5 Best Cat Food to Prevent Hairballs in 2023

Last Updated on:

January 26, 2023

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Our cats are members of our family and it is very difficult for us to see that our cat is not happy, is in pain or has some other problem. One of cat's regular problems is hairballs. Most owners more or less regularly witness this painful scene of gagging and coughing that ends in vomiting. 

Why do certain cats do this frequently, what causes it, and, most importantly, how can you, as responsible owners, help them? This post is going compare and suggest the best cat food to prevent hairballs in this year. 

Apart from napping, cats spend a significant amount of time grooming and cleaning, i.e. licking their fur. Along the way, they consume small amounts of hair into their digestive organs. As the hair cannot be digested in the stomach and intestines of the cat, they are thrown out of the body in ideal conditions through feces. 

"Long-haired cats suffer more often from problems with swallowed hair" - This is one of the wrong beliefs.

According to new studies, short and pointed hair is just as harmful, if not more dangerous, because it gets trapped in the "walls" of the digestive organs and so starts the creation of hairballs.

Food and movement are the two things that have the most indirect impact on the production of swallowed hairballs.

A diet high in plant fibers aids in the transit of food through the digestive tract, facilitating the ejection of hair that the cat has eaten. Home cats' lack of physical exercise causes them to groom themselves more during the day, unintentionally ingesting their fur in the process. Indoor cats shed more (almost all year), which contributes to the amount of hair consumed.

As food plays one of the major roles in the creation of hairballs, we will now talk about it. 

Keep reading, we are going to reveal the food that will make your cat's life easier!

5 Best Cat Food to Prevent Hairballs

hair ball problem in cats

Hairballs are unavoidable, and as a pet parent, you must not only watch your cat's activity, but also give her with food that will help her in this process. Contact your veterinarian right away if you detect any signs such as loss of appetite, lack of activity, or the sight of blood when coughing. 

Choose fiber-rich foods to stimulate natural shedding of swallowed hair and to avoid swallowed hair stagnation and gathering in the stomach or intestines.

If you are looking for quality dry and wet food for cats, and even some tips for preventing hairballs, below are the 5 Best Cat Food to Prevent Hairballs: 

  • Royal Canin Feline Hairball Care Cat Food (Best Dry food)
  • Hill's Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control Chicken Adult Cat Wet Food (Best Wet food)
  • Hill's Science Plan Mature Adult Hairball & Indoor chicken (Best For Adult Cats)
  • Purina ONE Hairball Adult Formula Dry Cat Food (Best Price)
  • Tomlyn Laxatone Chicken Flavored Soft Chews Hairball Control Supplement for Cats (Best Treat)

  • Now I am going to explain why each of the above cat food is the best choice for your feline friend!

    royal canin food pouch for cat food for shedding

    Royal Canin exists since 1968. The passion for improving the health of our pets began with Jean Cathary. Ever since then, they have been trying to make the world a better place for our little furry friends.

    From the very beginning, they study the unique health needs of pets down to the smallest detail. During that time, they learned that even the smallest difference in nutrition can mean a huge difference in the health and life of your little furry friends. 

    Each formula is individually designed to provide the right levels of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and probiotics that are key to your pet's unique health needs. 

    In 1985, Royal Canin was marketed in the USA through four importers. Even in 1994, Royal Canin created a new RCFI line - a triple revolution in cat food.

    The first food intended for a specific breed, in 1999, were granules in the shape of almonds, which were specially designed strictly for the jaw structure and eating habits of Persian cats. While the nutritional composition was adapted to their specific health needs.

    Now you can only imagine, if they achieved this in the last century, what their products are like now! 

    Why choose Royal Canin cat food?

    Our recommendation is Royal Canin Feline Hairball Care Cat Food, which acts preventively against problems that cats have with hairballs.

