As cats age, they change both in personality and in physicality. These changes require knowledgeable cat breeders to take care of them more appropriately as the cat’s age enters a new stage. Not everyone realizes the right time to act, even though they may have consulted a veterinarian. Cats are sensitive animals and are good at hiding. They will not make it easy for you to see the health problems they are having. Instead, they just quietly changed a few habits or attitudes. In eating and drinking is no exception.
You see, your cat eats less. And, you wonder: Do cats eat less as they get older? That is the question of many people and also of us. So we did, and this article is what we want to share with you. If you are a cat breeder, this article is for you.
When cats become old
There are many signs and immediate changes that make it easy to know where your cat is sensitive. According to some experts, cats begin to enter old age at the eleventh year of life. However, that’s just in theory. Some cats have a good diet, play well, and have surprisingly good health. They may only age in terms of age, and the body may not.
This article is aimed at truly biologically old cats. Accordingly, some outward signs that you can easily observe, such as:
- The cat’s fur becomes more prolonged, not as shiny as before. Cats, as they age, will no longer be as flexible as before. Therefore, they will no longer lick their feathers as often. Also, as cats age, they face many diseases; their bodies are no longer healthy and supple. That’s why the cat’s coat is no longer beautiful.
- Cats are more sluggish. The lateral degeneration that takes place inside the cat’s body is a process we don’t see. But one of the outward signs is that the cat’s movements have become more difficult. The cat’s joints are no longer flexible, so the cat works much more slowly than before.
- Cats are no longer running and jumping, restricting stairs. Bone and joint problems are also an explanation for this behavior in cats.
- Cats sleep more. Experiments have shown that older cats like to sleep more during the day. You may see dim eyes and lie dormant in their little house most of the time.
- The cat is more painless and more gentle. Why? Many cat behavior experts believe that this is because cats have lived long enough to understand what they need more than demanding, always fighting for something. It is a safe, peaceful home.
Do cats eat less as they get older?
A cat has three stages of development throughout life: kittenhood, adulthood, and old age. As cats enter different stages of development, their nutritional needs are also different. However, there is not exactly a guarantee that cats will eat less or more during which stage of development.
In dogs, they will eat less as they get older. But for cats, it’s not quite the case. Depending on your cat’s specific condition, it may eat less or more as it gets older.
Older cats may eat more when their food is soft, hydrated. Besides, high-meat foods are also an idea because it improves the flavor and flavor of the food, making the meal more appealing.
Anyway, reality shows that most cats eat less as they get older. In other words, as you age, your cat cravings decrease markedly. Illness is often the cause of an aging cat’s appetite.
- Oral problems. Older cats’ teeth are no longer healthy because they have been active for many years. As the body’s standard biological mechanism as the body gets older, the old cat will lose its teeth. It can be a problem that prevents your old cat from being able to eat and drink comfortably. There are also some dental diseases in cats that are also causing, such as tartar and periodontal disease. However, these two diseases are common in cats, even more so than obesity or kidney disease. But there is an even more severe oral problem that 30-70% of adult cats have. That is tooth reabsorption. Tooth reabsorption occurs when the outer layers of the tooth are eroded and absorbed into the inner layers. Then gradually destroys the teeth and dissipates the root. That can be painful for your cat, and it is difficult to tell with the naked eye because it occurs on the gum line. Even if the cat’s teeth are damaged, it is not easy to find out. Of course, these conditions prevent older cats from going to their food bowls.
- The senses in cats are weakened, including smell. That’s why cats no longer find food appealing.
- Older cats often lie in one place, inactive, or even sleep most of the time. As a result, the demand for energy in them drops at a superficial level. The product, of course, is that older cats eat less.
- Some diseases prevent old cats from eating as much as infectious diseases, respiratory, endocrine or neurological diseases, etc. Because at this time, their bodies will experience pain and congestion from within, making them lose their appetite. Certain conditions of the stomach, intestinal tract, liver, and pancreas can cause nausea, reduce or suppress appetite in older cats.
Meanwhile, some diseases cause older cats to eat more:
- Kidney disease is one of the most common diseases in older cats. It’s a normal part of aging when some kidney function stops working. A cat’s kidneys cannot filter blood, and moving waste products from the blood into the urine can have unpredictable consequences. For example, some harmful substances can accumulate in the cat’s body and make the cat sick. As the disease progresses, cats quickly lose weight and have cravings because toxins build up in the blood.
- Diabetes or hyperthyroidism are also common problems in older cats. The main feature of this disease is that the cat craves more but loses weight.
Take care of your old cat
As cats get older, their nutritional needs change. Proper nutrition can prolong the life of your cat while also slowing the progression of certain diseases.
Some studies have shown that older cats have difficulty digesting, like kittens’ sensitive digestive system, better absorption of fat and protein. It also means that senior cats can absorb these two nutrients to get the energy they need.
The cat’s protein requirement is higher than that of many other animals. Insufficient protein intake in a diet can impair immune function in cats. That requires even more attention in older cats. It would be best if you did not go on a protein restriction with them unless your cat’s health requires that restriction.
There are dry foods and canned foods for older cats. Not only do they provide high-quality protein, but some also contain added vitamin E to enhance your pet’s natural defenses. In particular, they have fewer calories than regular foods. That helps maintain the optimal body weight for your pet when their activity level drops.
If your cat is anorexic, you should offer it smaller, softer meals. That is a good idea because as cats get older, their smell, taste, and chewability will decrease. Such meals are even more helpful in stimulating it to overeat as older cats can be overwhelmed by excessive food intake. You can feed your cat more than three meals a day.
Besides, don’t forget to change the dishes to avoid boredom. However, consulting with your veterinarian is always a never-ending reminder. Consult with them to get the most out of your cat care.
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