Best Cat Food for Hairballs: The Right Diet for Prevention and Control

black and white cat prepares to eat cat food

Hairballs can be dangerous and need a visit to the veterinarian because they can be fatal if not managed immediately. They make our fur babies lose appetite, have diarrhea, or vomit nonstop.

They may even be lethargic and have constipation because of excessive fur in their stomach. The vet may recommend the best cat food for hairballs, but sometimes your fussy felines may not like it.

I’ve reviewed nine recipes that you may want to try to control, if not eliminate, hairballs in your pets.

Iams ProActive Health Weight and Hairball Care for indoor cats is an excellent pet food for hairballs. It has more fiber than average, and it is a widespread solution to the issue. Many older felines are experiencing it because they self groom. You’ll like that it is AAFCO-approved, but it has less moisture content, so you have to ensure that you give a lot of water to your fur babies. This 336-calorie-per-100-gram cat food is also suitable for weight control.

The Best Cat Food for Hairballs Are…

ProductDetails
1. Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care

  • Dry food
  • For adult indoor cats
  • Fiber blend reduces hairballs
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2. Purina ONE Hairball Adult Formula Dry Cat Food

  • Dry food
  • Adult
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3. Hill's Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control Dry Food for Adult Cats

  • Dry food
  • Adult
  • Urinary health formula
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4. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Adult Dry Cat Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult indoor cat formula
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • Weight control
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5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Hairball & Weight Control Grain-Free Chicken Dry Food for Indoor Cats

  • Dry food
  • Adult formula
  • Grain-free, high-protein, no soy
  • Weight control formula
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6. Iams ProActive Health Adult Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

  • Dry food
  • Adult formula
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7. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

  • Dry food
  • Adult formula
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
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8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Indoor Hairball Control Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • Dry Food
  • For adult cats
  • Grain-free formula
  • No poultry by-product meals
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9. Royal Canin Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

  • Dry food
  • For adult cats
  • Indoor formula
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1. Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care — Best Hairball Cat Food

I like the ProActive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Care from Iams because it has chicken and turkey as quality ingredients — both excellent sources of protein. Plus its fiber blend aids in keeping hairballs and odors down.

However, it has ground whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, and corn grits that are bulk-adding extenders and have no use in my pet’s diet. They are, however, useful in maintaining the shape of the kibble.

Moreover, these fillers, together with fish oil and dried egg product, are also potential allergens. Fortunately, my feline buddies don’t have food allergies.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • For adult indoor cats
  • Fiber blend reduces hairballs

Pros

  • Contains L-Carnitine to maintain a healthy weight and burn fat
  • Crunchy kibble to keep teeth tartar-free and clean
  • Effective in reducing hairballs
  • High-quality protein sources from turkey and chicken

Cons

  • Not all cats like it
  • Has fillers and potential allergens as ingredients

If you’re searching for more fiber and carbs but less protein, fat, and moisture in your pet’s diet, you may try the Iams Proactive Health kibble.

It boasts of weight and hairball care of indoor adult cats. The natural fiber is a prevalent ingredient used to reduce the occurrence of hairballs.

Your veterinarian may prescribe it to your lovable feline because of it. The formula is AAFCO-approved and has 336 calories for every 100 grams.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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2. Purina ONE Hairball Adult Formula Dry Cat Food

I tried Purina One Hairball Formula dry cat food for my adult cat, and my little buddy liked its chicken flavor. However, when I checked the label, it has many inferior ingredients like poultry by-product meal.

It also has soybean meal, brewers rice, and corn gluten meal. My pet doesn’t need it because they’re bulk-adding fillers only. They, however, maintain the kibble shape.

Moreover, felines with food allergies have to steer clear from this product. It has corn gluten meal, fish meal, soybean meal, soybean hulls, and whole-grain corn as potential allergens.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • Adult

Pros

  • Real chicken as a source of lean protein for energy and healthy muscles
  • Veterinarian-recommended formula to reduce hairballs in adult cats
  • Has omega fatty acids, taurine, vitamins, and minerals for healthy skin and coat
  • No fillers
  • Easily digestible
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Not liked by all cats

Purina ONE Hairball Formula Dry Food for adult cats has an average amount of fiber and high levels of carbohydrates. Moreover, it has less protein, fat, and moisture.

However, this is a veterinarian-recommended specialty diet to reduce hairballs. You may want to try it as it’s also an AAFCO-approved formula with 356 calories for every 100 grams.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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3. Hill’s Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control Dry Food for Adult Cats

I like Hill’s Science Diet Urinary and Hairball Control for my adult pet because it has high-quality chicken meat as a source of protein. However, corn gluten meal and whole grain wheat as top ingredients aren’t essential to any feline.

