Senior Cat Nutrition 101 - Cat Food & Cat Nutrition (Part 3)
Table of Contents
The first thing to know about your senior cat nutrition is that their dietary needs differ from when they were kittens.
As your cat grows old, they may start to be picky about the food that you give them. This is because as their taste buds change and fewer teeth become available with age, it becomes more difficult for a kitty's body to digest different types of foods.
It is recommended to switch your cat's diet as he ages, just like we do in our own lives. At the age of 11, we should start considering our cats senior. Here we will discuss the basic needs of senior cats.
Why do senior cats have different nutritional requirements?
The nutritional requirements of cats are unlike those of humans. Their caloric and energy requirements increase as their age reaches up to 11 years. The reason for the change in his nutritional need is because it is difficult for cats to digest protein, fats, and energy.
How to control the nutritional needs of senior cats?
The calorie content in mature and senior cats is different. Mature cats that are above the age of seven are prone to obesity, so they have less caloric needs, and their caloric needs are reduced to 20-30%. Similarly, senior cats that are over 11 years old need additional calories to maintain their normal physique because older cats are prone to weight loss in old age.
Cats are a lot like humans in that it is important to monitor their body condition and muscle condition closely. Keeping both of those things within the healthy range can help your cat live longer, healthier lives by reducing instances of disease or illness.
If you maintain your cat's healthy body condition, it will reduce the risk of many problems like kidney disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and immune-related issues.
Senior cats are usually hyperactive and hungry, so they need a diet that helps them live long, healthy lives. That's why most senior cat diets have appropriate nutrient limits and less caloric food to keep your beloved friend happy for years to come. However, there is no specific nutrient requirement established for senior cats.
The best way to find the right diet for your senior cat is by consulting with a veterinarian. Your vet will recommend an appropriate diet that fits your kitty's specific needs and preferences, based on what they know about them from their previous medical history.
Portion feeding is important for your cat's health. Cat owners should always monitor their cats weight to make sure they are not becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to a multitude of medical problems.
One way to do this is by portioning out food and giving it in measured amounts throughout the day so that you know how much your pet has eaten each time without having one big meal and wondering what happened afterward.
Some pet owners rely on the feeding chart included in their bag of kibble, but this can lead to overestimating how much they should feed. Your cat's weight and activity level affect its nutritional needs. So it's best to consult a veterinarian for an accurate portion recommendation tailored specifically for your feline friend.
What specific nutrients does a senior cat need?
In order to maintain your senior cat's health and slow down the signs of diseases related to aging, they need a diet that contains essential nutrients. For example, chondroitin, glucosamine, green-lipped mussel extracts, and fatty acids all help in increase of the mobility of senior cats.
Digestive issues can be cured by rightly formulated food and with the right choice of nutrients. If you select highly digestible protein, it will support your senior kitty in digestion.
While selecting a food for your senior kitty, there are four important aspects that you should keep in mind
- Food must be easily digestible
- It must maintain the health status of your senior cat
- Food must be balanced and nutritious
- Slow the signs of aging
Your vet is the only person who can tell you about the right food according to your senior cat requirement and health status.
Water requirement of senior cats
Cats need water more than any other nutrient, so it is imperative to be mindful of when your feline friend needs a drink. As they age, their thirst sensitivity goes down, and the risk for dehydration increases.
The worst part about always being thirsty is the increased risk of chronic dehydration. This can lead to metabolic dysfunction and quicker subclinical disease progression, which means that it may not be caught early enough before symptoms progress into something serious.
Keep your cat's water bowl full to the brim with fresh, clean water, and make sure they have access to it during most of the day. Watch for changes in behavior or thirstiness.
Give them plenty of bowls around your home, and make sure to have food at least three feet away from the nearest bowl, or else you may find that your feline friend is not interested in drinking for some reason.
Clean up their water dish regularly, or they might not drink any. They'll also need a fresh bowl every day because cats don't like dirty dishes! Invest in a fountain to make tap water more interesting for them - some prefer running streams of the stuff!
The right proportion of Phosphorus and sodium for senior cats
Older cats are susceptible to urinary problems and chronic kidney disease. These conditions can be delayed by limiting the amount of Phosphorus in their diet.
The first element to build up in a cat's blood when they have a renal disease is Phosphorus. The phosphorus levels will rise and gradually increase until it reaches toxic levels if not treated, causing organ failure of kidney function.
In such cases, wetter foods may be just what your cat needs. Recent research suggests that wet food, or those which help increase water intake, is beneficial because of their ability to decrease mineral stone formation in cats.
Excessive sodium intake can lead not only to hypertension but also chronic renal dysfunction and cardiorenal syndrome. All conditions are often difficult to diagnose until they've progressed quite far, with symptoms becoming increasingly troublesome.
Senior cats have different nutritional needs than their younger counterparts. They need a diet that is tailored to their specific requirements, like increased protein and fat content, to help maintain muscle mass when they are losing weight due to age or illness. Always select a diet after consulting your vet.