Indoor cats that are exposed to artificial lights tend to shed year-round, making hairballs a perennial issue. This feline issue is best addressed from a nutritional standpoint as well as from a grooming one.
The Wellness Natural Hairball Control recipe is made with a precise blend of fiber to control hairballs.
“It helps move hair and already-formed hairballs through the cats’ digestive track,” explained Chanda Leary-Coutu, senior manager, marketing communications for Wellness Natural Pet Food. “The natural recipe includes wholesome, savory protein sources cats love like deboned chicken and turkey and also includes vitamins and minerals to support skin and coat health, resulting in fewer stray hairs being ingested.”
“Similarly, our new grain-free Wellness TruFood CocoChia Bakes are treats with salmon, coconut oil that contain a healthy dose of coconut oil and chia seeds, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics,” she said. “These tasty treats are great for a cat’s skin and coat while helping promote digestive health and keeping cats hairball free.”
Evanger’s Holistic Pheasant Dinner or Organics Turkey & Butternut Squash Dinner are recommended for cats prone to hairballs. Both of these USA-made meals contain optimal levels of fiber and nutrition to help pets reduce the formation of hairballs.
“Premium, highly digestible ingredients can improve coat strength and reduce shedding, as well as add quality fiber to aid in the digestion of hair through the intestinal tract,” said Holly Sher, president and owner of the Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company.
Solid Gold also promotes a diet that addresses overall good health, which ultimately promotes a healthy digestive system to cope with a hairball issue.
“We believe that holistic pet health is the key to ongoing hairball management,” said Leasa Greer, nutrition and regulatory affairs manager at Solid Gold Pet. “This means promoting digestive health, supporting the immune system and ensuring skin and coat vitality.”
“If a cat is in a state of overall good health, its digestive system is built to manage the hard-to-digest material in a hairball by moving it through the digestive system quickly,” she explained. “However, if the digestive system is not functioning normally, or, the cat is digesting a large amount of hair during grooming or due to poor skin health, the hair can build up in the intestinal tract, causing upset stomach and vomiting.”
Increasing the fiber content of a cat’s diet can help promote a healthy digestive tract, enabling hairballs to move efficiently through the digestive system. Solid Gold’s Fit as a Fiddle dry cat food contains increased levels of fiber content to support healthy digestion.
“If the digestive system needs additional support, canned pumpkin can be added to our kibble to increase the fiber content of a cat’s diet,” she said. “1-2 tbsp per day mixed with a normal diet will encourage digestive tract health.”
Royal Canin has a specific formula to address a hairball issue called Indoor Intense Hairball formula.
“It’s our top formula for cats who have hairball issues,” said Brent Mayabb, vice president of corporate affairs for Royal Canin. “Our Persian formula is also formulated to help reduce hairballs since the very unique coat (and the hairballs associated with it) is one of the hallmark characteristics of the breed. So this breed-specific Persian formula is designed with hairball reduction in mind. However, all our feline formulas help address hairballs, even if we don’t list it as a specific feature on the packaging.”
The Honest Kitchen, known for their dehydrated food formulas, has two products especially for cats, namely, Grace and Prowl.
“Our feline foods contain natural sources of essential fatty acids and soluble fiber as a result of the whole food ingredients in the recipes, so they support total health, which in turn helps to reduce hair balls,” said Lucy Postins, founder and CEO of the San Diego-based company.
Postins confirmed that her company is working on new cat products to debut in 2017.
Grooming tools such as slicker brushes and combs are basics in the feline grooming tool box along with deshedding tools, including the Furminator range, which can drastically help reduce loose hair from being ingested.
There are other grooming accessories that can help too such as the Catit Design Senses Massage Center which is a self-grooming rubber massage unit that appeals to a cat’s sense of touch by offering a variety of textures that provide a luxurious pampering experience. This is part of the Catit interactive cat products from Rolf C. Hagen Inc. now available in pet specialty stores for the first time. This accessory is designed to help remove loose hair and thus prevent cats from ingesting excess fur when actually grooming themselves. The ripple massager provides intense rubbing pleasure to head, neck and face and the body stroke groomers on the product offer easy-access and an intense massage, removing loose hair in the process. It comes with a sachet of catnip to attract feline attention to the unit. All the Catit accessories come in specially designed boxes that can be saved and utilized at fun hideouts for cats around the home. They have places for owners to cat holes in them and if placed together create a fun cardboard play station.