Even though your older kitty may look great and even act like a young cat, this doesn’t mean she should keep eating the same cat food that she’s always eaten. Depending on the health of your cat, her dietary needs might need a big nutritional boost.
Believe it or not, when your cat reaches its 12th birthday, she is the age equivalent of a 64 year old human being. And in their golden years, kitties begin suffering from the same kinds of ailments that we humans do.
Veterinarians tell us that kitties may not be as large as dogs or as big as us, but they experience the same kinds of ailments that are associated with aging. Their level of activity will diminish and their joints will ache.
This leaves us with the question of whether or not we should change our cat’s diet when become older cats? If so, what exactly should we change? And how should we handle their diet when they become afflicted with medical conditions that come with old age? Let us examine some information provided by experts that help us find the best cat food for older cats.
Feeding Older Cats
Most pet medical professionals like to see older cats eating a diet that has less protein. While there is actually no data that supports doing this, we do know that older cats need to be careful with weight gain. Since their activity levels are lower, consuming the same amount of protein as a young cat makes no sense.
While each senior kitty has its own set of problems, weight gain will make their problems worse. Therefore, we really need to be careful about the calories they take in on a daily basis. Of course, there are some aging kitties that just lose their appetite over time. This would obviously require a different kind of diet altogether.
In the end, we have to be mindful that in addition to cats living a sedentary lifestyle for the most part, most of them also often eat foods that are very dense in calories. Believe it or not, many dry foods are very heavy in calories. And when you consider the small size of a cat, just a handful of additional calories every day will add up quicker than you think.
So the really important question is how can we keep our cats from becoming overweight? Here are a few recommendations that will help keep your older cat’s weight from getting out of control.
Work along with your vet to identify the older cat food that features the very best balance of nutrition for your senior cat. Choose cat foods that have been formulated in accordance with guidelines that have been created by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Always check out the label on all cat food packaging. Look for the guaranteed analysis that lists the overall percentage of the content that is crude protein, moisture, crude fat, and also crude fiber. If this is not making any sense, then be sure to visit the web site of the manufacturer to get more details about the food’s nutrition or you could contact the company by phone.
Watch your cat’s calorie intake. Experts tell us that around 50 calories per kilogram of weight is plenty for an indoor cat on a daily basis. From this reference point, you can gradually adjust that level down or up accordingly – depending on the activity level and the overall health of your kitty.
Practice portion control. To assist in keeping your cat’s weight under control, you will probably need to measure the food portion and give them half of the daily amount twice a day – at least in the beginning. You will then keep adjusting that amount as the energy level and calorie needs change in your older cat.
Special Nutritional Needs for Older Cat Diseases
As you might imagine, there are several diseases out there that can afflict cats as they become older. Many of these conditions will require changes in their nutritional needs.
Diabetes : Diabetes can be a really big issue with cats, and most of the time, it is because of kitty obesity. Diet is the primary element in managing this disease in cats. Most vets like to see cats with diabetes consume a high-protein, low-carb daily diet, which helps to get some form of control over this dreadful disease. If you take care to control your cat’s eating and control his weight, along with giving him regular insulin, there’s a very good chance that his blood sugar levels will become stabilized. In fact in some kitties who get prompt treatment, their diabetes might even go away completely.
Kidney Disease : A lot of cats experience kidney failure as they get older. Senior kitties that have kidney disease may require a phosphorous-restricted diet. The type of diets that is suitable for cats having kidney problems are those with less protein and less salt than is found in ordinary cat foods.
There are other diseases commonly detected in senior cats that will also need a dietary change. Diseases such as cancer will usually cause cats to rapidly lose weight and would certainly need additional nutrition.
There is also kitty dental diseases that will make it very hard for cats to eat dry food, therefore a soft canned food would be necessary.
Older cats often struggle with keeping themselves hydrated. This is typically not a problem when your cat is eating wet cat food. But it is always a good idea to get your kitties a high quality cat water fountain to enhance their hydration levels.
What about Senior Cat Supplements?
When you are feeding older cats a nutritionally balanced diet, she will not need any supplements. But there are certain health conditions that will occasionally afflict senior cats which make it very difficult for their bodies to absorb certain nutrients and vitamins.
For instance, a gastrointestinal condition could restrict kitty’s ability to take in vitamin B12. A case like this would prompt your vet to give your cat a specific supplement.
You must take caution when considering OTC nutritional supplements. Most of them have not been sufficiently in cats.
The Best Cat Food for Older Cats
You can drastically support the overall health of your older cat’s health and wellness with these featured selections from Purina’s Pro Plan Prime Plus Adult 7+ Seafood Variety Pack Canned Cat Food. These three recipes provide a nutrient blend that has scientifically tested to improve and maintain the health of kitties that are older than 7 years.
This cat food assortment will tempt your kitty’s palate, and each of them contains real seafood as the very first ingredient. Rest assured that these foods will definitely give you cats a healthy boost. Each and every serving provides key nutrients that will promote lean muscle mass and a healthy level of weight, a strong immune system, and also a very balanced digestive system.
Iams ProActive Health Senior Plus is the perfect choice when you want to combat the first signs of aging within your older cat. It packs a punch using powerful nutrients and essential antioxidants to begin revitalizing immunity to adult levels. This will help your older cat to be their best regardless of their age.
- Balanced food that is formulated exclusively for older cats to attack signs of aging and keep your older kitty at her best
- Formulated to promoted healthy joints & bones and also provides taurine for eye health
- Includes L-carnitine, which burns fat to help your older cat maintain a healthy weight and a custom blend of fiber, which includes both prebiotics and beet pulp, which supports optimal digestive health
- Contains crunchy kibble to assist in reducing the build-up of plaque
- Recommended for older kitties that are 11 years old or more
- Please note this item has recently undergone a packaging change. Customers may receive the old packaging during this transition.
Your senior kitty will love the taste of this high-protein nutritional Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food. It is made using real chicken as its first ingredient and contains no grains, wheats or by-products.
It gives your kitty a very powerful punch or protein which will satisfy the hunting instincts of your feline.. It is packed with critical vitamins, minerals and also taurine to promote health and well-being. And it contains a natural source of omegas to support a healthy skin and beautiful coat. Since it is made using real broth, it will support hydration as well.
This is a cat food that older cats love and it offers them wholesome nutrition. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Senior Dry Cat Food is made using real chicken as its first ingredient. It offers lots of protein to promote healthy muscles and a delightful flavor to keep kitties satisfied.
This food also has essential nutrients such as taurine that will promote the health of your older cat’s heart, and it has omega-6 fatty acids for promoting a shiny coat and healthy skin. And it has no grains like wheat, soy, corn, and no by-product meals or any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.