They don’t add anything of value to the diet but maintain the kibble shape. Moreover, this product may not be suitable for cats with allergies to grain and seafood.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • Adult
  • Urinary health formula

Pros

  • Has natural fiber to reduce hairball
  • Easily digestible for optimal nutrient absorption
  • A healthy balance of minerals to support the urinary system
  • Vitamin and antioxidant blend for a healthy immune system
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Veterinarian recommended

Cons

  • Difficult-to-chew large kibbles
  • Not liked by some cats

If you need cat food that has a significant amount of fiber, you may like Hill’s Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control. However, it has less protein and more carbohydrates than average.

Your veterinarian may recommend this product for hairball control. The recipe is AAFCO-approved, and your cat gets 373 calories for every 100 grams of kibbles.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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4. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Adult Dry Cat Food

I tried Blue Buffalo Hairball and Weight Control in chicken and brown rice formula for my adult indoor cat. I like that it has real deboned chicken as a high-quality protein source.

Moreover, it has a menhaden fish and chicken meals as additional sources of protein — and absolutely no poultry by-product meals. It has no preservatives nor artificial flavors.

The added cellulose and psyllium fiber help take care of the hairball problem. It is formulated with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system

It also has brown rice, but it’s a bulk-adding filler that my feline buddy doesn’t need. However, I understand that it helps maintain the shape of the kibble.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult indoor cat formula
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • Weight control

Pros

  • Real deboned chicken as a high-quality protein source
  • Natural fiber to aid hairball reduction
  • Less vomiting
  • No complications in transitioning to this diet
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not liked by some cats

Blue Buffalo Hairball and Weight Control for adult indoor cats have less protein, fat, fiber, and moisture content. However, it has more carbohydrates than average.

Your veterinarian may have recommended this specialty diet to control hairball, and you may want to try it because it’s an AAFCO-approved formula with 336 calories per 100 grams.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Hairball & Weight Control Grain-Free Chicken Dry Food for Indoor Cats

I like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Hairball and Weight Control for my cat. It has high-quality deboned chicken, menhaden fish meal, and chicken meal as protein sources.

However, it has potato starch and tapioca starch that don’t add anything valuable to my cat’s diet. Although my felines don’t have any food allergies, menhaden fish meal may cause problems for pets with seafood allergies.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • Adult formula
  • Grain-free, high-protein, no soy
  • Weight control formula

Pros

  • Lean chicken for strong muscles
  • Natural fiber blend to control hairballs and promote healthy digestion
  • Less vomiting
  • Blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and lustrous coat
  • Includes L-Carnitine for a healthy metabolism
  • Contains taurine for heart and eye health

Cons

  • Not liked by some cats
  • May cause allergic reactions because of the menhaden fish meal

You may try Blue Buffalo Wilderness Hairball & Weight Control in a chicken recipe if you worry about your pet’s hairballs. It has more fiber and less fat than average, but it also has more carbohydrates and an average amount of protein content.

Your veterinarian may have prescribed this specialty diet to reduce the occurrence of hairballs. You may feed your pet with it because it’s AAFCO-approved and has 353 calories for every 100 grams.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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6. Iams ProActive Health Adult Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

I like the Iams ProActive Health Hairball Care because it has chicken as its most plentiful ingredient. It’s a high-quality source of protein.

However, it also has a chicken by-product meal. By-products are often of inferior quality, so I’m not happy about its inclusion as one of the top ingredients.

Moreover, corn gluten meal, corn grits, and ground whole grain corn are fillers that don’t offer nutritive value to my cat. The recipe also has corn, seafood, and eggs, so cats that are allergic to these foods may have problems eating this dry feline food from Iams.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • Adult formula

Pros

  • Less hairball and vomiting
  • Less upset stomach
  • Balanced and complete nutrition with a formula to reduce hairballs
  • A unique blend of fiber plus beet pulp to control hairballs
  • Enhanced recipe with brewers yeast, Vitamin B, and fish oils for healthy skin and coat
  • Unsaturated fatty acids for joint health, cognitive function

Cons

  • Not liked by some cats
  • Contains allergens
  • High carbohydrates content causes overweight problems

If you wish to add more fiber in your pet’s diet because of excessive hairballs, you may want to try Iams ProActive Health Hairball Care for adult cats.

However, you have to know that it has less protein and more carbohydrates content than the other recipes. This formula is a specialty diet that your veterinarian may authorize to reduce the occurrences of hairballs.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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7. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

I tried to feed Blue Buffalo Hairball Control in chicken and brown rice to my lovely feline. My veterinarian recommended it, but I noticed that it has brown rice.

This ingredient doesn’t have value to a cat’s diet because it’s a bulk-adding filler to maintain the kibble shape. Moreover, it has dried egg and menhaden fish meal that can pose problems for cats with eggs or seafood allergy.

