Cats shed their dead hair just like humans. It's natural for your cat to go through changes in their undercoat twice a year - at the onset of spring and fall. But if you're observing constant shedding, it could be a sign that something is wrong and more often than not - it turns out to be their diet.
So switching up what you feed your fur dropping kitty means you'll need to know the best cat food for shedding control. We've got you covered.
If your kitty is unable to meet all her dietary requirements, it will show up in the form of a dull coat, bald spots, and shedding. We've picked the 13 best cat foods to reduce shedding that may help your kitty regain her glorious fur.
How Often Should Your Cat be Shedding?
I can mark the onset of spring by the amount of cat hair I find on my couch. Kitties shed their heavy winter undercoat at the onset of spring, which means more vacuuming. Their summer fur is light to help them beat the heat.
Same way during the fall, they will again trade their summer fur for their heavy winter coat. So, expect to find tumbleweeds of cat hair on your furniture and clothes twice a year.
Seasonal cat shedding is more common in wild cats as well as outdoor cats. Indoor cats, on the other hand, experience a little bit of shedding all year long due to constant exposure to artificial light and this is normal.
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Certain cat breeds like Maine Coons and Persian Blues can be heavy shedders.
However, if your cat is shedding excessively year-round, along with constant biting, licking, and significant hair loss, it is a sign that the shedding is a sign of an underlying condition. Book an appointment with your veterinarian and get your fur baby thoroughly checked.
What Causes Cat Shedding?
If there’s no serious underlying condition for your cat’s constant shedding, it could be due to a few common causes. And thankfully there are solutions too!
An imbalance of reproductive hormones in cats can cause dermatosis (skin disorder) and alopecia (hair loss). The veterinarian can run tests on your kitty to find out if hormonal imbalance is the reason behind hair loss. Reproduction hormone therapy can help resolve this cat shedding issue.
There could be external or internal parasites infecting your dear kitty. A few of these parasite infections, like tapeworms and ringworms, can be spotted on your cat or in the fecal matter. Some parasites even dig into the skin or burrow into hair follicles. Parasite infections can result in intense cat shedding and poor hair coat.
Just like how humans need a balanced diet to maintain healthy tresses, cats also require a balanced diet for their fur to flourish. If she isn’t getting adequate nutrition and her diet lacks any of the vitamins and minerals, her coat might lose its shine. Worse, the feline might experience constant cat shedding and hair loss.
You will need to give her high-quality cat food specifically designed to promote a healthy coat.
Yes, just like you and me, our cats can suffer from allergies too. It could be a seasonal allergy or a food-borne allergy. She might be sensitive to pollen or a certain food group. Both types of allergies can result in bald spots, itches, rashes, and other skin issues. Make sure the cat food you give your feline is free from the causes of common cat allergies. This will help with limiting cat shedding.
Flea infestation is never pleasant and can cause chronic cat shedding. It is more than just your kitty scratching herself and can dull her lovely hair by causing hair loss. Flea-based hair loss is particularly noticeable around the feline’s hindquarters. However, it is not the flea itself but the saliva that causes shedding because she would keep licking the spot to get rid of fleas.
Often pet parents are surprised when I tell them that your cat could be shedding due to dry skin. After all, she keeps grooming herself, so how exactly could the skin be dry?
Well, unfortunately, saliva further aggravates dry skin. Dry skin can be recognized by patched flaky spots on their coat. These flakes are dandruff and just like how dandruff in humans leads to hair fall, the same can happen with your fur baby’s luscious fur.
Poor Grooming Habits
Both infrequent and excessive grooming can cause shedding. If your cat is not able to meet all her nutritional needs, it will cause shedding leading to more cat grooming. This will aggravate a cat shedding condition further.
Poor and infrequent grooming can also cause hair loss. The unkempt hair coat is also prone to more skin and hair infections and flea infestation.
Pregnant or Lactating
Hormonal changes during pregnancy and lactation period can cause your kitty to shed more than normal. You might notice bald spots on her belly where the kittens’ nurse. This cat shedding acceleration should resolve after the kittens have weaned.
Controlling a Cat's Shedding
You cannot totally prevent your cat from shedding the normal amount but you can control excessive cat shedding to a great extent. At least, you will not find cat hair on your couch or clothes. And if you ask me, that’s a total win! Just make sure you follow these steps:
If you are lucky, your cat might not be too averse to the idea of bathing. Give her a thorough bath fortnightly making sure you remove all the dirt, debris, and dead hair from her coat. In case your cat is like mine and believes in throwing temper tantrums even at the sight of the bathroom, win her over with treats and go crazy with wet wipes. I use a leave-in conditioner to moisturize her coat and the result has been great.
Brushing your kitty’s hair daily will get rid of the dead undercoat caught within the fur. This will reduce the amount of constant shedding throughout the day. If your cat has a short or medium coat, use combs with soft bristles. For cats with long and dense hair coats, wire-bristle brushes are apt.
You can try cat supplements to make sure she receives proper nutrition. Fatty acids are particularly important as they are crucial to maintaining a luscious coat and skin. Cat supplements help reduce hairballs and can control cat fur shedding.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Best Cat Foods For Shedding
Planning to shop for cat supplies and food? With proper planning and thorough research to choose the right cat food, you can ensure your fur baby maintains her lovely coat for a long time to come. Make sure you pay attention to the following things:
Many cat parents do not realize their cat suffers from an allergy or intolerance. A lot of times these allergies go undetected and may be causing constant shedding. The most common allergens are wheat, soy, grains, and gluten. Even certain protein sources can also aggravate shedding.
So, watch out for these in the ingredient list. Novel protein sources such as lamb and bison can be a great choice.
Artificial Flavors and Preservatives
Your cat isn’t a food critic and neither does she care about what it looks like. All those interesting colors and flavors are actually targeted at pet parents to make them buy attractive cat food.
Artificial flavors and preservatives provide zero nutrition and some might even impact your cat’s health adversely. So, look for a healthier formula that has a minimum of chemicals. This guide into the best cats foods for shedding will certainly point you in the right direction.
It is quite natural to gravitate towards budget cat food but for the sake of your kitty, please just DON’T unless you've read our guide to the best cheap cat food first! Cheap cat food can often contain meat by-products and low-quality ingredients. There are exceptions and you can still get qulaity cat nutrition from cheaper cat foods but tread carefully. Look for a brand that is more natural and doesn’t contain filler ingredients like corn, soybean meal, and brewers rice.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are a must in every cat’s diet as they help maintain skin and coat health. Make sure you pick the cat food that has a generous supply of omega fatty acids. The label should say the food contains this essential nutrient.
Your cat relies heavily on protein to build a strong healthy body. Make sure the source of protein is lean. For instance, chicken, lamb, bison, and salmon are great options.
The label on the cat food should read protein within the first three ingredients. This is to ensure that protein is the major constituent of your cat’s diet.
My Top 13 Picks for the Best Cat Food for Shedding
1. Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Urinary & Hairball Control (Best Cat Food for Shedding Overall)
This variant of Hill’s Science Diet is specially formulated keeping the needs of adult cats at the center. Adult cats usually develop urinary issues and their hair coat deteriorates as they age.
If your cat is experiencing urinary tract issues along with shedding, this cat food might be a great choice. The brand claims this version is designed to help pets maintain healthy kidneys.
This wet cat food contains antioxidants and vitamin E to strengthen the senior cat’s immune system and help her fight off infections. Since it is rich in vitamin E, it also promotes healthy skin and hair.
What I particularly like about this best cat food for shedding choice is that it contains high-quality lean protein to help your furry feline maintain muscle mass. Protein and antioxidants help repair the damage age does to your cat’s hair coat.
There are three different flavors to give your kitty variety and the ingredient list says it’s all-natural. With 90 kcal calories per can, this cat food will meet the energy requirements of a senior cat without going overboard.
If you are caring for an adult cat, you might find this wet cat food great as it scores well on all parameters- nutrition, taste, and calories.
Cat parents who chose Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food liked the fact that it contains low phosphorus levels, which is good for cats suffering from urinary tract health issues. Some buyers complained that the turkey flavor was a weird dry texture.
2. Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-Free (Best Wet Cat Food for Shedding)
If your cat loves wet food, this great food from Nature's Variety might be a sensible best wet cat food for shedding choice. You can choose from 3 oz. and 5.5 oz. can sizes, as per your cat’s eating habits and her size. There are smaller cans available so you can try and see if it works for your cat.
As the name suggests, this wet cat food is completely grain-free and contains zero fillers. It is made from cage-free chicken, turkey, and chicken liver, all of which constitute 95% of the cat food by composition.
Rest 5% consists of vegetables, fruits, and wholesome ingredients. I really appreciate that the brand specifically ensures that high-quality protein content comes from the responsibly sourced chicken. If you are searching for complete well-balanced wet cat food, you can try Instinct.
Cat parents, who bought Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free cat food, say that even their picky kitten liked it. Looks like this one surely has a delicious taste. The fact that it has a pate texture and contains no grain, no filler made it one of the most preferred wet cat food.
Just like cage-free chicken, there are other variants available. You can choose from beef, duck, lamb, rabbit, salmon, and venison. All of them contain responsibly sourced protein that constitutes 95% part of the food.
3. Purina ONE Hairball Adult Formula Dry Cat Food (Best Dry Cat Food for Shedding)
If you are looking for dry cat food that is specifically designed using veterinarian recommended formula to help minimize hairballs, Purina ONE hairball Adult Formula might be a good choice. It contains a special blend of dietary fiber to prevent hair build-up in the digestive system.
I liked the fact that the first ingredient on the label read real chicken. This cat food contains 38 grams of lean protein per cup. The presence of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is assuring that your cat would be able to meet her nutritional needs.
I might give this one a try because my cat is prone to plaque build-up in teeth and she wouldn’t even let the vet take a look at it. Some buyers have mentioned that it works well in keeping their kitty’s teeth clean.
The major challenge I have experienced with dry cat food is that it can be too hard. This makes it difficult for senior cats to chew it properly. If you are experiencing the same issue, Purina ONE Hairball Adult Formula might suit your cat well.
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4. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food (Best Senior Cat Food for Shedding)
A lot of cat parents find it difficult to find the right cat food for their senior cats. There has to be a perfect balance between all the minerals and vitamins keeping in view the specific issues of older cats.
Hill’s Science Diet seems to have taken adequate care to formulate cat food that would tick the right boxes. It can be fed to senior cats, older than eleven, as it contains natural fibers that won’t put a strain on the sensitive stomachs of senior cats.
There’s taurine in it, which is essential to maintain a healthy heart. If your furry feline is dealing with urinary tract health and kidney issues, Hill’s Science Diet could be an apt choice as the mineral composition is well-balanced.
The coat and skin health of senior cats often takes a set back. If that’s the case with your cat too, you can try this variant. It contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, along with vitamin E to maintain healthy coat hair and skin.
Some buyers felt that it was easier for their senior cat to eat the kibble. A lot of them did say that their finicky cats also liked the taste.
5. Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Pate (Best Pate Cat Food for Shedding)
I am always on the lookout for paté texture cat food. My cat absolutely loves chomping on the textured ingredients and like a kid, she first makes sure to eat all the bigger pieces. If your cat is the same, you can try the Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Paté cat food.
Wellness Natural offers this pate-textured variant in 3 oz. and 5.5 oz. cans. The product is grain-free and made from quality protein. It has all the essential vitamins and minerals to boost hair and skin health.
Conscious cat parents might like it more because it contains no meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. If you are concerned about your cat’s urinary health, this could be an apt choice as it contains cranberries to prevent a build-up of harmful bacteria in the urinary tract.
To improve immunity and provide adequate fiber intake, there’s carrot. For omega fatty acids, flaxseeds have been used in the formulation. You can opt from four flavors- salmon, tuna, turkey, and chicken.
6. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food (Best Indoor Cat Food for Shedding)
I’ll first start with the part I liked the best. I took a long look at the label and was impressed that the first ingredient was deboned chicken. The fact that they especially mentioned *deboned* made me happy.
I can’t tell you how many times I have found bone shards in pet food. Things got to the point where I would thoroughly scan the food before giving it to my pets. Nobody wants their fur baby to end up with a bleeding mouth.
Indoor cats have different dietary needs and Blue Buffalo seems to have taken care of it. There’s a blend of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to boost the immunity of indoor cats. Dietary fibers help reduce hairballs.
This cat food contains real meat as the first ingredient and also contains garden fruits and veggies to provide wholesome nutrition to indoor cats. If you trust only natural foods for your feline, this might be an apt choice. There are no fillers, artificial flavoring, by-products, corn, wheat, soy, and preservatives.
The blend of all-natural ingredients helps maintain an ideal weight. It might be good for your adult cat’s sensitive stomach since there’s no corn, wheat, or soy. Some buyers mentioned they switched their cat with sensitive stomachs to this cat food and it worked well for them.
7. Diamond Premium Recipe Maintenance
Let’s first start with the good parts of this cat food to help with shedding. Diamond Premium Maintenance has 30% protein, 15% fat, and dietary fiber to boost your kitty’s overall health. It may strengthen her immune system as it contains antioxidants. For coat hair health and healthy skin, there are omega fatty acids and vitamin E, so those will help kitty's coat.
The balance of protein and fat is ideal for moderately active cats. Proteins are easily digestible so cats with sensitive tummies can be given this cat food. I like that they provide a guaranteed analysis and the food contains prebiotics to improve digestive health.
Cat parents expressed their satisfaction over the value it offers for the money. Some use this cat food as a staple diet and mix it every now and then with wet food to keep their kitties interested.
If you take care of feral cats, this could be a great pick. It has all the necessary nutrients and is easy on the pocket. The main drawback I could find was that it contains wheat flour and corn gluten meal. But for the value for money this product offers, there isn’t much I can complain about.
8. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food Youthful Vitality
Hill’s Science is known for its special formulations and this variant is targeted at senior cats aged 7 years and above. To be honest, every time I had to take my cat to the vet for one or the other issue, Hill’s Science Diet has been recommended . But the price has always deterred me.
However, this particular variant seems to be winning me over. It contains a proprietary blend of ingredients to meet the energy and nutrient requirements of senior cats. There’s omega fatty acids and vitamin E to promote a healthy coat and skin.
As a cat parent myself, I wouldn’t mind shelling a bit more if the food is easy on my cat’s sensitive stomach. This one does say that it contains easily digestible ingredients. The only downside is corn gluten meal, which is listed as the third ingredient on the label.
Some buyers have mentioned that they got this cat food on their vet’s recommendation. Their cats liked the taste, they noticed positive developments in their furry feline’s health and was a cat food that helps control shedding and hairballs. The protein level is 35.5% on a dry matter basis, which isn’t too heavy on a senior cat’s stomach.
Some people have complained that this variant has a kibble that is a bit hard for the older cats to chew.
9. DIAMOND NATURALS High Protein Cat Food
It can be particularly distressing for cat parents to see their cats puking. It’s smelly, messy, and takes an awful lot of time to clean up after them. Though it is normal for cats to throw up every now and then, it can get challenging to manage if this happens too often.
If your problem is the same, you can try Diamond Naturals cat food. This variant contains highly digestible proprietory prebiotics, formulated by Diamond Naturals to survive and thrive in the gastrointestinal tract. The brand guarantees 80 million CFU/lb.
This variant contains high-quality lean protein sourced from cage-free chicken. There’s an adequate blend of meat, veggies, and fruits to give antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, and omega fatty acids. This should boost the skin and coat health of your cat.
Some buyers have mentioned that when they introduced this cat food to their cat’s diet, she started relaxing while eating. Cats enjoy the chewiness of this feline food and hence, they don’t gulp it down fast. As a result, their digestion improved, they stopped nibbling unnecessarily and stopped puking.
