Senior Cat Food Nutrition
As cats age, their nutritional needs change. As such, it will be necessary for you to adjust your older cat’s diet to ensure your older cat’s health is safeguarded. Here are some of the top questions and answers when it comes to senior cat food nutrition.
When should you switch your older cat to senior cat food? Is it even necessary?
Once your cat begins to approach the last third of her normal life expectancy, she is considered to be an “older” or “senior” cat. Cats age differently, but in general, the cut-off age is about 8-9 years old. You may want to discuss this further with your veterinarian, but it would be wise to switch to older cat food to address your cats new dietary needs, especially if she has become overweight.
What makes for a healthy senior cat diet and nutrional cat food?
As with all cat food, a high-quality meat/protein is tantamount to the food you provide your senior cat. Make sure your cat enjoys her food and that it is made of small, easy to chew bite size kibbles. Taurine is also a key ingredient in your cat’s food, and try to look for cat foods with cranberries to ensure a healthy urinary tract. While your senior cat won’t need as much protein as a kitten, she is still a carnivore and requires a great deal of protein, a greater percentage than older dogs even. As such, it is important not to restrict your senior cat’s protein intake. In fact, cat food with low protein may impair your cat’s immune function.
In addition to your senior cat’s protein requirements, studies have shown that older cat’s do not digest and absorb fats as well as younger cats. So make sure your cat’s food has has more easily digestible food in order to ensure she gets the same amount of energy. Be sure to keep track of your cat’s weight and body and adjust her diet accordingly.