How Effective Is Hairball Cat Food?

There are many types of hairball cat food on the market. This food is designed specifically to rid hairballs by promoting function of the digestive system. Normally, a cat licks his fur as a natural way of grooming itself. The dead hair passes through the digestive system and comes out in the litter box. Occasionally, when a buildup of hair gets stuck in the cats stomach, it may become impossible to pass. At this point, your cat may vomit to rid itself of the hairball, or it may become lodged in the intestines and grow, leading to other more severe problems. If your cat is experiencing hairballs, it is very important to seek a solution.

How Hairball Cat Food Works

Most of the hairball cat foods on the market are designed to assist the cat in passing the hairball in a normal fashion. Increased fiber, fish oils, and omega-6 and omega-3 acids are used to unblock the digestive system and help hair pass gently through. Usually hairball cat food will offer up to 8% fiber, and additional vitamins and minerals may also be added.

Health Risks Associated with Hairball Cat Food

As always, it is necessary to carefully study the labels of hairball cat food before making your choice. Foods containing meat by-products or large amounts of grain are unhealthy choices for any pet. The introduction of fiber into any diet is considered to be healthy, but keep in mind that a cat's digestive system is uniquely different from that of other species. Fiber sources vary in fermentability, and studies have shown that fiber from poorly fermentable sources, like cellulose, is also unhealthy. Fiber should come from a source which is at least moderately fermentable, like beet pulp. Further, too high an increase in fiber may cause irritation to the GI tract. Increased fiber, over the long term, may draw fluid into the intestines raising urine concentration, which creates the potential for cystitis.

Best Recommendation for Using Hairball Cat Food

Hairball cat food containing the necessary amounts of fiber and essential amino acids is highly effective in easing the digestive system to release hairballs. It is recommended to temporarily introduce an effective, healthy and balanced hairball cat food to the diet. Since switching to a high fiber cat food indefinitely may introduce risks to the health of your cat, it will be important to monitor the improvements of your cat's hairball experience. Once the matter has cleared up, returning to a diet of organic and natural products, specifically suited for your cat, would be beneficial.

Overall health promoted by quality and/or organic cat foods will sustain energy levels, necessary proteins and fiber, and general well-being. Added grooming will also benefit greatly. Since dead hair passes through the cat's system, eliminating a bulk of the hair, by brushing your cat often, will help to keep hairs loose, and they will then easily travel through the digestive tract and become less apt to form into a hairball.