When your cat is coughing up nasty hairballs, it’s probably far less pleasant for your cat than it is for you. Part of the problem could be what you feed your cat or what it is able to eat on its own, and you need to carefully consider your cat’s diet as you try to treat its hairball problem.
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Causes and Risks
Hairballs are not necessarily a normal part of your cat’s life. There is growing skepticism over thinking of hairballs as normal. It could be that your cat is unhealthy and is having to deal with hairballs as a result, and you need to be aware of the symptoms and causes behind hairballs.
So why does your cat have hairballs? According to pet experts, it’s potentially due to inflammatory bowel disease. Your cat may also be on the wrong kind of diet, which could cause various health problems that lead to hairballs.
The diet itself may not be what is directly causing your cat to cough up hairballs, but there could be health complications caused by poor dietary habits, which can result in suffering from hairballs.
Regular vomiting is not normal for any cat, no matter its age. If your cat is vomiting hairballs or anything else often, then you need to take it to the veterinarian and find out what is wrong.
The risks of suffering from hairballs tend to be related to whatever is causing the hairballs to begin with. It’s unpleasant for your cat to be coughing these clumps of hair up, but what is usually worse is the health problem that led to it in the first place.
Your cat likely has some digestive issues that need to be sorted out, and leaving them unattended can cause severe ulcers, gut rot, indigestion, nausea (thus the vomiting) constipation and more. Large hairballs could cause intestinal obstruction, and this problem needs to be dealt with right away.
What to Consider Before You Buy Cat Food for Reducing Hairballs
Be careful about buying just any cat food for your cat when it is suffering from hairballs. Some things you should take into consideration:
- Plenty of Fiber- Does the food you feed your cat have ample fiber? If not, then you need to reconsider what you are feeding it. Your cat needs plenty of fiber to be able to process food fully and quickly. Hairballs are often the result of cats not digesting food and processing it as quickly as they should be. Fiber helps to improve that.
- Balanced Diet- Your cat has certain nutritional needs, and those vary by age, health and cat breed. You can check with your veterinarian about what kinds of foods you need to feed your cat and what diet will work best for it. If you feed your cat a healthy diet, it is far less likely to have common health problems like hairballs.
- Energy Sources- Cats get most of their energy from fat and carbohydrates and they need enough of those in their diet to keep them active. An active cat is one that is less likely to suffer from bowel obstructions or other digestive problems that lead to hairballs.
- Health Issues- If your cat is suffering from any health problems or is taking medication, then you may want to consult your veterinarian before you change your cat’s diet. Find out what your cat needs and how changes in its eating habits will affect its health.
What to Avoid
Some types of cat food and some specific ingredients are not very good for cats with hairballs, these are:
- Grains- Veterinarians agree that grain free foods are better for cats that vomit often. Cats are not able to handle grains very well, and grains are often used as fillers rather than something that provides nutritional value for your cat.
- Excess Fat- Your cat needs some fat, but too much will make it bloated and unable or unwilling to move around much. If your cat does not get enough exercise, it can suffer from digestive problems that can lead to hairball formation.
- Dairy- Hairballs are often caused by allergies, as is vomiting. Dairy is one the most common allergens that cats consume. Your cat might very well love to consume dairy products, but that does not mean it is safe for it. If you cut down or even completely cut out the dairy your cat, it can make a big difference.
- Vegetables- Your cat may have trouble processing veggies and other foods it is not meant to eat. That can lead to digestive problems, so make sure the veggie content in its food is down to a minimum.
We have shown you what to look out for and what to consider before you buy food for your cat that suffers from hairballs. Now, let’s get into some specific cat foods that we recommend.
Now that you have seen our top picks for cat food to buy for your feline suffering from hairballs, you should be able to make an informed decision as to what you should buy.
Remember the guidelines we listed regarding what to avoid and what to take into consideration. Also, remember that high fiber content is key in treating hairballs.
You should make sure that your cat is getting enough fiber for its digestive system to function properly. Even though high fiber content is usually found in dry food, make sure you don’t just feed your cat only dry food, since that to can cause certain nutritional deficiencies.
As long as you mix dry food together with wet food, your kitty will most probably get everything it needs out of its food.