    Royal Canin Feline Hairball Care Cat Food contains a specific blend of dietary fiber, including psyllium (rich in mucilage), and insoluble fiber to help naturally stimulate the healthy passage of food through the gut. Therefore, the hair that is swallowed every day can be removed through the intestines instead of accumulating in the stomach and being regurgitated.

    It contains a precise combination of high protein and high fat nutrients to ensure effective maintenance of healthy nutrient levels.

    Researchers have proven that using Royal Canin Feline Hairball Care removes twice as much excess hair from the cat's body after just 14 days of feeding.

    It also contains a large proportion of Iron, Manganese and Zinc, which improve the entire immune system of your cat.

    In the following illustration, I have shared a feeding table on how to feed your cat properly. 

    Ideal Weight:

    Weight of Cat

    Feed Weight

    3 kg

    45 gm

    4 kg

    55 gm

    5 kg

    65 gm

    6 kg

    74 gm

    Over Weight:

    Weight of Cat

    Feed Weight

    3 kg

    36 gm

    4 kg

    44 gm

    5 kg

    52 gm

    6 kg

    59 gm

    According to the feeding instructions above, your cat will get the necessary daily amount of energy, which prevent problems with hairballs.


    • Quick results
    • The formula includes antioxidants, fibers, vitamins, minerals and probiotics
    • All Breed Sizes
    • Helps manage hairballs
    • Taste and smell is very good


    • Slightly higher price
    • Species-Appropriateness
    • Low moisture content


    Overall, Royal Canin Feline Hairball Care, apart from helping to prevent problems with hairballs, is very tasty and smells good, which is very important because we all know that sometimes there are some picky cats who are demanding when it comes to any food, especially who need help with a problem, and that problem is currently hairballs.

    So, your furry friends will enjoy every meal they eat during the day, and you will be satisfied with the fact that you see them so happy.

    hills science urinary hair balls

    Shouldn't your cat's food be delicious as well as healthy? That's why Hill's food is made from only high-quality ingredients, including chicken, lamb and salmon.

    The food produced by Hill's Science has been based on science research since 1939.

    More than 220 veterinarians, scientists, technicians and registered nutritionists at Hill's develop all Hill's products to meet all needs of your pets. They stated that knowledge is their main ingredient!

    If Hill's Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control Chicken food is fed daily, proper nutrition brings small changes that cumulatively produce incredible results.

    Today, Hill's pet food is available in 86 countries around the world. At Hill's Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas, veterinarians and other nutrition and internal medicine specialists work with pets to develop quality and delicious food.

    At Hill's Science, they only accept ingredients from suppliers whose facilities meet strict quality standards and are approved by Hill's. All ingredients are screened for safety, and they also analyze the ingredient profile of each product to ensure essential nutrients and a precise formula for pets.

    They conduct annual quality system tests in all production facilities to ensure the high standards your pet deserves.

    They require compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices - cGMP and Hill's high quality standards so that your pet food is produced in clean and sanitary conditions.

    Why choose Hill's Science cat food?

    Hill's Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control Chicken Food provides a balanced and nutritious diet for your feline buddies.

    This food contains perfectly balanced nourishment to enhance the overall health of the urinary system while also assisting in the prevention of hairballs.

    Made with a delicious high quality natural chicken recipe that our feline buddies will like! Contains high-quality fiber that helps minimize hairball development and protein that helps your cat retain lean muscle.

    Because it has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, it is healthy for your cats. This easily digested feed provides the nourishment your cat requires for long-term health and happiness.

    Hill's Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control food, as previously said, in addition to helping to eliminate hairballs, also helps your cat by giving it extra energy throughout the day. 

    Feeding instructions: Feed the recommended daily amount according to the size of your pet. Adjust the amount of food to maintain an ideal body weight. Are you feeding your cat with this food for the first time? Make a gradual transition to this food over 7 days by mixing an increasing amount of the new food into the food you have been using. Fresh water must always be available.


