When it comes to raising pets, proper diets and feeding are issues that make most owners confused, especially when pets become older.
So are cats. Although cats are predators, and their food is mainly based on meat content, the choice of cat food depends on their age and health status.
With newborn cats, they have breast milk. Adult cat food is also popular and easy to find. But how about the senior cat food?
Working in the pet care environment, we understand what cat owners encounter when cats come to a weak stage because of their age. But the problem will be minimized when your pet is fed properly with the right kind of nutrition they need.
After reading this article, you will know how to provide enough nutrients as well as the best cat food for older cats.
So, do you know why old cats need special diets?
Why do senior cats need specialized cat food?
Often, cats tend to “age” slower than dogs. Slower here means they don’t show clearly to the owner that he’s getting old. Suddenly, one day, you look back and realize that your kitten is no longer joyfully jumping or climbing, his move is more slowly, palate declines, and he sleeps more frequently, etc.
These are signs that the cats are entering their elderly stage.
According to our experience about cat’s years, old cats are those living in the last third of the cat’s life. Over 10 years of age, they have been classified as “old cats.”
From now on, their bodies will no longer be as healthy as before and may suffer from age-related diseases. The metabolism is also slower.
But if they are well cared for, sufficient cat nutrition can help them live up to 17 years or even over 20 years.
So, it’s necessary to have a suitable diet and the best cat food for older cats.
Which kinds of diets are suitable for old cats?
A balanced diet
Essential nutrients also need to be adjusted to make sure they are suitable for the cat’s age. Research shows that older cats cannot digest food as well as adults. Therefore, they absorb less fat.
You need to provide a diet with a reasonable and adequate protein level, avoid dieting or fasting. Cats do not like other pets, so forcing them to abstain at old age is not good. That is because fish and meats are rich sources of protein. In addition, taurine and arachidonic are indispensable nutrients that cannot be replaced by vegetarian or rice.
Fatty acid supplement
The resistance of pets is no longer high when they get older. The results show that they cannot resist diseases or recover as quickly as the young. Therefore, you need a variety of supplements to help your pets eat, sleep, and fight diseases better.
We recommend that you should consider strengthening the diet of old cats with fatty acids such as DHA and EPA (fish oil) because they are proven to be helpful for cats suffering from osteoarthritis problems. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are also beneficial.
Diet for overweight old cats
Maintaining body weight is necessary because overweight old cats will have a higher incidence of disease than normal ones like diabetes, liver and skin-relating diseases, and even cancer.
Obese cats need a low-calorie diet, but it should be nutritious. In this situation, a high-L-carnitine diet will come in handy for losing weight.
Special diets for sick old cats
As we have just mentioned, when cats grow old, they may face many age-related illnesses. In this case, the owner should determine his cat’s health status and then have a suitable diet for him.
For example, a low-sodium diet is widely recommended by veterinarians for cats with heart disease, while diets that limit phosphorus, calcium, and other electrolytes are useful for cats with kidney disease.
The owner should also take the pets to meet the vets so that they can offer a suitable diet and help balance the nutrition for the cats.
Diet routine for your old cats
Old cats need to eat just once a day. In many cases, when your cat becomes thinner and pickier, you should bring him to have a veterinary exam to rule out the possibility that your cat is sick. In the worst situation, force-feeding a cat is necessary.
We have learned and introduced some ways to stimulate cats’ taste to eat more.
1. Warm-up canned food or dry food in a microwave to increase food flavor. You should stir the food and let it cool before feeding the cats.
2. Add tuna sauce to the food because most cats love fish. Besides, you can add a little sauce and fat from bacon, hamburgers, seafood, chicken, etc. to your cat’s daily food.
3. Change cat food to canned food if you regularly feed your cat with nuts. You should choose a high-nutrient source, especially those for cats that are stressed or malnourished.
4. Divide the cat’s meal. By feeding your cat more meals per day, cats will absorb more food.
5. Let the cat eat and drink in a quiet and comfortable space.
6. Do not allow small cats or other species to dispute his food while the old cat is eating.
7. Cuddle and chat when the cat is eating (but make sure not to upset him).
8. If your cat does not eat instant food, consult the vet about letting your cat eat homemade food with a special recipe.
Recommended cat food and supplements for old cats
Instant cat food will meet the nutritional needs and tastes of most older cats. Like food for people, you should choose a reputable brand that you and your veterinarian know and trust. Always read labels carefully to ensure that the food is regulated and provides certain nutritional standards.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats – Best Standardized Diet
Expert advice is always the best for sick old cat owners to rely on. So, we encourage you to use this Hill’s Science Diet product as a solution for your pet.
Not only it is the best cat food for older cats with digestive problems, eyes, heart, and kidney, but the cat food also helps pets clean their teeth with kibbles. Especially, it’s incredibly useful that is the best cat food for older cats that vomit.
For the best diet habit, you’d better mixing 25% of this product with the old food for a few days, then increasing to 50%, 75%, and finally 100%. Your cat will gradually get familiar with his new food and live a happy life.
But you should watch carefully because the kibbles are quite large. If the pet cannot chew these large triangle-size pieces, they will have trouble digesting them.
- Natural ingredients
- Tasty flavor with chicken and tuna
- Advantageous for cat’s teeth and health
- Convenient zip lock bag
- Large kibbles
Better in the Raw for Cats – Best Homemade Raw Cat Diet
One of the advantages of raw cat food is that we can add whatever is essential for pets. And this product will comfort you because not only does it offer the cats with a complete and healthy diet but it is extremely easy to use and economical.
