Cats naturally lose their long hair when it’s hot and gain longer hair when it’s cold. They are inclined to groom themselves with their tongue. As such, they will surely swallow some of the hair.
However, in some cases when there is a lot of hair, it may get stuck in their digestive tract and cause severe problems for your beloved pet cat.
In this post we will talk about the best cat hairball remedies to choose, what some of their benefits are and things to do before buying such a product in the first place.
One of the highly praised products is the Tomlyn Tuna Flavor Laxatone Gel , which can be used to almost instantly relieve your cat of any big hairball issue.
We will also explain how to apply such hairball remedies in easy to follow steps.
Finally, we will explain how we chose these products and the necessary criteria for choosing the best cat hairball remedies in our opinion.
IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT Tomlyn Tuna Flavor Laxatone Gel TOP PROS:
- Gel formula easy to administer
- Helps your cat pass hairballs
- Natural oils lubricate your cat’s digestive tract
In this article, we will review and recommend 5 best cat hairball remedies. Also, we will try to provide you with some administering tips.
All products featured on Cat Travel Guide are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.
Tomlyn Tuna Flavor Laxatone Gel
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Feline Greenies Smartbites Hairball Control Cat Treats
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Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Cat Food
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Hartz Hairball Remedy Plus Paste for Cats and Kittens
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Before you buy: 4 things to consider before buying hairball remedies
1. Is your cat susceptible to cat hairballs?
Among the things to remember when it comes to the best cat hairball remedies is the necessity to understand just how effective they will be. This depends upon how long your cat’s hair is.
Research shows that cat hairballs are 50% more frequent in cats with longer hair than in those that have shorter hair.
If you are an owner of a cat such as a Himalayan, Persian or Maine Coon, chances are that your cat will be highly susceptible to hairballs in its digestive tract, and this can cause serious problems.
One way to combat this is to make sure that your cats are perfectly groomed with various cat grooming tools.
However, sometimes you can’t pay attention to everything your cat does nor you’d like to have your cat’s hair trimmed at all times.
Chances are that your cat will still have hairballs and start throwing them up during the grooming season between spring and summer.
2. What are the symptoms of cats having hairballs in their organism?
The symptoms of cat hairballs start showing in the late stage when prevention is not possible.
These symptoms manifest when a cat hairball is already in a well-developed stage, in which case going to a veterinarian would be your best bet.
However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, cats can naturally either poop the hairballs out or throw them up after applying a cat hairball remedy.
Of course, there are numerous medications and natural best cat hairball remedies that help with both but can also help way before a hairball even develops.
It’s usually better to use cat hairball remedies before they manifest in cats. Some of the symptoms are:
A hairball usually gets stuck in the digestive tract and it can create a few issues for the cat.
Some of these are constipation, pain in the stomach, complete lack of appetite, loud meowing, and much more!
However, it takes a lot of time for this to happen in which case you need to quickly visit the nearest veterinarian so that proper medicine administration can take place.
Other symptoms include constant nervousness, running in circles, lack of sleep, the tongue being stuck out all the time, and ears pointing downward.
You can notice that the cat is nervous by watching how its tail moves.
If the tail movement is fast, your cat is definitely nervous, and if you notice that it happens for too long, chances are that there is an underlying health issue.
Gagging or coughing
A common symptom of the cat hairball issue is either gagging or trying to throw up. You may or may not hear noises whenever a cat enters such a stadium.
Sometimes, a cat is just being repelled by the smell or taste of something, but if this continues chances are that there is a problem with their digestion and usually it’s hairballs.
Diarrhea or blood in feces
Another symptom includes constant diarrhea and troubles when pooping.
Your cat might even loudly meow or cry whilst it’s pooping due to pain in the stomach.
A severe case is when you notice blood in a cat’s feces, in which case it can also be a parasitic infestation on top of a hairball issue.
Whatever the case, if such symptoms show up, you can either use a few hairball remedies or simply visit a veterinarian to get a professional opinion.
3. Are cat hairball remedies safe to use?
Throughout our research, we’ve come across many medical and veterinarian approved products that completely benefit your cat’s digestive tract.
