What Do I Feed My Senior Cat?

What Do I Feed My Senior Cat?

I often get asked by cat owners what’s the best food for their aging feline. In her senior years, it’s more important than ever that your cat is provided with a high quality, tasty diet with easily digestible protein and a balance of key nutrients. Elderly cats have specific dietary requirements. As they are less active than they once were, it is incredibly important they receive the right balance of nutrients as they won’t be exercising as much and therefore are prone to obesity.

As your cat ages, they will need extra support from their nutrition, which is why I’ve put together a helpful guide to help you pick out the best food for your senior cat so she can live out her golden years, healthily and happily.

Dr Carol Doyle Veterinarian

Carol Doyle, BSc VN DVM

Carol DoyIe is a small pet veterinarian in a practice in Ashbourne, Co. Meath and is the human companion to her cats, Nala and Donal, two horses - Indie and Bella, and her dog Phoebe.

As a guest blogger and advisor, Carol shares her professional advice with pet owners, answering many of the questions that she gets asked regularly in-clinic.

Important Facts About Your Cat’s Dietary Needs

  • Cats are carnivores which means that the only eat meat; so, it is important that their diet includes a high content of protein. A vegetarian diet for your cat could cause blindness.
  • Cats are lactose intolerant so they should always have access to fresh, clean water, but never milk.
  • Kidney problems are prevalent in cats, particularly as they enter their senior years. A prescription renal diet may be needed for your older cat.
  • A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet is needed to help prevent diabetes in cats, a common illness which can be exasperated by obesity

Why is Nutrition Important for Senior Cats?

As your cat grows older, her nutritional requirements begin to change. Cats can live up to 20 years old; that’s a long time to be a senior! Therefore, it’s important that you give them the right food so they can remain in good shape and decent health.

A good senior cat diet offers high quality protein, controlled levels of fat, and easy-to-digest carbohydrates for energy. Key vitamins and minerals, along with proteins, help to support the ageing immune system and joints.

Feeding Your Mature Cat (7+ years)

By the time your cat reaches the age of seven, she will now have reached the human equivalent of 44 years old. While you might not think it, she will now be entering her ‘mature years’ and her body will start aging. You may notice that she’s not as active as she used to be, so adjusting her daily diet and calorie intake is recommended to prevent weight gain at this stage in her life.

When choosing the best food for your mature cat, I would recommend selecting one that has been especially formulated to cater for the dietary needs of an older cat. These will be developed to prevent weight gain, boost the immune system and aid your cats joints and mobility as she ages.

orange and black cat being petted by owner as he eats his food

Feeding Your Senior/Geriatric Cat (11+ years)

In her senior years, your cat’s senses will begin to deteriorate, which can lead to a loss of appetite. At this stage, why not try dry food with a wet centre, which can make mealtimes more appetizing and palatable for your cat. A diet change in her senior years can help prevent weight loss and muscle mass decline.

While weight loss is a concern for senior cats, reduced mobility and activity levels can increase the risk of weight gain too. Weight gain in your senior cat can increase the risks of illness such as diabetes or kidney problems. There are a wide range of food available to support your cat in her later years, and the team at Petmania are available to help you choose the best food for your senior cat.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s health at anytime, a visit to your vet is recommended.

senior cat looking up waiting for his food

How Often Do I Feed My Senior Cat?

The frequency of meals will be based on your cat’s health status, but I would suggest feeding your senior cat at least twice a day and monitor for any weight gain in case you need to reduce total daily calories. It is worth noting that outdoor cats tend to burn more calories than indoor cats, as they are usually more physically active. Always discuss with your vet before making any dietary changes.

Weight & Body Condition

Monitoring your senior cat’s weight and body condition score will help you to track her development as she ages, and help guide you in knowing if / when a change in food or activity is required.

By regularly monitoring your senior cat’s weight you can quickly identify if there is any cause for concern, and allow you to take early action to prevent weight related problems from developing.

Shop Senior Cat Food

Share this post

You've just added this product to the cart: