As your cat gets old, it is important to introduce the much-needed changes in their diet. Some aging felines lose their hunger or even become obese. Even if your old cat looks young and is active, it doesn’t mean you should continue giving them a diet they have been following since a young age.
Depending on the health issues that have been ailing your cat, you might need to introduce the right modifications to their diet.
As a cat attains 12 years of age, they are equivalent to a human that is 64 years old. With age, their joint starts to get affected, and there is a noticeable change in their daily activities.
So, what are the important factors that you need to keep in mind as your cat attains senior status?
We also recommend you to read about the best cat food for indoor cats this is the complete list that addresses the need of most house cats.
Understanding the Nutritional Requirements for Senior Cats
Cats don’t require a lot of nutritional changes throughout their life. However, once they get affected by certain diseases, the diet must be changed with help from a veterinarian. Moreover, cats require a high amount of healthy protein compared to other animals.
You also need to understand that senior cats have a hard time digesting & absorbing fats. So, it would help if you delivered them fat that can be easily digested with proper energy channeling. Moreover, it is critical to regularly monitor your cat’s weight and physical condition, especially if they are 7 years or older.
Senior cats might either gain weight or lose a lot of muscle mass, leading to a possibility of underlying health issues that need to be investigated by a veterinarian. High-quality cat food for seniors must include the right amount of protein, vitamins, digestible carbohydrates, minerals, fiber, magnesium, fatty acids, and antioxidants.
Special Dietary Needs for Senior Cats
Certain diseases require a special diet for senior cats. Here are some health issues that require dietary changes for senior cats:
- If your feline suffers from constipation, colitis, & anal gland-related diseases, they can benefit from food that is rich in fibre
- Felines with diabetes will benefit from food items rich in protein, fat, or fibre. The food should also be low in the quick-release carbohydrates
- Cats with IBD & colitis can benefit from dietary choices that include fat, protein, & carbohydrates that are easy to digest
- Felines with heart i8ssues need a special diet that has low sodium content with enhanced levels of Taurine
- Issues such as chronic kidney disease in felines can be corrected with the help of digestible protein. This helps ensure there is less stress on the kidneys for eliminating toxins from the urine
- Cats suffering from oral or dental diseases must switch to the canned or dental veterinary food
- Felines with cancer need a special diet with an increased proportion of Omega 3 & 6
Look For Softer Food Options
With age, your cat’s gums and teeth become weaker, and it becomes harder for them to chew on hard pellets. The key is to opt for wet food as compared to dry food. However, you can also opt for dry food with a soft texture.
If possible, soak up the pellets in water to ensure your senior cat can chew on them with ease. However, there are certain benefits of opting for dry pellets for senior cats as it helps control plaque or tartar development.
Understanding Calorie Control in Senior Cats
It is understood that the metabolism of senior cats reduces with age. This could lead to an apparent weight gain that could give way to more problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and so much more.
So, it is important to keep their weight in check, and the best way to do that is by controlling the number of calories that go into their food. If you feel that your senior cat has been gaining weight recently, make sure you decrease their calorie intake by a minimum of 20 to 30 percent.
However, if you have a senior cat, it is important to enhance their calorie consumption to balance their physique and body condition as their weight declines naturally with age. Make sure you closely monitor the cat’s body & muscle condition while ensuring a healthy range for both.
Maintaining your cat’s muscle mass and body condition helps reduce the risk factor that comes from diseases such as kidney problems, cancer, immune-mediating diseases, or osteoarthritis. In addition, a good diet can help slow down the changes that come with age & hence increase the lifespan of your senior cat.
Hydration is Important for Senior Cats
Water is important for the smooth functioning of a cat’s bodily functions. Aging can interfere with the cat’s thirst sensitivity. Your cat might become dehydrated, giving rise to other health issues, especially ones in the urinary tract.
So, make sure your cat is ideally hydrated whether they consume dry or wet food.
Top 10 Best Senior Cat Foods
1. The Best Senior Cat Food
The Hill’s Science Diet dry food for senior cats is a special formula that helps provide the necessary energy needed by senior cats. This is especially beneficial if your cat is an indoor feline with minimal activity due to a lack of energy.
The cat food is formulated with high-quality natural fiber that promotes improved digestion & easier passing of stool for constipated felines. Hill’s Science cat food also provides your senior cats with the required nutrient levels to help maintain heart, eye, kidney, and joint health.
This cat food is perfect for a quick food change, especially if your senior cat doesn’t like random dietary changes. If your cat is more than 11 years old, this dry food is a healthy choice. It is loaded with the goodness of carrot medley and seared tuna.
- Created from all-natural ingredients that don’t upset the cat’s stomach
- The veterinarians recommend the formula
- It doesn’t contain any chicken by-product meal
- It contains clinically-proven antioxidants such as Vitamin-E & C
- Promote the maintenance of a healthy immune system for your senior cat
- It needs to be softened by soaking in water
- The size of the kibble needs to be smaller
2. The Best Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats
Blue Buffalo is a popular name for delivering high-quality food for adult cats. The cat food is enriched with the rich flavors of brown rice and chicken. In addition, the cat food formula has all-natural meat with top-notch protein that comes from real chicken.
It helps your senior cat maintain its muscle mass without leading to abrupt weight gain or muscle loss. The formula also contains wholesome ingredients such as whole grains, fruit, & garden veggies. In addition, Blue Buffalo’s dry cat food for senior cats ensures that the diet is loaded with the right amount of carbohydrates & proteins.
It keeps your cat thriving with energy to retain a healthy routine. The formula also helps support your senior cat’s eye and heart health. Moreover, this dry food consists of high-quality LifeSource bits that contain antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
- Ingredients are selected carefully by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians
- It helps boost the immune health of sick senior cats
- It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, wheat, by-product meals, or preservatives
- Ideal for healthy digestion in cats that are aged 7 or older
- It helps maintain an oxidative balance with healthy garden veggies
- It might cause issues such as feline acne
- It might induce issues such as gas or diarrhea in certain cats
3. The Best Wet Cat Food for Senior Cats
A combination of Tuna and Salmon Entrée, the Purina Pro Plan is ideal for senior cats aged 11 or above. This classic wet cat food is created with real and high-quality protein that helps keep your fur-friend healthy and thriving with energy.
The cat food helps support healthy skin & coat for your aging feline. The formula helps provide all the essential nutrients that ensure a thriving immunity for your pet. Moreover, the wet food is light on your cat’s stomach and is easy to digest with optimal nutrient delivery.
Purina Pro’s nutrition profile helps improve & extend your pet’s life with a well-balanced blend of prebiotic fiber, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. In addition, the cat food contains a good amount of Taurine and Vitamin A to support your pet’s vision as they age.
- It contains an ideal combination of real meat acquired from chicken and salmon
- Helps adhere to the increasing nutritional requirements of an aging cat
- It helps provide the perfect amount of hydration for cats with urinary issues
- It doesn’t contain any artificial colors and has a good smell
- Food is soft enough to allow senior cats to chew with ease
- The cat food is very watery
- The price of the product is a bit on the higher end
4. The Best Cat Food for Older Cats
Another great dietary option by Blue Buffalo, the Wilderness dry cat food, has a rich formula created in chicken flavor and is suitable for cat breeds of all sizes. Loaded with high-quality real chicken protein, this cat food feeds the feline to help maintain & build a healthy muscle mass.
This grain-free cat food is perfect for senior cats that help support a healthy weight with better energy levels. Moreover, it also contains the required levels of Omega fatty acids that support coat and skin health. It contains LifeSource bits that serve as the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants.
Moreover, it helps support your old cat’s immune system and helps avoid any possibility of diseases. It is also made with all-natural and finest-quality ingredients enhanced with minerals and vitamins. Blue Buffalo Wilderness also doesn’t contain any poultry or chicken by-products.
- The formula doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives or flavors
- It doesn’t contain any grains for felines that are allergic
- It contains the right amount of protein for senior cats
- The formula is enhanced with added minerals and vitamins
- It helps provide the cat with adequate energy to help them stay active
- Pets tend to gain weight with this pet food
- Price is on the higher end
5. IAMS Proactive Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food
With IAMS Proactive dry cat food, your cat gets access to tasty and flavorful pellets that come in chicken flavor. The formula has chicken as its first ingredient with a nutrient-rich profile that helps your senior cat thrive and stay full of energy throughout the day.
The dry cat food ensures that your cat retains its muscle density and doesn’t gain any weight. It also contains important nutrients for your senior cat, including phosphorus and calcium. IAMS also helps ensure that your cat has healthy joints and strong bones.
The formula contains L-carnitine that helps maintain a healthy weight margin for your cat. Created with the finest quality ingredients, this dry cat food helps restore your senior cat’s immune response with a healthy dose of vitamin E.
- It contains 2X antioxidants to ensure your cat doesn’t get sick easily
- Veterinarians recommend the formula for senior cats
- It doesn’t contain any filler ingredients
- Contains fibers and prebiotics to ensure healthy digestion
- It helps maintain healthy teeth with crunchy kibbles that reduce tartar or plaque
- It might cause constipation issues in certain cats
- The taste might not be liked by some cats that are picky eaters
6. Best Soft Cat Food for Older Cats
Enriched with the goodness of chicken protein, Nutro Wholesome dry cat food for senior cats is perfect for breeds of all sizes. This wholesome cat food is the perfect mix of brown rice and chicken with the perfect balance of minerals, vitamins, & other nutrients.
This delicious cat food has all-real chicken with flavorful ingredients that serve as a perfect option even for picky eaters. In addition, Nutro Wholesome dry cat food is fortified with top-notch and essential nutrients such as Taurine that helps support the heart health of an aging cat.
The formula also contains many antioxidants that ensure a healthy immunity for ailing senior cats. This dry cat food is also created with non-GMO and healthy ingredients from trusted suppliers and farmers.