    • Contains Vitamin E, Omega-3s & -6s
    • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
    • Eliminate hairballs


    • Recommended only 1 - 6 years cats
    • Not recommended for pregnant cats or kittens
    • Price are a little bit higher


    Hill's Science has one of the best and highest quality cat foods. Also, as we have already said, they have been on the market for a very long time and are still one of the top manufacturers. Warm recommendations for your furry friends.

    Cats, like us humans, have some problems that are beyond their power to solve, so we as responsible owners must take care of these problems. Hairballs are not a problem if we take proper care of them, and Hill's Science has made it easier for us to take care of that problem with its unique formula, even with the taste of chicken! Cats won't be able to resist!

    hills science chicken indoor

    As we have already told you above who the Hills Science company is and since they've existed for so long time, we have to present to you one more of their food for your furry pets.

    You've probably noticed by now that I've already listed other cat foods that contain chicken. Since cats love chicken (I'm telling you from personal experience), now I'll tell you a few more things why chicken is good for your pets.

    Food with a lot of chicken provides basic nutrients that guarantee their good health throughout their adult life, and with this food, Hill's has developed a special formula that has a preventive effect on the problem that our cats have with hairballs.

    Hill's Science cat food contains premium probiotic cultures that ensure healthy digestion, as well as vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune system.

    Why choose this particular food for your furry friends?

    First of all, I must tell you that Hill's Science Plan Mature Adult Hairball & Indoor chicken cat food is a balanced food for cats older than 7 years. That's the first thing you need to know, which is very important.

    Exclusive fiber technology supports hair shedding and reduces hair build-up, less fat and calories. Hill's uses only selected ingredients.

    Throwing up hairballs is not unusual for cats, but it is not pleasant for the cat or for your home. In older cats, it is especially important to avoid unnecessary loads, to prevent hairballs.

    Hill's Science Plan Mature Adult Hairball & Indoor chicken cat food supports intestinal function with special fiber technology and thus promotes the flow of ingested hair.

    Adapted energy values, quality proteins and low caloric values are adapted to the reduced needs of older cats. This makes weight control easier.


    • Quality proteins and low caloric values
    • Very good for older cats
    • Balanced food
    • Prevents hairballs


    • Limited flavor options
    • Price is higher


    So, when we combine the quality of the food we give our pet and the taste of chicken itself, even older, more picky cats will not be able to resist. We guarantee that. Older cats have somewhat slower intestinal transit and are more prone to constipation. This leads to faster accumulation of hair and thus hairballs are created. By buying them certain foods that they will use regularly, you alleviate their standard hairball problems. Let me remind you that it does not contain artificial flavors, colors, soy or genetically modified organisms, which is again very important.

    Purina on cat food for shedding

    Purina ONE cat food is one of the oldest companies, founded in 1904. Think how many formulas have been improved in so many years.

    Purina ONE recipes are not only delicious, they are rich in healthy combinations of meat, fish, vitamins and minerals that provide a complete and balanced meal.

    We are aware that every pet is different and that everyone has different tastes. There is not a single cat in the world that is exactly the same, and just as they all have their own unique personalities, they also have unique nutritional needs that they require.

    This is exactly why this company has designed a wide range of pet food that includes products that will satisfy every single pet: from kittens to older cats, from pets that live in the house to pets that are always outside, pets that are domesticated and our little friends who are tormenting allergies or have special dietary needs.

    Thanks to more than 85 years of experience behind Purina ONE and a team of veterinarians, nutritionists, food scientists and animal behaviorists, they are experts in the nutritional needs of pets, and are dedicated to creating recipes that are good for health, well-being and longevity, as well as the palate our friends.

    The ingredients they carefully choose are one of the most important parts of their work. To create delicious and nutritious recipes, they use raw materials of animal origin (such as chicken, beef, lamb and fish), vegetables, grains and vitamins. The food that pets eat has a great effect on their growth, development and overall health.

    Why choose Purina ONE cat food?