Fortunately, my little buddy doesn’t have a food allergy, so we’re amenable to this diet from Blue Buffalo.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • Adult formula
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • Less vomiting
  • Has real deboned chicken as a high-quality protein source
  • Includes garden vegetables, wholesome grains, and fruit
  • Exclusive formula for the reduction of hairballs
  • Consists of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Made with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for better immune health
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons

  • Not liked by many cats
  • Small-sized kibbles that cats have trouble chewing

You may want to try Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe for hairball control of adult indoor cats. However, it has significant amounts of carbohydrates, but less protein and fat than the other brands.

It also has an average quantity of fiber, but your veterinarian may have recommended this food to control excessive hairballs. Many pet lovers claim that their felines have significantly reduced hairballs when they feed them this recipe.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Indoor Hairball Control Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness for Hairball Control of indoor cats is a favorite of my little feline buddy. It has real deboned chicken, and menhaden fish and chicken meals as primary protein sources. However, I notice that it has tapioca starch in the top ingredients.

This type of carbohydrate, together with potato starch, is a bulk-adding filler that doesn’t provide any nutritive value to my cat’s diet. Moreover, dried egg and menhaden fish meals can be problematic for pets with food allergies.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • For adult cats
  • Grain-free formula
  • No poultry by-product meals

Pros

  • With lean chicken for strong muscles
  • Natural fiber blend to prevent hairballs and promote healthy digestion
  • Less stinky poop
  • Balanced calories from fats and protein for the maintenance of ideal weight
  • Exclusive blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals for a better immune system
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

Cons

  • Strong odor
  • Not all cats like it
  • Expensive

If you want to control the hairballs of your favorite pet, you may want to try the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken Recipe.

It has an average amount of fiber and protein, less fat, and more carbohydrates than average. Your veterinarian may recommend this special diet for the control of hairballs. It’s AAFCO-approved and has 381 calories per 100 grams.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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9. Royal Canin Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

I like that Royal Canin Hairball Care has chicken meal as its source of high-quality protein. However, it has corn, rice hulls, brewers rice, and corn gluten meal as bulk-adding fillers that my fur baby doesn’t need.

I realize that these ingredients maintain the shape of kibbles. It also has wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, corn, and fish oil that may cause problems with cats suffering from food allergies.

But overall, what it has going for it is its exclusive formulation for natural reduction of hairball in adult felines, including neutered cats.

Specs

  • Dry food
  • For adult cats
  • Indoor formula

Pros

  • Less vomiting
  • Firmer stools
  • High-quality chicken meal
  • Balanced and complete nutrition
  • A unique blend of dietary and insoluble fibers to stimulate intestinal transit
  • Specific fiber blend rich in mucilage to encourage the elimination of ingested hair to avoid build-up

Cons

  • Strange smell
  • Not liked by some cats

You may want to try Royal Canin Hairball Care to control the hairballs of your fur babies. It has significantly more fiber than the other brands. However, it has less protein and fat and more carbohydrates.

If hairball prevention is your utmost concern, you may try this AAFCO-approved diet. Moreover, it has 358 calories for every 100 grams of kibbles.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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Buying Guide For Hairball Control Cat Food

Cat food with high fiber content can help control hairballs, but you have to consider some factors before buying one. I wrote this guide to help you, but let’s discuss the basics first.

Causes Of Cat Hairballs

Hairballs are prevalent in Ragdoll or Persian breeds because they have long hairs. When they groom themselves, they ingest some of the furs and accumulate them in their stomachs. They throw up or vomit the hairballs because their digestive system no longer works efficiently.

Kittens don’t have them, but adult felines develop hairballs because they groom themselves. Generally, they pass through the ingested fur through their digestive system. However, if they don’t, they form a ball of hair in their stomachs that they vomit out later.

Symptoms Of Hairballs

You won’t like watching your favorite pet eliminate a hairball because it’s not a pleasant experience. When you notice the following symptoms, your fur baby will vomit it shortly.

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Nonstop retching, hacking, and gaggling
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
You have to contact your veterinarian when you notice the above symptoms because they can be dangerous to your pet’s life. Generally, feeding your feline with a diet high in fibers can help it pass the hairballs easily through their digestive system.

Factors To Consider In Buying Feline Food For Hairball Control

Choosing the appropriate nutrition for your pet is essential for its overall health. It’s your responsibility to pick cat food with the necessary ingredients to help control hairballs.

Aside from searching for a high-protein diet, you also have to ensure that it has an excellent fiber blend.

Fiber

Fiber is an effective and straightforward way to prevent the accumulation of furs in your cat’s stomach. Some feline food manufacturers add it to their recipe. You may transition to any of these foods to prevent hairballs.

Omega Fatty Acids

An excellent formula to prevent hairball must include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These nutrients promote healthy skin and coat.

Protein

Cats are meat-eating animals, so you have to provide high-quality protein in their diet. Even if you choose cat food for hairball control, you have to ensure that high fiber content doesn’t replace protein.

Suitable hairball nourishment offers balanced nutrition while providing natural fiber. Moreover, you have to select a diet low in carbohydrates.

Grain Vs. Grain-Free

The grain isn’t always bad for felines, and not all cats need grain-free nutrition. You have to check with your veterinarian to find out if your pet needs a grain-free diet.

However, if you have kittens, you have to feed them food sans the grains because their digestive system can’t process them yet.

Antioxidant

Fiber-rich grains, fresh vegetables, and fruits also help your fur babies quickly digest their food. These foods are rich in antioxidants that improve their overall health. They can also decrease hair loss and minimize the ingestion of fur as your pets lick their skin.

Artificial Preservatives And Flavors

Outstanding cat food doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives. Ethoxyquin, a synthetic chemical, is carcinogenic. Natural preservatives like citric acid, Vitamin C, and rosemary offer health benefits.

Propyl gallate can cause liver and kidney issues, and it’s a potential carcinogen as well. Manufacturers, on the other hand, rarely use artificial flavors and colors.

Taste

Your chosen cat food must be delectable for your pets to eat it. Chicken, turkey, and fish flavors are a big hit for them. You may try them in wet and dry recipes.

Wet cat food may be in minced, sliced, pate, or shredded form. You may also opt to add pumpkin or meat with dry food.

Package Size

If you have a fussy pet, you may discover that it’s not eating leftover food. You have to choose the right bag or can size for its diet to keep it fresh. You may opt to buy the small or medium-sized packs to ensure that kibbles remain fresh. Food for hairball control is costly, so you may prefer to buy little bags.

Price

Instead of comparing the exact amount, you have to compute the price per pound. Hairball control foods are pricier than the regular cat nourishment you find online and in stores.

You have to search for the product that not only solves the hairball issue but also fits your budget as well.

Customer Reviews

You have to check customer reviews to know the feedback on taste, harmful effects, and overall positive experience. Generally, your feline buddies have the same interests as the others, so it’s possible that they like what other cats eat.

You can read comments from pet parents if their fur babies like the recipe or not, but you may try it to your pet before scratching it off from your list.

You also have to note if many cats encounter any ill effects from eating the food. You have to check for comments about their pets having diarrhea or vomits after eating the new recipe.

If a majority of remarks say that their felines got sick after consuming the food, you may begin to worry. Lastly, you need to check for an overall positive experience. You may start considering cat food that has at least a 4.3 rating.

Things To Avoid In Choosing Hairball Food

If you’re buying cat food, you have to ensure that the recipe doesn’t include artificial preservatives, flavoring, and color. These ingredients are unhealthy options for your pets.

Moreover, you have to stay away from foods with Ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT additives because they may cause diseases. You must also avoid food without any real meat content but full of by-product meat.

You have to check excessive carbohydrates or grains content because they’re also not healthy food alternatives.

Preventing Hairball In Cats

Popular cat food brands have several hairball formulas, but let’s discuss some factors that can control, if not prevent, hairballs in cats.

Brush Your Cat’s Hair

Self-grooming is a natural behavior among cats, and they do it by licking their coats daily. However, because of this process, they ingest a lot of their furs that can form into hairballs.

You may schedule a brushing session, so your cats don’t swallow the excess hair. Cat food rich in omega fatty acids can also reduce the hair volume that felines shed.

High-Quality Food

You can also avoid hairballs in your pets by feeding them high-quality food. It has ingredients that promote overall health. Felines are meat-eating animals, so they find it troublesome to digest foods that are rich in carbohydrates.

Moreover, they need dietary fiber to control hairballs, so you have to ensure that your chosen cat food has enough nutrients.

Ample Hydration

Cats, like humans, need enough water, especially if you’re feeding them kibbles. You may put a small water fountain for them to improve their drinking habit.

Final Thoughts

Hairballs are a prevalent issue in cat breeds with long hairs. They ingest some of the hairs when they self groom and these furs accumulate in their stomachs. Our feline friends vomit or throw up these hairballs eventually.

You shouldn’t take the issue for granted because it can lead to serious health issues later. You can help your pets manage hairballs by giving them cat food that can help solve the problem.

I reviewed nine products, but I am recommending Iams ProActive Health Weight and Hairball Care. It is not only the bestselling cat food for this issue, but it is also efficient in managing it.

It has more natural fibers than average, and it is AAFCO-approved. If your concern is weight control too, this feline nourishment also fits the bill.

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