When To Switch To Senior Cat Food
So, is there a definitive age at which a cat should switch to a senior diet? Unfortunately, no, Dr. Bartges says. It all depends on the individual cat and their veterinarians recommendations.
If an older cat is maintaining body weight and muscle condition on a certain diet, then there is no reason to change it, he says. If they are gaining weight for no particular health reason other than a change in metabolism, then feeding a senior type of diet or a lower energy and higher fiber diet may be . If they are losing weight for no apparent health reason other than a change in metabolism, then a diet change to something more calorically dense, such as kitten food, could be indicated.
And, of course, if a cat develops a health issuelike diabetes or a chronic kidney disease like Hootiea diet switch may be warranted to help manage the issue, he says.
Owners should discuss diet with their veterinarian at all visits regardless of age, Dr. Bartges says. For a diet changewhether to a senior diet or notit comes down to their historical information, and the results of a physical examination and laboratory evaluation.
When its time to switch, it should be done over several days, he adds.
In general, transitioning over days should be done to ensure the cat accepts the new food, Dr. Bartges says, also noting that it can take up to weeks or months for the cat to accept the new food when a disease, such as chronic kidney disease, is present.
Simply Raw: Rabbit Turkey Or Chicken
This blog recommends that you use rabbit, turkey or chicken as the base of your cat food, using a grinder to break down the cuts of meat you have selected. As surface bacteria can develop on ground meats much quicker than a solid cut, it is also advised that the ground meat is then partially baked to kill these potentially harmful bacterias. We should note this is strictly a meat meal and will likely be a favorite of any felines! A quick scroll down this blog, will also give you a recipe if you prefer to cook your felines food!
What To Look For In Senior Cat Food
All cats are obligate carnivores, which means the majority of their diet should come from animal protein. Here are some things to look for in senior cat food:
- Highly digestible food. Digestibility is the key to proper nutrient absorptionkeep in mind that cats are designed to digest protein, not carbohydrates.
- Plenty of protein. Research suggests that older cats may need a higher percentage of protein in their diets than younger cats do.
- Taurine. Taurine is an essential amino acid critical for heart health and important for aging cats. It can be found in animal-based proteins like chicken, lamb, and fishyoull see it listed as an ingredient in any good cat food.
- Moisture. Many older cats develop dental problems that make chewing kibble difficult. Wet food is easier for many senior cats to manage, and the increased moisture content is important for digestion and kidney health as well. If your cat insists on dry food, try using moisture-rich wet food as a topper.
- Sufficient calories. While some cats gain weight as they slow down with age, many senior cats have the opposite problemthey have trouble keeping weight on. Work with your vet to determine the ideal weight for your cat. Then find the right food and feeding schedule to help them achieve and maintain that weight.
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Nutro Senior Soft Loaf Chicken Recipe
Best Food for Older Cats with Missing or No Teeth: As we mentioned earlier, if your kitty has dental issues there is no substitute for providing them with a moist cat food. This product from Nutro has been specifically designed for older cats that have tooth loss issues and is easy to eat while being delicious at the same time.
Its made primarily from real cuts of chicken and their associated fats. There are no grains, corn, or other padding which makes it suitable for sensitive stomachs, and its got fish oils and other vitamins for additional nutrition.
How To Transition Your Senior Cat To New Food
Making adjustments to the food your senior cat eats is important for their health and wellness, but try not to make the change too quickly. Sudden dietary changes can upset your cats stomach. Instead, transition in the new food slowly over the course of seven to 10 days. You can start by mixing 25% of the new food with your cats current diet and slowly increase the ratio as your kitty adjusts.
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Senior Cat Food: What To Look For
Most commercially available cat foods will meet your pets nutritional needs. Miller explains, Commercial cat foods meet certain base-level criteria for nutrition. I recommend foods manufactured by companies with long-established histories of making quality food, that consult with veterinary nutritionists, and have stringent quality control measures.
While counting calories isnt the most fun activity, Miller adds that cats should be consuming about 200 calories per day. I recommend quantifying how many calories your cat is eating on a per-day basis so you can quickly recognize a decrease in appetite, he says.
Further, if your senior cat is experiencing age-related health issues, you should talk to your veterinarian about which diet would be most beneficial.
The Best Foods Are Ultra
Because many cats lose their interest in food as they age, its important to stimulate their desire to eat. Warm, moist foods with strong aromas can point your cat in the right direction.
A sprinkle of bonito flakes or a splash of bone broth can also encourage your older cat to get the food they need. Dental problems can make chewing a challenge, so its a good idea to select moist, soft foods that are easy for your cat to consume.