    Through the combined power of nature and research made possible by Purina ONE, you will see phenomenal results in your furry friends.

    This cat-friendly formula features a SmartBlend of premium ingredients that go to act in your cat along with a delicious flavor that cats adore. Guided by nature, the 38 protein grams per cup in the hairball prevention cat food helps to sustain her muscle strength, and her healthy heart.

    In this hairball cat food, a natural fiber-rich combination helps reduce and regulate hairballs, and 4 antioxidant elements maintain her healthy immune system. The result is a natural cat food mix with extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that provides your adult cat with 100% complete and balanced nutrition.

    Each nutrient has a specific function, and there are no fillers and just 100% nutrients.

    You may feel comfortable filling her dish with our high fiber cat food since it provides balanced nutrition and is made as a part of a brand that is approved by veterinarians.

     Check out the effects that Purina ONE's +Plus Hairball Formula may produce.


    • Budget-friendly
    • Approved by veterinarians
    • Use raw materials of animal origin


    • Include ingredients like rice and wheat flour, corn gluten meal


    All in all, including the quality of Purina ONE Hairball Adult Formula Dry Cat Food, we have to take into account their price, which is much more acceptable than the previous ones and works just as well. The reason it has a lower price is because some of the ingredients used are simply cheaper on the market. They got both quality and quantity. So, with this food you give your furry friend an advantage in terms of hairball prevention, everything he needs to maintain a healthy immune system and complete general health.

    Fulfill your kitty's dream.

    Tomlyn Laxation chicken supplement for hairballs

    How did we get these perfect treats for our dearest furry friends?

    Tom, an entrepreneurial veterinarian and his wife Lyn decided to create a nutritional supplement, also with nutritional supplements they created both shampoos and dermatological treatments. They wanted to create something that would surpass everything on the market at the time. Thus Tomlyn was made in 1976.

    Tomlyn products are made in the United States and Canada which ensures the additional quality of their products.

    When it comes to Tomlyn treats, expect only the best of the best, because they will influence your cat's regular diet, which is very important for your feline companion.

    Also, we must say that Tomlyn formulas are approved by veterinarians and that their products have been tested in more than 30 countries.

    You can buy Tomlyn products in the nearby pet shop, and you can also order them online.

    Why choose Tomlyn cat treats?

    These chews are a gentle lubricant for your cat's digestive tract, designed to help your cat eliminate hair and hairballs.

    The active ingredients in Tomlyn treats are:

    • Mineral Oil
    • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Canola Oil)
    • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Canola Oil)
    • Soy Lecithin
    • Aloe Vera Gel

    Also, cats will sometimes take treats from our hands rather than food from their bowls, this plays a key role in prevention against hairballs.

    Tomlyn Chews contain Laxatone which manages coat defects and constipation in cats.

    Tomlyn treats for cats also stimulate digestion and prevent the accumulation of ingested hairballs. Also, they have a positive effect because they maintain a healthy complete intestinal flora of our pets.

    They have a positive effect on the maintenance of the cat's fur as well as fur looks better. Essential fatty acids, vitamins and elements also ensure the health of the skin.

    Let's also mention that one package will last for 60 days. It's a bit more expensive than the others that you can find on the market, but it turned out to be one of the best, the only challenge that it's hard to find in pet stores.

    It is very important to mention that both adult and older cats can use it and it works equally well on both age groups.


    • Good taste and smell
    • Maintain a healthy intestinal flora of our pets


    • Includes controversial ingredients
    • Little bit higher price
    • Hard to find in pet shops


    All in all, you can give your cat Tomlyn treats even with regular food, helping their stomach to more easily break down the hair they ingest during the day. For a cat of normal weight, it is recommended to give only one chew per day. 

    P.S. Treats for cats are the ideal way to show your cat love and keep them healthy at the same time, without hairballs.

