken 
  • Lots of natural fiber
  • Antioxidants for immune support
  • Easily digestible

Cons

  • No notable drawbacks

BEST VALUE

You should consider the Iams Hairball Care dry food. Similarly to the Purina One product, this is also available in 4 different sizes allowing you to buy a larger bag if you have multiple cats. 

This scrumptious formula comes in a chicken and salmon flavor to attract cats who like meat and cats who like fish. The primary ingredient is real chicken which provides lots of protein to your cat’s diet.

This protein is excellent to maintain and support strong muscles for your cat and also provide them with extra energy to enjoy their playtime. Its other main ingredients include a blend of fiber and beet pulp.

These are the ingredients that work together to reduce hairballs, and they work proactively to reduce hairballs and support better digestive health in your feline.

Its kibble design also means that this cat food actively brushes your cat’s teeth while they chew, and reduces plaque build-up.

This is a great option whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, and one of the best available. 

Pros

  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Made with real chicken 
  • Lots of fiber and beet pulp to reduce hairballs 
  • Kibble design reduces plaque build-up
  • Antioxidants for immune support

Cons

  •  Some fussy cats may not like it 

RUNNER UP

Another excellent cat food which you should consider is Hill's Science Hairball Control cat food.

Hills Science is an excellent choice whenever you want a cat food to aid your feline’s health, and their hairball control formula lives up to their reputation. 

This chicken flavored food comes available in 4 different sizes and is made with real chicken as the main ingredient. The real chicken provides your cat with lots of nutrients and protein for a healthy diet.

It is also made with lots of natural fibers that will comfortably reduce hairballs in your cat’s stomach and prevent them from gagging them up. Additionally, the formula contains vitamin E, omega 3, and omega 6 for healthy skin and fur.

This fantastic formula is made in the USA with entirely natural ingredients and is even vet recommended, making it a great choice for your furbaby. 

Pros

  • 3 different sizes 
  • Made with real meat 
  • Natural fiber to reduce hairballs 
  • Vitamin E, Omega 3, and Omega 6 for skin and fur
  • Vet recommended

Cons 

  • Food comes in large chunks which older cats may struggle with

RUNNER UP

Finally, you should think about buying the Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control cat food.

Blue Buffalo is another company that is excellent at producing cat foods specially designed for fur babies with special dietary or health needs. 

Their Indoor Hairball Control recipe comes available in 3 different sizes and is designed to reduce hairballs in house cats. It comes in a chicken and brown rice flavor to provide a well-rounded diet for your feline and is made with only high-quality ingredients.

The primary ingredient is real chicken which provides your cat with lots of protein, allowing them to build and maintain good, strong muscles. It also contains lots of sources of natural fiber which promotes nutrient absorption in your cat’s stomach and minimizes the build-up of hairballs.

With omega 3 and 6 for healthy fur and skin and life source bits for better immune health, it’s obvious why this is one of the best cat foods on the market. 

Pros

  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Made with real chicken 
  • Lots of protein for muscles 
  • Natural fiber to reduce hairballs 
  • Vitamins and minerals for better health

Cons

  • Can make your cats poop smellier 

Best Cat Food for Hairballs Buying Guide

If your car struggles badly with hairballs, simply changing their diet can be an easy way to reduce the amount they have.

There are a variety of companies that manufacture cat food that prevents hairballs which is good, but it can make it difficult to know the best option to buy.

That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide to the best cat food for hairballs, complete with all the information you need to buy the best food for your furbaby. 

Wet vs Dry

The first choice you will encounter is wet or dry food. There is no answer as to which is the best option for your cat’s health, it mainly comes down to your cat’s personal preference.

Some cats will refuse to eat dry food, others will refuse wet food. The bottom line is that your cat has to eat so you should buy the option that they prefer. Both food types come with their benefits.

For example, wet food is easier to eat if your cat has bad teeth, and moves through the digestive system quicker.

Whereas dry food often has teeth-cleaning benefits through the act of chewing and often provides more nutrients to your cat.

It all comes down to what your cat prefers, and trial and error in identifying their favorite type. 

Things to Avoid

When you are buying cat food, there are some ingredients you should try to avoid.

A lot of cat food is processed, and ingredients that have no health benefits for your cat are added to the recipe to bulk it out. You should try and avoid artificial flavors and preservatives, they add unnecessary chemicals to your cat’s meal and have been linked to health problems in the long run.

You should also try and avoid food that is very starchy or fatty. It is common for dry food to include unnecessary starches, which add no nutrition to your cat’s diet and will lead to them putting on weight when consumed over long periods.

Finally, you should try and avoid wheat gluten. In cheaper foods, this is often used as a meat substitute and some of the natural chemicals in this gluten have been linked to health problems.

In moderation, none of these foods will have a hugely negative effect on your cat’s health but you should not use them in excess. 

Ingredients to Look For

Finally, there are some ingredients that you should look out for in cat food.

For a healthy diet, you should look out for real, natural ingredients. These provide your cat with lots of nutrients without any of the nasty stuff included. Real meat provides your cat with lots of protein to support their muscles and give them energy.

Vitamins and fatty acids will often be added as they can help your cat’s skin and fur coat stay healthy. A lot of manufacturers will also include additional nutrients and antioxidants to support your cat’s immune system. But for minimizing hairballs, you should look for cat foods that include a lot of fiber.

Fiber is the key ingredient as it improves digestion which reduces the build-up of hair in your cat’s stomach and ensures that hairballs are unable to form.

A combination of all these ingredients will ensure that your cat receives a healthy diet and ensures they will remain in good health. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does wet food help with hairballs?

It is likely that cats who exclusively eat a wet diet will have fewer hairballs than cats who consume a lot of dry food.

Wet foods move through your cat’s digestive system quicker than dry foods meaning they don’t allow the hair to form into a ball while in your cat’s stomach. 

When should I worry about hairballs?

While hairballs are usually harmless, they can sometimes become dangerous.

This happens if the hairball becomes clogged at the digestive tract, and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

If you suspect your cat has a hairball stuck, you should seek veterinary advice immediately. 

How long does it take for a cat to pass a hairball?

Hairballs will usually pass very quickly, and you can tell your cat has one coming by the cough/gag sound they make while trying to pass it.

However, if nothing passes, and these symptoms continue to display themselves you should take your cat to the vet as the hairball may have become stuck.