Many of the large pet food companies are selling hairball formula food for our kitties. A food that fixes hairballs sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, so many of these formulations are really just clever labeling and marketing – while the ingredient inside the bag offer little towards a solution. And is some cases can actually cause more harm than good.

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to pet food is the deception in marketing. You’ll see urinary, kidney, indoor, outdoor, weight management, hairball formula food… you name it – they’ve got it. However, much of the time these labels are simply made to deceive the cat parent – and the food inside is not made with your cat’s health in mind.

For instance, I once saw a popular brand of kibble at the pet store with a beautiful label touting solutions for urinary issues in cats because it contained cranberries. When examining the ingredients, however, I noticed that cranberries made up less than 1% of the entire bag!

Remember that blog I wrote about the great salt divide? That’s how I knew that the picture and write up of this healthy fruit was a crock of cranberry crap. This food would do nothing for your kitty with urinary problems.

The problem with hairball formulas

The same goes for many of these big brand, hairball formula foods. We get messages on the daily from cat parents who are spending extra money on bags of these foods – and still not seeing a difference with the hairball problem. And here’s a perfect example of why – read these ingredients from a super popular pet food brand of “Adult Hairball Management” formula for cats…

Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Brewer’s Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Soy Protein Concentrate, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols (Form of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Soybean Meal, Wheat Flour, Soy Protein Isolate, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Meal, Animal Liver Flavor, Inulin, Gelatin, Soy Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Salt… (we can stop there, obviously).

Guys! Corn, rice, wheat and soy are the exact ingredients that cause hairballs. Why the heck would you include them in a hairball formula? Our cats were not created to successfully digest these ingredients, so they end up with either a jammed or inflamed digestive system… which creates the hairball issue.

Yet we’ve been taught that chronic hairballs are normal – but that’s a myth. Ever wonder who started that myth…? Could it be the the same companies that create the problem?

There are tons of remedies we can use to help a cat’s normal hairball issues – but the first and most important thing we can do is get them on a quality food that will in fact help the problem. A moisture rich, high protein, low starch, grain-free diet alone will often stop the hairball issues completely. Simply look for a human grade, grain-free canned or fresh food diet. You’ll be amazed at the results. 🙂


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