Best Cat Food for Senior Cats
Many cats age gracefully, becoming calmer and easier to get along with, and with each passing year, they become more loyal to their owners. Senior cats can be a joy to live with, but you have to be careful with what you feed them.
You don’t want to create medical problems or trigger an allergic reaction by feeding them the wrong food. This is why we have put together a guide on what to feed your senior cat. Here you will find the nutritional needs that apply to most senior cats, as well as what foods you should avoid feeding it and a look at some of the best products on the market, made for aging felines.
Product Reviews: Best Rated Cat Food for Older Cats
Now that you know what you should be watching out for, let’s see some of the best products for your senior cat on the market today.
As your cat grows older, it is going to need a different kind of diet. You may not need to feed it as often, and it may need more fiber and less protein than you are used to feeding it. According to experts, your cat will probably suffer from joint pain and be less active compared to when it was younger.
That means that it will be at risk of obesity, and you need to be aware of that. As a result, you should generally feed your senior cat only twice a day, with no added snacks or free feeding options, in most cases.
The needs of senior cats vary from one feline to another, so pay close attention to yours and look for signs that indicate that it may be suffering from bone disease or excessive weight gain. You will need to take your cat to the vet or adjust its diet accordingly.
In general, though, you can keep feeding your cat the same basic foods it ate before it started to reach seniority.
What to Consider Before Buying any Cat Food for Your Senior Cat
It may be tempting to just buy the cheapest cat food you can, and you might be tempted to do so by cat food brands that are labeled as all natural and healthy for your cat, but there are some factors to take into consideration before you buy any food for your senior cat:
- Wet and Dry Food- Your cat does best with a variety of dry and wet cat food. The dry food can clean its teeth, but not by much. Your cat uses its teeth to tear meat apart, but it will swallow dry cat food whole, in most cases. If the bits are too big for it to eat, it will have trouble with them. Wet cat food is more palatable for most cats and contains lots of water, which senior cats can definitely benefit from. Also, some senior cats may have a hard time chewing through very hard dry food kibbles. You should read labelling and product reviews to ensure your senior feline can chew through this food easily.
- Plenty of Protein- Your older cat needs lots of protein, just as a younger cat does. Do not try to restrict how much protein your senior cat is getting unless your vet has requested you to.
- Know the Type of Cat You Have- Each type of cat has its own dietary needs, and it is important that you pay attention to what those needs for your cat. Even as your cat gets older, the same basic nutritional information still applies to that cat, so be sure you are feeding your cat in accordance with its species’ nutritional requirements.
- Health Problems- Senior cats tend to have more health issues than younger cats, and they are more susceptible to diseases too. You want to take that into account when you are deciding what to feed your cat. Talk to your vet if you need to in order to come up with a sound diet plan for your feline friend.
What to Avoid
- Processed Foods- One of the worst things that you can buy your cat is something that is processed and filled with artificial flavorings and additives. This kind of food is packed with fillers that are as bad for your cat as junk food is for you. It’s worse for senior cats, so take care and read the labels before you buy.
- Dairy- You may think that your cat would enjoy a big bowl of milk or some cream, but you might not realize that dairy products are not something your cat can digest properly. Keep these far away from your cat.
- Fatty Foods- Younger cats need a lot of fat to keep their energy levels up, but older cats are going to slow down and not be as active, so you can cut the fat content, if your cat does eat a lot of fat.
- Sugary Foods- At an old age, diabetes is a big problem for cats. Their sedentary lifestyle can lead to diabetic conditions if they are consuming too much sugar, so watch out for how much sugar your cat is consuming.
We hope you found a cat food that works well for your senior cat, as well as gained some insight about what it takes to meet the nutritional needs of an elderly feline. You can get a lot of life out of older cats, but you do need to know how to put them on a healthy diet and restrict the unhealthy things they may come across. Your cat didn’t like the food you got it? No problem! Just try another one from our recommended list. You will eventually find something that your cat will enjoy.