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Nutritional Needs of Senior Cats
Your cat’s nutritional needs will change as they grow older, and it can make feeding time a challenge for both of you. Like humans, cats undergo significant physical changes with age. Understanding some of these changes and altering your senior cat’s food can help maintain their weight and health.
Obesity in cats occurs most commonly in middle age. If you notice that your cat is eating less but still gaining weight, it could be attributed to decreased metabolism or decreased activity levels. Being overweight can lead to chronic medical conditions, including heart, respiratory, skin, and joint problems, especially in older cats. You should have your cat’s weight checked regularly at the vet clinic and consult your vet to make sure your cat is at a healthy weight and is getting the right nutrition.
Although weight loss is sometimes attributed to the aging process, it can also be the result of an underlying disease. If your senior cat has a healthy appetite but is still losing weight, consult your vet. A decreased appetite could be associated with periodontal disease (gum and tooth problems), gastrointestinal disease, kidney failure, or a reduction in taste sensation.
Maintaining your senior cat’s health
When determining how much to feed your cat, follow these guidelines for proper senior cat nutrition:
- Slowly adjust caloric intake to physical and environmental conditions (for instance, indoor vs. outdoor cats, spayed/neutered)
- Give your cat a stimulating environment where they can be active
- Switch to a food with a lower energy density (reduced fat or higher fibre)
- Implement portion control and meal feeding
- Introduce foraging devices (meal-dispensing feeders, food-filled toys)
- Introduce barriers to food access (baby gates, elevated feeding stations)
We can help
Choosing the best cat food for your senior cat will provide them with a higher quality of life. Cats have shown health benefits from a food supplemented with antioxidants, fatty acids, and a prebiotic source. Hill's™ Science Plan™ Healthy Ageing 11+ is formulated to support healthy brain and kidneys of cats aged 11+ years. With clinically proven antioxidants, Omega-3s and L-carnitine:
- Antioxidants and fish oil to help support healthy brain and vitality
- L-carnitine and optimal levels of calcium for lean muscles and strong bones
- Controlled levels of minerals for optimal kidney and urinary tract health
- Great taste, loved by cats
Choosing the right kind of food for your senior cat can help them to lead a long, healthy life. For more information on what’s best for your senior cat, consult your veterinarian.