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Feeding your older cat

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Food for your older cat

Once your cat hits seven years old, they are officially an ‘older pet’. They won’t necessarily need different cat food on their seventh birthday, but around this time you should start thinking about switching to a diet designed specifically for older cats.

Why change?

Your cat’s body has different nutritional needs as they get older. Often senior foods contain less fat and are lower in calories because of a lower energy requirement as pets become less active with age. They have higher-quality protein sources than standard foods and controlled levels of sodium and phosphorus. This helps to maintain muscle mass and supports healthy vital organ function without putting too much strain on the kidneys. Senior diets tend to be easily digestible and help maintain healthy gastrointestinal system support and immune system function. Often a senior diet contains antioxidants and joint supplements which can help with common ageing conditions such dementia and osteoarthritis. There are many diets out there and at Companion Care we are always happy to discuss your pet’s diet with you.

The right food for your older cat

Whether you choose a wet or dry cat food, check the packaging for guidance on the recommended age range and how much to give. Remember it’s never a good idea to switch your cat’s food in one go. Make sure it’s a gradual change so your cat has time to get used to the new textures and flavours. If your cat has a medical condition, for example chronic kidney disease, then your vet might recommend a special diet that will help with treating the disease.

Watch their weight

As your cat becomes less active, they need less fat and calories than they used to, and a senior cat food will help with this. It can still be easy to over-feed your pet though, so keep an eye on your cat’s weight and adjust the meal quantities accordingly if they seem to be getting a little tubby!