    All About Cat Hairballs You Would Like To Know

    Quality Food Against Hairballs

    When maintaining hygiene, due to the rough structure of the cat's tongue, the hairs "grab" on the tongue and end up in the stomach or small intestine, forming balls with gastric mucus.

    When we talk about functional complete ready-made food for adult cats, we should definitely emphasize the importance of two formulas that are extremely important:

    1. a formula for removing hairballs and
    2. a formula for the health of the urinary tract, i.e. the urinary system.

    What Is Bezoars?

    The solid mass that is formed in the stomach by the accumulation of constantly repeated swallowed material is called bezoars, and they can consist of different substances. Trichobezoars are a solid mass consisting of hair, and are also known as hairballs or furballs.

    Phytobezoars are a solid mass consisting of plant fibers. Bezoars appear in cats, rabbits, humans, rats... and it is interesting thing is that they do not occur in dogs.

    What Causes Hairballs To Appear?

    cat food to prevent hairballs

    Many owners or future owners of cats will ask the question: "Why do hairballs appear?" Licking the hair, that is, daily hygiene that is very important to cats, is one of the necessary activities that helps them keep their fur in good condition.

    However, due to the rough structure of their tongue, some hairs get caught on the tongue, cats swallow them and thus end up in the stomach or small intestine, forming balls with the stomach mucus.

    Some other factors contribute to this phenomenon, such as allergies to fleas or skin problems when cats lick or bite more intensively, then poor intestinal motility, lack of dietary fiber in the diet, stress, boredom, etc.

    Coughing and Vomiting

    The cat then naturally tries to expel the hair by coughing or vomiting, or want to eat grass until the hairballs leave the stomach. It is a natural behavior, however, it can be quite distressing for both the owner and the pet.

    Hairballs are a problem that occurs in about 40 percent of cats. In rare cases, hairs can accumulate in the intestines and cause clogging or obstruction, when veterinary intervention and surgical removal is necessary.

    Long-haired cats are expected to have more frequent occurrence of hairballs, however, studies show that all cats can suffer from this problem.

    How to prevent hair of accumulation?

    Food format, feeding frequency or hygiene behavior can also be contributing factors to these problems.

    There are several methods that are thought to help prevent hairballs from building up:

    • Regular brushing of the fur is very important. Gentle brushing massages the skin, improves circulation, helps remove dead hair and gives the owner the opportunity to check for any irregularities in the skin and hair.
    • Supporting the health of the skin and fur through adequate nutrition and formulas for the health of the skin and fur are extremely important, because in this way the number of fallen and thus swallowed hairs is reduced. Essential fatty acids, especially linoleic, linoleic and arachidonic acids, as well as zinc and vitamins are useful for this purpose.
    • It is also important to stimulate intestinal peristalsis by regulating feeding. It is important to stimulate nibbling behavior in cats, that is, pets should eat a large number of small meals during the day and night.
    • Modifying the diet can also affect the functioning of the stomach to facilitate the passage of hair through the digestive system. The addition of certain dietary fibers such as cellulose has been proven to help with intestinal motility and the gentle movement of hair through the intestinal system. Dietary fibers such as sugar beet pulp, which are a combination of fermentable and non-fermentable fibers, support a healthy environment in the colon. These fibers help the passage of contents through the intestines and the absorption of nutrients, which results in a good quality of excrement.
    • Synthetic preparations such as lubricants such as paraffin wax are also thought to aid hair passage. However, their use must be carefully considered, considering that excessive dosage can lead to diarrhea or reduced absorption of some important nutrients.

    Buy Quality Food

    If you want to feed your kitty a quality complete ready-made food for adult cats and to prevent the appearance of hairballs in her digestive tract, use a functional dry ready-made cat food that contains a formula to expel bezoars. This food is based on a special mixture of plant fibers that help prevent the accumulation of hair in the cat's stomach.

    I advise you to look at our resources and decide what food your favorite furry friend needs. We are always here to help you if you are indecisive, so we have made several offers so that you can decide more easily.

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