All of the foods on this list were chosen with senior needs in mind. Theyre rich in biologically-appropriate animal protein, feature minimally processed ingredients, and have a soft, moist consistency thats easy to eat.
With cats living longer than ever before, theres no doubt that senior cats can be fit, healthy, and energetic.
The right diet plays a vital role in ensuring that your cat is at his best through every stage of life. In addition to the foods listed above, any nutrient-dense, meat-based food will help your senior thrive.
Remember that a cats nutritional needs change with age. Consult with your veterinarian if you need help finding the diet thats most appropriate for your senior cat.
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Highlights Of Smack Pet Foods:
- 5 formulas: Pacific Fish Feast, Purrfect Pork, and Very Berry Chicken, and Salmon
- Made mostly with certified-organic, human-grade ingredients
- Loaded with nutrient-dense superfoods
- Highly palatable perfect for finicky cats
- Manufactured in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Size options: 250g, 1.5kg bags
- Price: $$$
Carna4 is consistently one of our best selling brands year over year, and for good reason theyre one of the few foods on this list containing absolutely no synthetics of any kind. Unlike most commercial cat foods, Carna4 foods are so nutrient dense, synthetic vitamins premixes are not needed during the manufacturing process.
Since 2010 Carna4s team of nutritionists, food scientists and engineers have been harnessing the nutritional power of superfoods to make exceptional quality pet foods. Using organic sprouted seeds one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth combined with 100% fresh, table-grade meats, and whole produce, Carna4 is loaded with nutrition and flavour.
Organic sprouted seeds in Carna4 are an outstanding source of antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics. All Carna4 formulas are free from hormones, antibiotics and GMOs. Carna4 offers two cat food recipes: chicken and fish. These formulas are perfectly suitable for cats of all sizes, shapes, and life stages.
Choose A Diet With A Low Phosphorus Content
In order to slow the progression of kidney disease, it is advisable to feed a low-phosphorus diet to senior cats. Choose a diet that has between 0.5 and 0.7% phosphorus, on a dry matter basis. The phosphorus content will not always be listed on food label, but you can ask the manufacturer for that information.
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What To Look For In The Best Wet Soft And Canned Cat Foods
Quality wet, soft or canned cat food is rich in nutrients and usually more so than a quality dry cat food. Today there is a wet food formula for nearly every feline diet including organic, high protein, weight-maintenance, diabetic, sensitive-stomach and more.
In general, wet and canned foods should contain less wheat, grains, and other carbohydrates that are found in mass produced dry cat food. These carbohydrates, in large amounts, are not healthy for your cats diet and can cause problems for some cats.
Wet and canned cat foods should be similar to food your cat would eat in the wild and they usually have higher levels of animal-based proteins. Wet and canned foods are not exposed to as much heat, as dry food during the cooking process, so it maintains more of its nutrients.
The best wet, soft and canned cat foods should contain the following ingredients:
- Quality meat as the first ingredient
- Single source of protein
- Price on the high side
- Food needs to be refrigerated
Nom Nom is a subscription cat food delivery service that delivers customized meals to your door, whether you need to help an overweight cat or help with your kittys urinary tract health. They guarantee to provide restaurant quality ingredients that are considered human grade, in every meal.
The food contains no fillers or grains, no preservatives or artificial flavors, and they only use the highest-quality, responsibly sourced meats.
Best Kitten: Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Kitten Food
Food Type: Wet | Amount: Not listed | Main Ingredient: Varies | Life Stage: Kitten
It’s important to feed your kitten food thats specifically labeled for kittens, as it will be formulated to help support their growth and healthy development with higher protein content and calories. It should also have increased vitamin and mineral supplementation , Dr. Barrack says.
This grain-free blend comes in smaller 3-ounce cans sized for kittens’ appetites. If you do have any left over, cover and refrigerate it will stay good for up to three days. The soft, paté style is easy for kittens to chew and digest. This box comes with four different flavors so you can experiment until you find their favorite.
Food Type: Wet | Amount: 3 ounces | Main Ingredient: Ocean whitefish | Life Stage: Adult
While the best food for your senior cat depends on your own cats unique health needs, in general, it is best to maintain a diet filled with proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and water throughout all stages of your cat’s life, Dr. Barrack says. This grain-free blend made in the U.S. from Purina contains 10 percent minimum protein to help maintain your older cats lean muscle mass, antioxidants beta carotene, and vitamin E to support their immune system, and prebiotic fiber for easier digestion.
Note that you may want to cut back on portion sizes if you notice your cat is less active or gaining weight.
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The Best Cat Food For Senior Cats
Choosing a recipe formulated for older cats is one of the easiest ways to make sure your senior cats nutritional needs are being met, but it isnt the only way. As long as your cat food provides the right balance of protein, fat, calories, and essential nutrients, and your cat is maintaining a healthy weight, youre already on the right track.
