Hairballs are frustrating for any cat owner. There’s no world where your favorite part of the day is cleaning up the sloppy, mucus-covered hair tubes that we call hairballs. Luckily, if your cat struggles with hairballs, there are plenty of remedies that you can give to your cat to ease their issues. Here are our top 10 best hairball remedies for cats.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Vet's Best Chewable Tablets Hairball Control Supplement for Cats||
|Best Value||CatLax Cat Supplement||
|Premium Choice||Pet Naturals Hairball Cat Chews||
|Tomlyn Laxatone Tuna-Flavored Gel Hairball Control Supplement for Cats||
|Vetoquinol Laxatone Tuna Flavored Gel Hairball Control Supplement||
The 10 Best Hairball Remedies for Cats
1. Vet’s Best Chewable Tablets Cat Hairball Control Supplement – Best Overall
|Supplement Form:||Chewable tablet|
|Container Amount:||60 count, 180 count|
Our favorite hairball remedy for cats was Vet’s Best Chewable Tablet Hairball Control Supplement for cats. These chewable tablets feature natural ingredients that aid digestion and make it easier for your cat to pass hairballs out of “the other end.”
The tablets are chicken-flavored to increase palatability and make it easier to get your cat to take them without a fight. They’re made with apple fiber, papaya extract, psyllium seed, marshmallow root, and slippery elm to help ease and lubricate the digestive tract.
Vet’s Best Hairball Control Supplement also features the seal of approval from the National Animal Supplement Council. It makes sense since this product is made and recommended by vets everywhere!
2. CatLax Cat Supplement for Hairball Prevention – Best Value
|Container Amount:||2 oz|
Our choice for the best cat hairball remedy for the money was CatLax’s Cat Supplement. This supplement isn’t all-natural or NASC approved, but it is affordable. It features common anti-hairball supplements like petroleum that lubricate the digestive tract to allow built-up hair to pass through the digestive system easily.
Unlike some hairball remedies that need to be administered every day, CatLax only has to be administered 2–3 times per week to be effective, which reduces the amount of time pet parents have to spend trying to get their cats to take their medicine. Just put a 1-inch ribbon of CatLax on your cat’s paw or in their food to help them pass any hairballs that might be brewing!
This supplement also contains cod liver oil and vitamin E, which promotes coat health and keeps your cat’s coat shiny and soft!
3. Pet Naturals Hairball Control Cat Chews – Best Premium
|Supplement Form:||Soft chews|
|Container Amount:||30 count, 160 count|
Pet Naturals’ Hairball Cat Chews are our choice for the best premium hairball remedy for cats. These come at a price that’s steeper than the average hairball remedy, but they feature all kinds of wonderful supplements to help your cat pass hairballs easily and live their best life!
These soft chews are NASC approved as all-natural, so pet parents with worries about what they’re feeding their cats need not worry about the safety of this choice.
Pet Naturals Hairball Cat Chews also feature other supplements that help your cat thrive like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, biotin for healthy skin and fur, zinc for keratin and collagen production, and cranberry powder to help your cat’s urinary tract.
4. Tomlyn Laxatone Tuna-Flavored Gel Hairball Control Cay Supplement
|Container Amount:||2.5 oz, 4.25 oz|
Tomlyn Laxatone Tuna-Flavored Gel Hairball Control Supplement for Cats is a great option for pet parents who need an effective hairball remedy for their cats. The basis of this remedy is Laxatone, a gentle lubricant that allows for the easy elimination and prevention of hairballs.
Because Tomlyn Laxatone Gel is so gentle, it’s appropriate for daily use if your cat has that much trouble with hairballs. Regular use of this hairball remedy will coat the hair in the stomach and make it easy for your cat to eliminate it into the litter box rather than onto the floor.
This supplement is NASC approved, so pet parents don’t have to worry about safety with this one. It’s also presented as an easy-to-administer gel that makes medicating your cat simple and enjoyable.
5. Vetoquinol Laxatone Tuna Flavored Gel Hairball Control Supplement for Cats
|Container Amount:||2.5 oz, 4.25 oz|
Vetoquinol Laxatone Supplement is just like Tomlyn’s, but it lacks the NASC seal of approval, unfortunately. Just like Tomlyn’s gel, Vetoquinol Laxatone Tuna-Flavored Gel Hairball Supplement for Cats features a palatable and tasty paste that will lubricate the hairballs in your cat’s digestive system and help them pass it.
To administer this gel, you’ll want to smear a little bit of the gel on your cat’s paws or nose to encourage them to lick it off. It shouldn’t be too difficult to get them to eat it since it’s so tasty!
Once you get the Laxatone in your cat’s system, it will help them eliminate hairballs in a less stressful manner and keep your floors nice and clean!
6. Richard’s Organics Chicken Flavor Hairball Remedy for Cats
|Container Amount:||4.25 oz|
Richard’s Organics makes a chicken-flavored hairball remedy for any cats that are finicky eaters, particularly those that dislike fishy tastes. Unfortunately, while this supplement is all-natural, it isn’t approved by NASC. So, pet parents who are conscious of that seal will have to pass on this one.
This is made into a gel much like Tomlyn and Vetoquinol’s gels, but this one doesn’t contain any petroleum. This is made with lecithin and beeswax which lubricate the hair in the intestines, much like petroleum would. They allow the hairballs to pass gently through the digestive system and eliminate into the litter box.
Additionally, this gel is tasty. So, getting your cat to start eating it won’t be hard. You can put this gel on top of their usual kibble, mix it in with their wet food, or even just serve it as a treat for your cat!
