Best food for older cats ? When your cat enters his golden years, between 7 and 10, he will start to slow down and take a nap more than before. Adjust your furbaby’s diet accordingly to meet its lower energy needs and any health problems that may begin to age.
An older kitten whose activity level has decreased needs fewer calories than a young, energetic one. According to the Cat Channel, an older cat needs around 25 to 30 calories per pound of weight each day to maintain its health, unlike a younger one who needs 35 calories per pound.
Look for foods that are specifically labeled for older cats, those older than 7 that contain more fiber and less fat to make your cat feel fuller with fewer calories per serving. The extra fiber also reduces constipation, which is common in older cats, according to the 2ndchance.info website.
Wet or dry food for older cats
Both canned wet food and dry food provide your older furry friend with the nutrition he needs, but choosing which one is best for a cat depends on his taste and health. Some older kittens prefer the taste and texture of a dry granule that can keep teeth clean and scrape tartar.
Others may prefer a stronger scent of canned cat food, which has a finer structure that makes it easier for older kittens with dental problems to eat. Canned foods also contain much more water, consisting of about 75 percent moisture, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. According to the Feline Advisory Bureau, this helps prevent dehydration, especially in older cats.
Foods that indicate on the label that they adhere to nutritional profiles or have been tested by the American Food Control Association have provided a balanced diet for your older cat. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, fats and essential proteins that your cat needs to maintain its health.
Older kittens and cats generally need protein from animal sources to obtain taurine, an amino acid that their bodies cannot naturally produce. Whole meat should be the first ingredient in any meal you feed an older cat, because according to the FDA, manufacturers must list all ingredients in descending order by weight.
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Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, help slow the signs of aging by fighting free radicals in the body that can cause tissue damage, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Foods intended for older cats have higher levels of these antioxidants than those labeled for adult cats. All foods that meet AAFCO nutritional profile requirements contain at least 26 percent protein and 9 percent fat, which is needed for proper nutrition of your older cat meat, according to the FDA.
Health problems in an aging cat can affect your cat’s appetite and cause weight loss. Rapid weight loss in cats is very dangerous because it can lead to liver lipidosis, a condition that can cause liver failure. Possible causes of weight loss and loss of appetite for your furbaby include dental problems, arthritis pain, kidney disease, cancer, heart problems and hyperthyroidism.
If you find that your kitten has an appetite, take a trip to the vet to determine the cause. In some cases, a special prescription diet may be appropriate to treat certain medical conditions. For example, older cats diagnosed with kidney disease may require a diet low in phosphorus, protein and sodium, according to WebMD.
Stimulation of appetite
Once you have resolved any health issues that may affect your older kitten, stimulate his appetite by switching the cat to a canned diet from dry. These dishes smell more pungent than dry foods and you can heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to increase the smell. Beef or low-sodium chicken broth can also entice your kitten to eat as it ages and increases water intake to prevent dehydration.
A healthy older kitten can continue to eat just like a young boy, but as he slows down, the same amount of calories he has always fed can quickly pack into pounds. Obesity in older cats is a problem that can lead to health problems such as diabetes. If you notice that your cat looks round and you don’t feel his ribs, he may be obese. Talk to your veterinarian to give you furbabs on a low-calorie diet.
Low-calorie, high-fiber foods can satisfy your cat’s hunger without reducing the portion sizes you feed. In older cats diagnosed with diabetes, food high in protein and low in carbohydrates may not only play a role in managing the disease, but may also help it lose weight.