Adjusting the Senior Cat Diet for Graceful Aging
Kittens benefit from specially-formulated diets to support their rapidly developing systems, but their nutrition needs change as they age. Consequently, there are age-specific cat foods that intend to deliver the optimal vitamins and minerals for each stage of life. Senior cat food is no different, but most commercially-available food products are not one-size-fits-all. Older felines need a proactive approach to the senior cat diet, especially if they have a chronic condition or need to gain some weight.
Every Cat Is Unique
The careful and slow adjustment of the senior cat diet can definitely make a difference to their day-to-day wellness and can also have an impact on the aging process. However, each cat has their own individual needs, lifestyle, activity level, metabolism, and possible health conditions that all have an effect on what they should eat and how much they should consume every day.
When Senior Cats Lose Weight
Some golden oldies have trouble keeping their body weight due to the following common health conditions:
- Renal disease
- Dental disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Pancreas issues
It is critical that cats be seen and treated for the above conditions on a regular basis. If your cat is becoming much thinner as they age, please contact us. We can help you get to the bottom of any problems and work together on a senior cat diet that satisfies them and keeps them feeling good.
What Else to Know
Aging cats may have challenges breaking down the important life-affirming components delivered by fats and proteins. There are many great alternatives to conventional ingredients, including Omega-3 fatty acids, that supplement the senior cat diet. As obligate carnivores, cats need meat to thrive. Some cats cannot tolerate high-protein diets, but if everything else checks out at your senior cat’s exam, their protein needs might stay the same.
A special senior cat diet may be inevitable for your sweet senior. They may need more fiber, less carbohydrates, reduced sodium, and increased fatty acids for fully-balanced nutrition. We are happy to help you get started on slow adjustments to your cat’s food, and may even suggest a prescription diet that meets all of their needs.
Some senior cats grow bored with their meals, while others appear to have picky tastes. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want your senior cat skipping meals and losing important muscle mass. Try to keep their meals interesting with a combination of wet and dry food. Senior cats tend to enjoy broths that soften kibble and increase their food’s palatability.
If you know or suspect your senior cat has trouble chewing their food because of tooth loss or pain, it’s definitely time to address problems related to periodontal disease. Likewise, the diagnosis and treatment of age-related illness is essential for a longer, healthier life.