Cat years are different from human years and cats that are 12 years old and up are just like the senior members of our society. Although cats don’t live as long as humans do, they can stay with their human longer if they get the right nutrition. This means that you need to tweak the diet of your older cats.
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What Happens as a Cat Ages?
If you have an aged dog, you are probably aware that a canine will require fewer calories as they become older. This is not the same in cats, in fact when you have cats their caloric needs decrease up until they reach the age of 11. From there, cats will need more energy as they age.
However, middle age cats or those that are aged six to eight years old are prone to obesity. While the energy needs of your cat increases, you also have to control the portions that they eat to prevent them from getting too fat. Fat cats might look cute and adorable but they are more prone to health problems and you wouldn’t want your cat to have diseases and such.
Although the risk of obesity decreases by the age of 10, you still want to keep an eye on your cats. After that, there’s a lower chance that your cat will become obese but it’s always good to make sure that your cats are getting the right nutrients.
Why an Old Cat Will Require a Different Food
Among the biggest reason why you need to pay attention to the health of your older cats is the fact that they are not capable of digesting fats and protein with the same efficiency that younger cats can. This leaves you with so many challenges when it comes to finding the right for elderly cats.
In older cats, the animal should be able to digest the fat and the protein easily since their system’s ability to do it is often impaired when they become old. Restricting protein is not necessary as long as the vet tells you outright that your kitty’s protein needs some tweaking. Although they are not highly at risk for becoming obese, you should monitor their weight on a regular basis.
There is no single diet for all cats of a certain age although there are food plans that are designed for people with cats that are currently suffering from various kinds of diseases. If you have a cat that has heart problems, you need to place it under a diet that will diminish more heat complications. Cats with kidney diseases may require food that is highly digestible so that it will be easier on their kidneys.
Following the same note, when your cat has cancer, you may need to add more Omega 3 to its diet and so on. All of these things must be observed for the welfare of your pets.
Since older cats are the ones who are more prone to diseases, you should pay more attention to their needs and to the food that they consume. By doing this, you can spare them from pain and prevent further health complications that may be detrimental to their life.
What You Need to Look For in Cat Food for Older Cats
Given the information about older cats, you need to consider the following factors when you are looking for cat food that would be best for them.
Your Cat’s Tastes
As they grow older, cats tend to be picky eaters and you may have a hard time finding cat food that they will take a liking to. It’s always good to know what other cat owners say about the product and if their kitties liked it. Although cats also have individual tastes, it’s more likely for your cat to like something that other cats also do.
Your Cat’s Health Condition
As we have discussed above, cats can be more prone to diseases as they age. You need to tailor their diet to the condition that they have. There are cat foods that may be ideal for cats when they reach old age but the health condition of your kitty is a prime consideration.
You need to focus on this since there are foods that are good for cats with heart disease but bad for those with kidney complications. You need to do the math and read the labels if you have a cat that is suffering from any health complaint. Better yet, talk to your vet and ask about his or her recommendations before you decide to stick to a certain product.
Whether or not your cat has a kidney complaint, you want to choose the kind of food that would be easy on their stomach. Age could take its toll on our kitties and a much a possible look for product that contain protein and carb that are highly digestible. The same goes for the fats that are present in the cat food.
When you are looking for a senior cat food, you need to make sure that your cat will get sufficient nutrients from its food. It’s good to look for prebiotics and your cat would also benefit from vitamin and mineral additions.
Related: Purina Cat Food Review
3 Best Cat Foods for Seniors
Here are some of your top choices when you are interested in looking for the right food for your cats. Always consider your cat’s condition when shopping for the right food. If you are in doubt, you can always ask your vet to verify if it is good for your feline.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food
If you want your kitty to have thriving health, overall nutrition is a must. This cat food is a great choice when you want food for your cat that contains authentic ingredients. This strikes the right balance between vitamins and minerals to promote your cat’s overall health.
The formulation of this cat food could give your cat the energy that it needs to function properly. Plus, it can improve your cat’s digestive health and weight loss goals. It could also improve your cat’s ability to absorb nutrients properly.
The formulation of this cat food is so mild that there are some pet owners who feed it to cats that are not considered mature cats. The nutrients could help keep your felines healthy even if they are already old for a cat.
- It comes in dry kibbles that are just the perfect size for cats to consume.
- The packaging is a resealable pack which happens to be quite handy since it seals in the cat food’s freshness.
- Cats don’t have bad breath when they are fed with this food.
- Some kittens may not find this food tasty enough and would not touch it.
- There are some cats who develop sensitivity to this food and developed UTI.
- There are cats who suffered from diarrhea after consuming this product.
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food
This is the kind of cat food that you want to feed your cat when it requires a special diet due to age. In fact, the formulation is what you need to maintain your aged cat’s health and allow it to live longer than what you might have expected.
This product doesn’t just protect your cat’s body from aging. It also keeps their mind sharp.
Manufacturers claim that this contains antioxidants as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals to promote your kitty’s health. Aside from that, it does not contain any preservatives which make it a good addition to your feline’s nutrition.
- Comes with a money back guarantee.
- A favorite of most cats and doesn’t last long in a feline’s bowl.
- In some cats, it resolved vomiting and hairballs.
- The cat food does not smell too nice.
- The kibbles appear too large and cats used to smaller kibbles may find it too unusual.
- Some cats may not find this too appealing.
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Dry Cat Food
This cat food has a special formulation which makes it ideal for senior cats. This focuses on providing the protein, vitamins and minerals that older cats may require given their age. This contains antioxidants, probiotics, and highly digestible nutrients which makes it easy on an older cat’s digestion.
This cat food has a grain free formulation which sensitive cats could use a lot. Plus, the main ingredients are sourced from the U.S.
- Kibbles are small enough so cats can eat them comfortably.
- Made by a company known for producing top quality products.
- Grain free formulation.
- The company was acquired by Purina which is notorious for recalls.
- Cats won’t touch the food.
- Have caused urinary tract problems in some cats.
Which One is the best Food for Older Cats?
Among these three, Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food is the clear winner. This one is the one which doesn’t have many complaints on urinary tract infections. If you want to take care of a senior cat, this is certainly a great choice.
Do you have a senior cat at home? Tell us about your cat’s diet in the comments section and don’t forget to share this to your friends so they will realize that cats should have different diets depending on their age and condition.