Price-wise, this best cat food for shedding is certainly affordable if we look at the value it offers. There’s no corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavoring, or added preservatives.
10. Primal Freeze Nugget Chicken/Salmon Dry Cat Food
A detour from the daily plain chicken diet could be a welcome change for your kitty especially if you are researching the best cat food diet for shedding cats. Many cat parents have mentioned their kitty loved the taste of this chicken and salmon variant from Primal Freeze in particular. So, if your cat is a fussy one, you can try this meal out. However, I’ll recommend starting with smaller meals.
I like the fact that this freeze-dried raw diet is made from chickens that have been raised on a diet free from antibiotics, steroids, and added hormones. This does seem like a relief because antibiotics and steroid-fed chicken can impact health negatively.
There’s a balance of naturally-derived vitamins and minerals to boost your cat’s overall health. The brand says they incorporate only certified organic produce to fortify balanced nutrition for all cat life stages.
If you believe in providing your cat with the benefits of a raw ancestral diet, this could be a good pick. Many cat parents have mentioned their fur baby liked the taste and since it is freeze-dried, this cat food is easier to serve.
To boost your cat’s coat and skin health, there are amino acids (protein), natural-occurring enzymes, and essential fatty acids. So if you are looking for a best cat food that controls shedding, loss of appetite, or frequent vomiting, this could work well.
11. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Indoor Intense Hairball Dry Cat Food
Royal Canin offers this variant in different sizes so you can pick up as per your cat’s eating habits. If you have a picky eater, try the smallest size. This formula specifically targets the hairball and cat shedding problem in cats and improves your kitty’s overall coat health.
The triangular kibble easily fits in your cat’s mouth and can be fed alone as it is complete with nutrition. The blend of dietary fibers helps move hair through your kitty’s digestive system, thus, preventing hair build-up.
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Indoor Intense Hairball Dry Cat Food has been a favorite among cat parents. Many buyers have mentioned this as a best cat food to reduce shedding and was loved by even fussy eaters.
Some mentioned they do not feed this alone to their fur baby. They introduced it along with some wet food. This formula has done what many vets could not- make their cat eat!
Cat parents have pointed out that this kibble is towards the harder side, so it might be difficult for older cats to chew it.
12. I and Love and You Naked Essentials
If you are on the lookout for a grain-free kibble that assists with cat shedding control this brand is available in a variety of flavors. I and Love and You might be a good pick as a best cat food to control shedding because it is rich in protein sourced from real meat and contains omega fatty acids from natural sources like fish oil and flaxseeds.
For cats with sensitive stomachs prone to rumbling and bowel movement issues, I and Love and You add prebiotics and probiotics in this cat food to help with tummy troubles.
Several cat parents say that the salmon+trout flavor has been a hit among their furries. Few even mentioned that this food kept their kitty away from mindless nibbling. So, if you are wary of your cat eating inedible stuff, you may give this one a try.
I love their mission statement “Cat Hair is the New Black”.
Honestly, I am a bit possessive about my cat’s lovely fur and my cat would vote a ‘yes’ to this. This brand acknowledges this overzealous love of cat parents like me by providing a complete balance of nutrients needed to boost the coat hair health.
The dry cat food contains 34% protein and approximately 2.70% fiber on a dry matter basis. The first five ingredients on the label read chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, chickpeas, and ground peas.
I like it that the food contains lentils and dried beet pulp. It is a big headache for me to make my cat eat veggies. So, if your cat is like mine, you may try this kibble to help your kitty get adequate fiber.
Final thoughts on Best Cat Foods for Shedding
My choice for the best cat food for shedding would be Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Urinary & Hairball Control Wet Cat Food. The manufacturer makes sure that this cat food has everything a cat needs to support a healthy glowing coat.
There is adequate fiber to keep your cat’s bowel movements regular and prevent the build-up of hairballs. They have successfully maintained the delicate balance of protein and fats, which is great for moderately active cats.
Unlike other brands, it is affordable, so you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket to prevent excessive cat shedding.
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