As cats grow older naturally they change. They have different habits, they are not that playful, some might get obese and most of them change their preferences regarding food. For that reason, you need to be careful about the diet of your senior cat. Find out what food is the best for your old friend.
First of all, it’s important to know that when cats reach 7 years of age they are considered senior. In this period their metabolism is slowing down and usually they become less active. Your cat might still look young, but that doesn’t mean that you need to continue feeding it with the same food as always. By 12 years of age the cat is equivalent to a 64 years old human. In the same way as people in that age can easily get sick, senior cats are at risk as well.
More protein-based food: Yes or no?
In the past, vets recommended to avoid food with high protein level for senior cats because there was plenty of cat food in the markets with a poor quality protein. This type of food was difficult for the cats to digest and it usually caused problems with kidney’s and liver’s function. (Read more about Urinary tract disease ). However, in recent years it was discovered that this was very wrong thing to do. It turns out that the senior cats actually need more protein in their diet. If you cut out protein of their diet they can lose weight, have muscle wasting and get more ill.
What is most important regarding protein – make sure your senior cat gets enough protein but with higher quality. Always read the labels of the products and consult with the vet about your cat’s condition.
It all depends on their health issues
In order to choose the best diet for your senior cat, you need to be aware of their health. As they get old, cats are more prone to diseases, so you need to know what kind of food to give them.
For example, if your cat has constipation, colitis or anal gland disease you need to give include more dietary fiber. Cats with diabetes need more fat, protein and fiber as well as quick-release carbohydrates. As we mentioned above if your cat has kidney failure they need more protein which is highly digestible.
Cats that suffer from heart disease may need a special diet with decreased amount of sodium and those with dental and oral diseases should eat canned food. Omega 3-fatty acids are recommended for the cats with cancer, however these cats usually get a special diet.
Your senior cat refuses to eat
Often cats don’t want to eat from dirty bowl, so when you notice that your cat doesn’t eat make sure their bowl is clean. If this is sorted consult with the vet to check for possible disease. If everything is in order there are few ways to make your cat eat – try with heated canned food or moistened kibbles because this will make the food taste better and smell stronger which may encourage your cat to eat. Try switching dry food with wet food and feed them more often with a smaller quantity of food.
Most important of all is to feed your cat with food that doesn’t generate a lot of metabolic stress for your cat, which can be whole, raw, organic, unprocessed and in natural form. The foundation of your cat’s diet should be always animal meat.