The digestive system continues to operate fully and these products do not induce any serious side effects that can potentially damage internal organs of your cat.
Most of the best cat hairball remedy products are made to help your cat digest or remove hairballs through feces, as it helps their organs quickly dispose of any hairball residue.
However, there could be problems if the symptoms worsen over time, in which case seeking a veterinarian’s help should be your primary concern.
Cat hairball remedies also prevent hairball manifestation since most are based on formulations which contain some easier forms of laxative-based products.
Although laxatives are not necessarily recommended for cats or to treat hairball issues, in small amounts it can help when your cat is going through the process grooming due to the loss of hair.
Some remedies help a cat throw up hairballs, although these could leave your beloved cat with nausea for a week or two, depending upon how often this medicine was given.
In any case, the fact remains that preventive hairball remedies are the best solution.
4. The dangers of homemade hairball remedies
Cat hairball remedies are often easy to make and use in a home environment.
There are numerous things to take into consideration, such as the cat’s age, overall health, previous illnesses, potential allergies and so on!
Even though cat hairballs seem like a common and easily treatable problem in cats, the fact is that cat hairballs can be life-threatening!
By choosing to act on your own without any experience, you are inevitably risking your cat’s life. However, with the assortment of the best cat hairball remedies, this risk is reduced!
Even though cat hairball remedies offer a variety of choices and their ingredients are all-natural, sometimes the proper use of home-based hairball remedies can also work.
For better results, sometimes a combination of a bought hairball remedy with a home-made hairball remedy works wonders!
Some of the best laxatives for a cat’s digestive tract comes in the form of oils and milk products. However, cats are allergic to high amounts of dairy products as they are lactose intolerant.
They are also highly susceptible to high amounts of calcium, which can become toxic for cats!
Some fish oils can help, alongside with natural olive oils. Eating sardines are also a good way to deal with any hairball issues.
For any serious threat, going to a veterinarian is a must! We can’t stress enough how important it is to take hairballs in cats seriously and not leave things to chances.
The 5 Best Cat Hairball Remedies
Hearing and watching your cat retch and gag while trying to get rid of hairballs is a disturbing and unpleasant situation.
One of the solutions for these nasty hairballs and constipation problems is a stimulant laxative called Laxatone.
Stimulant laxatives are used to lubricate the digestive tract so it’s easier for the cat to pass a hairball.
Although some versions of this medicine need a prescription, there are also versions that can be purchased over-the-counter.
This particular Tomlyn Tuna Flavored Laxatone Gel is over-the-counter one, no need for prescriptions.
Tomlyn Tuna Flavored Laxatone Gel has been around for over 35 years and many cat owners have trusted them with helping their cats safely and gently relieve hairballs.
This particular product contains light mineral and vegetable oils and tuna flavored gel that lubricates your cat’s digestive tract.
Before giving any laxative to your cat, read the ingredients label to make sure the laxative you choose doesn’t contain anything you know your cat is allergic to.
A bit of a downside to this hairball remedy is that not all cats like the tuna flavor.
But this shouldn’t bother you much since Tomlyn Laxatone Gel comes in one more flavor which is catnip flavor. So if your cat is not a tuna fan, the catnip flavor will do the trick.
- Gel formula easy to administer
- Helps your cat pass hairballs instead of coughing them up
- Natural oils lubricate your cat’s digestive tract
- Tuna flavor doesn’t appeal to all cats
The overall grade for Tomlyn Tuna Flavored Laxatone Gel is very positive.
Many cat owners are extremely satisfied with the results and would definitely recommend Tomlyn Tuna Laxatone Gel.
This Laxatone gel is not only easy to administer but it contains natural oils that lubricate your cat’s digestive tract and thus help pass hairballs.
Feline Greenies is a brand that makes a variety of cat treats. Their treats are made with natural ingredients that are delicious and nutritious – and easy to digest!
They are also made to clean your cat’s teeth and gums and to freshen their breaths.
Feline Greenies Smartbites Hairball Control is specially made to help your cat with hairball problems.
It’s made with added vitamins and minerals, including plant-based fibers and premium proteins.
Their dual-textured treats are prepared to minimize the formation of hairballs in the digestive tract and promote a healthy metabolism.
Your cat will enjoy getting cat treats with various savory flavors such as tuna, chicken, salmon and also it can be flavorless if your cat doesn’t like treats with flavors.
This brand of cat treats is one of the most popular ones amongst the cat owners.
The only drawback of these treats is that if your cat is an older cat or maybe just not used to eating harder, less crunchy foods, you will have trouble making them eat.
But there is a solution to this problem, soak them in some filtered water and wait for a bit until they are soft and then offer them to your cat. You will see a significant difference.
- Contains natural ingredients
- Minimizes hairball formation
- Promotes healthy digestion
- They are a bit hard to chew
Another way to prevent pecky hairballs is cat food that features hairball treatments.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a company with over 70 years of experience in the field of pet nutrition. Their Science Diet cat food made with high-quality ingredients.
Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control cat food is specially-formulated for hairball control.
It is available in a variety of formulas for all life stages and lifestyles, including for indoor cats.
If fed on a daily basis this food will give your cat balanced nutrition which helps control and avoid the formation of hairballs.
The way this food helps with hairballs is with its natural vegetable fibers which help move hair through your cat’s system.
Additionally, essential fatty acids promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
Hill’s dry pet foods have quality protein as the first ingredient and provide clinically proven antioxidant benefits.
Plus, they’re made with natural ingredients (plus vitamins, minerals & amino acids) with no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or chicken by-product meal.
Hill’s pet food is developed to meet the needs of your pets. And more than 220 veterinarians, food scientists, technicians, and Ph.D. nutritionists helped develop this food.
The downside of this food is the fact that Hill’s often changes the size of kibbles and not all cats like this.
If the food is too dry, hard and big to chew, the cat will most likely give up eating it.
- Made with natural ingredients
- No artificial lubricants
- In addition to hairball prevention, it helps promote healthy skin and coat
- Not all cats like dry food
4. Homemade Hairball Remedies
Even though there are plenty of hairball remedies out there, there are also ways of making them on your own at home.
Making hairball remedies, apart from being inexpensive, is extremely easy. The only tricky part about them is getting your cat to eat them.
You can give these hairball remedies to your cat separately from meal times if your cat willingly wants to eat them.
If this is not the case and she is less willing, you might need to mix it in with her food.
Recipes for homemade hairball treatments are simple and easy to follow and you only need a few ingredients.
Ingredients required are usually can be found in every household kitchens such as butter, olive oil, aloe vera juice or sardines packed in oil for lubrication.
Also, check the bathroom cabinets for petroleum jelly and over-the-counter laxative supplements.
However, be very careful when treating your cat with homemade remedies because too much petroleum jelly can interfere with the cat’s ability to properly absorb vitamins from her food.
Aloe vera products sometimes contain sodium benzoate or benzoic acid that are toxic to cats.
If you are planning to give homemade remedies a try, make sure to consult your vet beforehand, to ensure the methods and dosage amounts are ok.
- Easy to make
- Natural ingredients used
- You need to be very careful when making them
Homemade hairball treatments are a good solution if you want to help your cat but don’t want to spend a lot of money on commercially made hairball remedies.
However, no matter how inexpensive they are, or how healthy they seem compared to the ones you buy, be very careful when making them yourself.
Last, but not least on our list is Hartz Hairball Remedy Plus Paste for Cats and Kittens. This hairball remedy is
Hartz is a manufacturer that has more than 90 years of experience in making health and food products for cats.
Their paste for hairball control not only helps hairballs pass safely through the gastrointestinal tract but also helps prevent the formation of hairballs through regular use.
If your goal is to help eliminate and prevent the common symptoms of hairballs, then this paste is ideal for your cat.
In addition, it contains Omega 3-6-9 oils and vitamin E to help support your cat’s healthy skin and coat.