7. Nutri-Vet Chicken-Flavored Gel Hairball Control Supplement for Cats
|Container Amount:||3 oz|
Nutri-Vet’s hairball gel is similar to Richard’s Organics’, but it is NASC approved. This is made with vegetable oil and omega-3 fatty acids which lubricate the intestinal tract and allow the passing of hairballs through the intestines.
This hairball gel is also made with soybean oil, linoleic acid, and oleic acid to promote healthy skin and fiber to help improve overall intestinal health. These supplements also help minimize excessive shedding, and when combined with general grooming techniques, they should help get your cat to vomit up fewer hairballs overall.
8. Hartz Hairball Remedy Plus Salmon Paste for Cats & Kittens
|Container Amount:||2.5 oz|
Hartz Hairball Remedy Plus is a Salmon-flavored paste for cats and kittens that helps them pass hairballs with ease. The paste is made with omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 oils, as well as vitamin E to promote a healthy coat and skin.
This isn’t an all-natural paste, but it will help lubricate the gastrointestinal tract to move hairballs through it, and regular use of the paste is shown to reduce the formation of hairballs in the long term.
Unfortunately, this gel only comes in 2.5-ounce bottles, which is smaller than other options on this list by far. However, since it’s notably suitable for both cats and kittens, it’s a compelling option for any pet parents of hairball-heavy producing kittens.
9. 21st Century Essential Pet Hairball Support Soft Chews Cat Supplement
|Supplement Form:||Soft chews|
|Container Amount:||100 count|
21st Century Essential Pet Hairball Support Soft Chews are veterinarian-formulated to help your cat pass hairballs through their intestinal tract and reduce hairball build-up in the long term. It’s a NASC approved supplement that is made with a delicious chicken and cheese flavor to attract your cat’s attention with ease.
These supplements are also 100% wheat-free, so pet parents looking for a wheat-free option to help their cat pass hairballs need not look further. Additionally, they’re made in the USA and lab-tested to ensure that each chew is top-quality!
10. NaturVet Hairball Aid Plus Pumpkin Soft Chews Hairball Control Cat Supplement
|Supplement Form:||Soft chews|
|Container Amount:||50 count, 60 count, 100 count|
NaturVet has also made a hairball aid to add to its repertoire of pet supplements. These all-natural soft chew supplements are NASC approved, wheat-free, and fortified with all sorts of vitamins and minerals that your cat needs to thrive.
The chews help your cat eliminate hairballs comfortably by using pumpkin as a natural fiber source to push the hairballs through the digestive tract with ease. They also have been shown to reduce the build-up of hairballs when used regularly.
You’re supposed to give your cat two chews a day which makes the 50 count container an odd choice since it doesn’t come with a full month’s worth of chews. Still, it’s an option if you’re just trying it out or your cat doesn’t need two chews every day.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding The Best Hairball Remedies for Cats
What Are Hairballs?
Hairballs are the result of your cat’s grooming habits. As your cat licks their fur to groom it, they ingest an amount of hair that sheds off their body and into their mouth. While most times, this fur is passed in the stool without concern, the fur in the stomach can build up to where it can’t pass through the intestinal tract easily.
When the hair build-up is too much to pass through the intestinal tract, the cat will purge the hair from its system by vomiting it up. They can’t digest their fur, even if they ingest a lot of it. So, when hair isn’t passing through the intestinal tract promptly, it comes up as a hairball.
What Do Look Like?
Hairballs, contrary to the name, aren’t ball-shaped at all. Usually, by the time it reaches your floor, a hairball is going to be an elongated tube or mucus-covered grossness that may be slightly darker than your cat’s natural fur color. The coloration change comes from the digestive secretions in the stomach that still discolor the fur, even if they can’t break it down into nutrients.
Depending on your cat’s fur length and how long the hairball has been brewing, a hairball can be small or several inches in length.
Are Hairballs Dangerous?
Hairballs are not usually dangerous. Though, if your cat is passing many hairballs on a weekly basis, this could be a sign that something is wrong inside. It’s rare for a hairball alone to be indicative of anything unusual. However, if hair accumulates in the stomach to the point where it cannot be passed or purged, the hairball will block the digestive tract and could make your cat very ill.
In situations where your cat has an excessive amount of hair build-up in its stomach or intestines, the hairball can block the intestinal tract or cause constipation. If this is occurring, you’ll see your cat retching, unproductive dry heaving, vomiting but without the hair in the vomit, and being generally lethargic.
Does Hairball Medicine Work?
In general, hairball remedies tend to be successful at reducing hairballs. Most hairball remedies contain something that lubricates the digestive tract to make it easier for your cat to pass hairballs through the intestines. They usually also contain a mild laxative to speed up the digestive tract and push hair through the tract faster, reducing the amount of hair that builds up in the stomach before being passed.
Types of Hairball Medicines
There are several types of hairball medicines available for cats over-the-counter. They all work similarly, but the different application styles can help pet parents of finicky cats find a medicine their cat tolerates well.
Pet medicine tablets are generally chewable and allow your cat to chow down on them like a piece of food without harming the efficacy of the medicine.
Soft chews are similar to treats that some pets may mistake particularly tasty soft chew medicines as treats. They’re like pill pockets and other treats, but the medicine is cooked directly into the chew treat!
Gel medicines can be applied to the food, paws, or directly to the mouth with your finger. Some even recommend putting the gel on the cat’s nose to help them get used to licking the gel up themselves.
If you’re dealing with daily hairballs, never fear! There are lots of hairball remedies out there waiting for you to try. Our choice for the best overall hairball remedy for cats was the Vet’s Best Chewable Tablets. If you’re on a budget, check out CatLax’s Cat Supplement. If you have the extra money to spare, Pet Naturals Hairball Cat Chews are a great option for controlling your hairball situation!
Featured Image Credit: Norb_KM, Shutterstock