Just add meat and water, your pets will have a delicious and nutritious meal. Also, you can adjust the ingredients based on the pet’s health status to help him receive the best physical condition.
Because this product is just raw food, you should purchase it only when you have time to prepare food for the cats. Also, those who love dry cat food will not be likely to try this one.
- Easy to use
- Convenient to control nutrient intake
- Economical choice
- Ideal for all life stages, especially senior
- Takes time and effort
Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain Free Recipe All Natural Cat Food Toppers – Greatest Value For Money
Let’s look at why is this Instinct product is so successful. About ingredients, the cat food is made from natural meat with antioxidants and probiotics, which have a role in intensifying flavor for the food and helping cats feel more delicious.
If your cats get diagnosed with intestinal diseases, then this product will improve his condition and make him gain his weight back on.
The cat food is quite pricey. However, with all it brings to the old cats, you’ll find that it’s worth every cent of your purchase.
- High quality for the best physical condition
- Easy for cats to chew
- Convenient zip lock bag
- High price
Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original With Real Chicken & Salmon Dry Cat Food – Best For Healthy Skin and Coat
Rich in omega-6 fatty acids, this Purina cat food is an ideal solution for cats facing hair loss and dry skin at an old age.
Also, the protein and 25 other essential vitamins, minerals will help them have good overall health without gaining too much weight with veggies and fruits.
Moreover, your tummy-sensitive cats will love this product and live a happy life that is the best cat food for older cats with sensitive stomachs.
With a reasonable product like this, what else do you need?
- Provide full of nutrients for old cats
- Good for cat’s digestion, hair, and skin
- Contain carbohydrates that are not good for kidney and blood sugar problems
If you’re exhausted finding ways to improve the taste for your picky old cat, you will not want to miss this product.
With a special processing formula, the dry cat food is coated in freeze-dried raw, promoting nutrition and flavor, making it more attractive and delicious.
With high-quality ingredients, your cat’s waste will not smell bad. Also, it is the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth.
However, some content in the food can be not good for old cats. For example, the tapioca and flaxseed are cot recommended for cats with breathing issues. So, you should consult it with your vet before buying this product.
- Premium ingredients
- Attractive taste and flavor
- Advantageous for teeth and digestion
- High price
Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Natural Mature Dry Cat Food – Best For Gaining Weight
One of the problems of older animals is that they skip meals and lose weight. If your cat is in the same situation, in addition to health problems, a diet that is not diverse can also create anorexia in cats.
Blue Buffalo will help you promote the cat’s taste with this product. From that, he will be easier to gain weight again and live healthier.
In some cases, cats will have minor problems with allergies when switching to eating this product. However, the number of cases recorded is not much, so you can be assured of caring for your old cat with Blue Buffalo because this is a prestigious brand in the market.
- High content of protein
- Reasonable price
- Some cats get allergic using it
Nutro Senior Indoor Cat Dry Food – Best For Healthy Digestion
If your cat is sensitive and has trouble digesting, then this first product on our list will be your best bet.
With a unique formula, the Nutro food is designed for older cats with beneficial nutrients. When it comes to ingredients, it offers natural chicken meat, brown rice, and others.
Therefore, your old cat will feel tastier and can digest better. All his tummy issues will be handled with this product.
However, for cats needing to lose weight, the brown rice will be a drawback for this product that it provides a high carb source.
- Nutritious ingredients for old cat’s heart and stomach
- Promote to strengthen hair and teeth
- Reasonable price
- Brown rice content
If your old cat has a problem chewing dry cat food, we recommend you to try this popular product. It is the best-wet cat food for older cats, having enough moisture and essential nutrients that are provided in chicken and vegetables.
You can also mix the best-canned cat food for older cats with other dry ones depending on the different dietary habits and health conditions of each individual.
About its drawbacks, the food is labeled flaked texture, but it looks more like a pate. Hence, you should take notice before buying.
- Well-known in the pet care market
- Easier for cats to chew and digest
- Affordable price
- Inconvenient to store in a can
- Not suitable for those who hate pate
Purina Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’– Cheapest Price
You’ll definitely be impressed by how much this cat food offers your pets at a reasonable price. It is one of the specialized products of the widely-known Purina Friskies brand for old cats, even though kittens and adults can also use it.
Better yet, buyers can choose from a variety of flavors, from beef, poultry to seafood, as long as they are the favorite taste of the pet.
The brand also gives you a chance to test whether your cat loves it or not. You can buy a smaller bag and then upsize when the animal gets familiar with the food.
- Reputable brand
- Wonderful quality
- Reasonable price
- Convenient to store with zip lock bag
- Creates a bad cat pee smell
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free, Natural Hairball Control – Beneficial For Cats Usually Getting Hairballs
Cat owners might be familiar with the problem of hairballs because cats frequently lick their hair to clean it. The hairballs will affect the pet’s lung, stomach, and digestion, and it’s even worse when cats get older.
That’s why this product is on our top list of the best food for senior cats. The cat food makes it comfortable for the pet’s lung, and then his hairball issue will be gradually eliminated. Constipation no longer happens again.
However, some sensitive cats are not likely to love it because of the strong flavor. Furthermore, it makes the cat’s waste smell more awful compared to other products.
- High-quality chicken ingredient
- Advantageous for cat’s lung and digestion
- Accessible to store
- Strong flavor
When having an old cat, the owner should pay special attention to his food. A balanced, nutritious diet suitable for your cat’s body will help him become healthier during this frail period. If you have any questions about your old cat’s problem, don’t hesitate to let us know.
With long experience in the profession, we’re willing to help your pet live healthier. Also, don’t forget to like and share the guide with others if you find it useful for you. Thank you.