Hartz Hairball Remedy Plus Paste is very effective and only after a couple of days of use you will notice that your cat’s hairball troubles have subsided.
The drawback of this paste is its salmon flavor that doesn’t appeal to every cat.
- Prevents the formation of hairballs
- Contains omega oils and vitamin E
- Noticeable results in short time period
- Salmon flavor not appealing to every cat
Hertz Hairball Remedy Plus paste is a good way to help your cat deal with and prevent the formation of hairballs.
It not only helps with hairballs, but it also contains omega oils and vitamin E which are each extremely good for your cat’s skin and coat.
Happy, hairball free cat, means happy cat owner!
How to use hairball remedies for your cat?
- Place gel on their paws or nose: This one step is surely going to help you out! Cats dislike having anything on their paws and are going to lick it up as they clean themselves. In that process, the gel will enter their organism and help their digestive tract.
- Use cat hairball remedy in food combination: Most cat hairball remedies are often used in combination with food, as it can help to easily digest and consume all the necessary ingredients of the remedy. The cat won’t even notice. However, make sure not to use it in combination with hot or mildly hot food.
- Use food rich with fiber: This is the type of food that increases a cat’s natural digestive tract function, and as such will help to remove any excess hairballs already present in the system. However, make sure that it is always wet food as moisture can help the whole process.
- Make sure your cat drinks enough water: Although it sounds easy enough, cats are usually not drinking enough water, which their organism needs. Cats are usually afraid of water but still need to drink enough to maintain all of their bodily functions. For this, you need to train your cat to drink water from a young age, as it does help with reducing hairball issues.
- Add some oil to their food as a precaution: Oil is generally given to cats that have problems with digestion, as it helps ease up all pain and related issues. A few drops of olive oil are surely going to help with your cat’s problems. However, if your cat dislikes the flavor, you can use canned sardines instead.
A comparison between store-bought and homemade cat hairball remedies
As it is usually the biggest concern of many people who question whether they should buy a veterinarian-approved product or are simply afraid to spend money on something that they believe will not suffice.
There is always an option to check out which things benefit you the most.
In our experience, there is no easy answer to this, as in some cases you want to have a mix of both worlds for the best results.
Store-bought cat hairball remedies
These are specifically crafted with the idea to help your cat’s issue with hairballs.
As this is their primary and mandatory purpose, some also come in the form of snacks and can be very easy to use to help your cat even when she doesn’t want to cooperate.
These are proven to alleviate any pain your cat might experience since they are made medically and under scientific conditions without any room for error.
If you are traveling these can be simply put in a pocket, as most come in the form of a tube filled with gel.
They are easy, practical and safe to use. They are packed with various vitamins and minerals which help the cats, but also are combined with flavors and smells that cats adore, such as fish or meat.
However, some of these can become a little pricey, especially if we talk about preventive measures.
- Medically approved
- Ergonomic and easy to travel with
- Remedies come in different flavors that cats like
- Can get pricey
Homemade cat hairball remedies
Since most hairball remedies are using the basis of oils, you are sure to have some available in your home, too.
Although not every oil is healthy or beneficial for a cat, a few drops here or there could actually help your cat with her hairball problems.
Of course, these are all preventive as there are no real homemade hairball remedies that actually can help with a fully crystalized hairball that’s already developed in a cat.
For this, a quick visit to a veterinarian is a necessity!
You can always use a bit of vegetable oil that can go well with any sort of wet or dry food that your cat likes to eat.
However, try not to overuse this, as these sorts of oils are not really a cat’s natural food.
Stay clear from fried oils and different sorts of fat that can generally produce more harm than benefit.
Olive oil or vine oil is sure to help your cat preventively, especially if you are low on cash for the moment or if you can’t find a good store-bought gel for the cat hairball problems.
- Easy to use preventively
- Usually just in the form of oil and wet food
- Not an actual medicine
How we chose the cat hairball products
What are your methods of reducing or alleviating hairball issues in cats? Do you have a shorthaired or longhaired cat? Which products do you use to deal with this problem?
Write to us in the comments as we’d love to hear from you!