If you are looking for food specially formulated for older cats, there are several excellent options. Weve listed the crude protein content for each of these foods. Keep in mind that the percentage of protein is calculated differently for dry foods and wet foodssince wet foods include so much water. Just make sure to compare dry food to dry food and wet food to wet food when choosing food for your senior cat.
What To Look For In A Good Food For Older Cats
Theres no one size fits all solution when looking for food for older cats. Some cats will be suffering from some health issues, and other cats will be suffering from other health issues . We will list some common considerations below, but remember that not all cats will need all of the things were about to cover.
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A Companys Recall History Can Tell You A Lot
Use your own judgment to evaluate the circumstances of, and response to, any given recall. A company with a history of constant recalls, deception, and secrecy is not one that you can trust. Theres no need to dismiss a company based on a single minor recall, provided that they responded to it swiftly, honestly, and effectively.
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior
The Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior formula is a great way to feed your aging kitty a balanced diet. This dry food is full of protein and has chicken as its first ingredient with no fillers. Being high in protein, this formula provides energy for playtime and keeps your cats muscles in tip-top shape.
Along with the protein, other elements of this dry food increase your kittys overall health. It includes vitamin E for a healthy immune system, L carnitine to help regulate weight, and calcium and potassium for strong bones and joints. Not to mention, the kibble helps clean cats teeth and removed plaque but isnt too crunchy, which is great for older cats with tooth issues.
One of the best things about Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior dry food is that it is very flexible and easy to integrate into any cats diet. It works for both indoor and outdoor cats and provides the same healthy, balanced diet for younger cats. This is especially great for households with multiple cats of different ages.
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Understanding Cat Food Labels
Now that we understand the basic nutrient requirements of an adult cat, lets take a look at the basic guidelines for cat food and who regulates them.
In the United States, pet foods are overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations Center for Veterinary Medicine, notes Dr. Fascetti. They rely on the NRCs expertise for information about specifically what pet foods should contain to ensure their safety and efficacy.
The FDA requires that pet food manufacturers include certain information on their labels, including proper listing of ingredients and the manufacturers name and address. Some states have adopted more specific regulations established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . Those include feeding instructions, guaranteed analysis and a nutritional adequacy statement. Lets look more closely at each of these:
How We Choose The Best Senior Cat Foods
While this list focuses mostly on those foods marketed to senior cats, what is actually important is the ingredient label and the macronutrient profile.
As long as you choose a food that allows your kitty to eat enough calories and protein, the food can be suitable, assuming its Complete and Balanced, as per AAFCO regulations.
The problem with some adult cat foods, though, is that they are fairly low calorie. A good senior cat food should have a slightly higher calorie per gram number, since some senior cats have difficulty eating as well as they previously did.
With a higher caloric density, an older cat can consume less food, while still ingesting enough energy to maintain a healthy body weight.
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Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control
Best Food for Older Cats with Hairballs: The special blend of fibrous ingredients in this great food from Blue Buffalo has been specifically designed to prevent hairballs. Its a combination of chicken and brown rice thats laden with vitamins and minerals for healthy living. Additionally, this is a calorically controlled food thats designed to keep older cats at a healthy body weight .
The Top Ten Canadian Made Cat Foods Of 2022
What are the best quality cat foods you can buy in Canada? Canada is home to some of the best quality cat food brands in the world! In fact, Canadian brands lead the way in innovation and sustainability. We have carefully evaluated dozens of Canadian pet food brands, closely scrutinizing every aspect of the manufacturer and their recipe. Here are just a few of the things we consider:
- Quality and source of ingredients, including how fresh the ingredients are, where theyre sourced from, whether they include antibiotics or hormones, if theyre GMO free, organic, and more.
- Manufacturing practices and transparency. We believe the manufacturers of the foods we feed our beloved pets should be accountable for every step of the manufacturing process.
- Innovation and sustainability. As we move towards a more eco-friendly world, pet food manufacturers should be focused on developing earth-friendly standards and practices as well.
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Iams Proactive Health Senior Adult Dry Cat Food
IAMS senior cat food* offers three different options for caring for a senior cats nutritional needs. Their Mature Adult, Mature Adult-Hairball Care and Healthy Senior foods might be the right choice for your old pal.
The Mature cat formula is ideal for cats aged 8 to 10 years, while the Senior cat formula is for cats aged 11+ years.
These recipes include prebiotics, probiotics and beet pulp for a healthy digestion. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for immune system health.
The added L-carnitine helps maintain a healthy metabolism for weight management.