I wrote about this issue a few weeks ago, and I mentioned that I'd be writing up a review of a dry cat food designed to help with this problem: Wellness Natural Hairball Control. The time for that review has arrived!
Wellness sent me this bag of food in return for my honest opinion. So rest assured that everything I say here is my own opinion, and I am not being paid to share it.
So let's get started.
The idea behind this food is that a boost in fiber can help to move things through the intestinal tract. That's what we humans are asked to do quite often. A boost in fiber helps to scrape things on out of the digestive system and into the wastewater treatment plants, so our systems don't clog up. For cats like Jasper, the theory goes, the fiber will bind to the hair and keep the balls moving out into the catbox, and not up and onto the carpet.
I would argue that a boost in water content might do the same thing, and Wellness makes plenty of canned cat foods that are very high in water content (much higher than would be found in a dry cat food). That extra water can also help to protect the kidneys from assault. That's why, in part, I push my cats to eat canned food most, if not all, of the time.
But several of my cats, including Jasper, simply prefer kibble. They like the crunch of the food (even if they don't chew every bite), and they seem to prefer the experience of kibble over dry. No matter what flavor of canned I try, they sometimes will not eat it. They will eat almost any flavor of kibble I put down.
A middle path for cats like this involves using dry food as a topper for wet. Cats get the benefit of canned, along with the crunch of dry they like. And this Wellness food is perfectly suited for that. The bites are incredibly tiny, which means they are very easy to sprinkle on wet food. And they come with a really nice chicken scent my cats dig.
Jasper also gets an extra "snack" meal in the middle of the day (he's old, and he loves to eat), and I've been using this food as a standalone for that snack. He plows right into that food without any complaints or concerns. And he licks that bowl clean.
Does it actively prevent hairballs? I'm not sure. Jasper has been relatively free of them since I started this, but that could be due to all sorts of other things, too. But overall, I quite like this food. It's economical, it's palatable, it's small enough to sprinkle, and my cats seem to like it.
Here's to a hairball-free spring!