- It doesn’t contain any wheat, soy protein, or corn
- It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors
- It is rich in high-quality Omega fatty acids
- It helps maintain a healthy coat and skin for felines
- Ideal for cats aged 7 and above
- It needs to be soaked up in the water for better hydration
- It might cause gas issues in certain cats
7. Best Wet Cat Food for Older Cats
If your cat doesn’t like the taste of chicken or similar protein in their food, you can alternate their diet with this fresh formula by Purina Pro. Enriched with the goodness of shrimp and cod, this wet cat food is all that your senior cat needs to thrive and stay healthy for years to come.
Its proprietary blend of nutrients and antioxidants helps improve your pet’s lifestyle while extending their life when started at the age of 7. The primary ingredient of this wet food is real fish with no fillers whatsoever.
The key nutrients added to the cat food help support the growth of an improved microflora in your cat’s digestive system for better digestion. Moreover, the formula doesn’t include any grains to ensure it is safe for allergic cats.
- Made with all-real ingredients, including real fish as the first ingredient
- Fortified with high-quality live probiotics to ensure better digestive health
- Contains Omega 3 & 6 for better heart health
- Loaded with necessary vitamin-A and Taurine to support better vision
- Provide the required hydration for cats with urinary issues
- It might cause diarrhea in certain cats
- Some fussy eaters don’t love the taste
8. Nulo Senior Dry Cat Food For Immune Health
If your senior cat is being picky about the regular old-tasting diet that they eat, a great alternative to try would be the Nulo Senior Dry Cat Food. This flavorful cat food is enriched with the goodness of Alaska Pollock fish that gives your cat all the necessary nutrients required for a healthy lifestyle.
Nulo helps your cat stay active and fit, minus the grain-related allergies that most cats suffer from as they age. The formula uses healthy ingredients like lentils and whole peas to promote better digestion for ailing senior cats.
The dry cat food contains high-quality animal-based protein, a perfect blend of duck and Alaska Pollock. Moreover, the formula contains 78 percent protein, which enriches your cat’s immunity.
- High-quality protein helps support the cat’s digestive health
- The formula helps promote better immunity for the cats
- The natural-fibre content in Nulo helps your cat maintain a healthy weight
- Probiotic advantage formula to ensure faster and better nutrient absorption
- Helps maintain a healthy coat and skin with Omega-3 & 6
- Too expensive as compared to competitors with a similar formula
- Kibble is a bit on the harder side
9. Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity Senior Wet Cat Food
Another ideal choice for senior cats, the Purina One Vibrant Maturity cat food, is enriched with the goodness of ocean whitefish and chicken. It provides your cat with the best-quality protein and helps keep your cat feeling full for longer.
This cat food for senior cats is ideal for cats above 7 years of age. It is formulated to adhere to the nutritional requirements of old cats. Moreover, the formula is recommended by veterinarians for ailing senior cats.
The ocean whitefish and chicken add a flavor to the food desired by cats, especially if they are picky in what they eat. Loaded with all-natural ingredients, this cat food has added minerals, vitamins, & nutrients with healthy hydration levels.
- The fiber-rich formula that helps with better digestion and better stools
- It contains all-real meat as the prime ingredient
- Moisture-rich food helps support feline’s urinary health
- Ideal for senior cats above 7 years of age
- Formula designed to minimize occurrences of hairballs
- The smell of the food isn’t as appealing
- Too many bones and shards in the formula
10. Best Cat Food for Older Cats with Bad Teeth
The Purina Fancy Feast protein-loaded wet cat food contains high-quality protein ideal for senior cats aged 7 and above. Enriched with the flavor of beef, chicken, & tuna, this wet cat food is perfect for all ailing senior cats.
The formula has a 100 percent balanced and complete nutrition profile with antioxidants added to support a healthy immune system. Moreover, it contains Taurine along with important amino acids that help keep your cat’s digestive health on track.
Purina Fancy Feast also packs high vitamin-E levels to support healthy skin and coat. Its classic pate consists of minced meat that adult cats can easily chew on. The unique texture and taste ensure that even the fussy eaters love them.
- Taurine helps ensure a clear vision for senior cats
- The vitamin-E content helps nourish healthy coat and skin
- High-quality protein to ensure better muscle mass maintenance
- Created with real beef, chicken, and tuna
- A grain-free formula that helps your cat thrive with a delectable taste
- Consistency of the formula isn’t even
- It makes some cats gaseous and induces barfing
You might also like to read about the foods which are good for pregnant cats, kidney disease, well if you own a sensitive cat then you need allergen-free foods and we also recommend you to have a look at the foods which can prevent vomiting in old cats.
We hope you can make the best decision for your senior cat with so many options available. Make sure you don’t introduce the change suddenly. Rather go for a slow change while reducing the original food content.
Ensure your senior cat is well-hydrated and gets access to soft pellets that are easier to chew on.