The 12 Best Senior Cat Foods
We all hope that our cats have long and healthy lives. However, when they reach an advanced age, it is not uncommon for a variety of issues to arise.
Older cats, like people, can suffer from changes in vision and deteriorating brain function. They may also be less mobile, which may have an impact on their weight.
Not all senior cats require senior cat food. Sometimes they're quite content with the adult meals they've been consuming for years.
Of course, not all senior cat meals are created equal. There are no rules governing what can and cannot be sold as "senior" cat food.
As a result, you must conduct research and double-check ingredient listings.
Purina is well-known for producing low-cost pet foods, and their Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Senior 7+ Dry Cat Food is no exception.
This formula is significantly less expensive than others on the market, however it may be appropriate for some senior cats. The first ingredient is chicken, which is an excellent choice for any kitty.
The rest of the component list, on the other hand, is less than fantastic. For example, the second ingredient is chicken by-product meal.
While by-products aren’t necessarily dangerous, there’s no telling what this component includes. We do know that by-products are less digestible than whole meats and, as a result, of lesser quality.
Other ingredients include corn gluten meal and soybean meal, both of which our cats do not require. This cat chow has a lot of good vitamins and minerals that keep our kitties healthy.
It contains a dense fiber blend that is intended to reduce hairballs. Not all elderly cats have hairball issues, but many do, owing to the fact that they may shed more than they used to.
Antioxidants are also provided. These reduce oxidative stress and may help your cat live a longer life. This is the best senior cat chow for the money because of the additional ingredients.
- Vitamins and minerals have been added.
- Antioxidants were incorporated.
- Hairball-controlling fiber formula
- A lot of low-quality ingredients
Whether your pet has various health issues or a tight budget, the Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is one of the best cat diets available.
It is made entirely of high-quality meat ingredients. The primary ingredient is pollock, followed by chicken meal and turkey meal. All of this meat benefits your cat’s health and contributes to a high protein content.
Pollock consumption results in high levels of omega fatty acids, which are essential for brain and skin health.
It contains natural fiber and L-carnitine to help with metabolism. The fiber can keep your cat feeling fuller for longer, resulting in reduced weight gain. Probiotics are included to help with digestion.
- Meat of superior quality
- Natural fiber supplementation
- L-carnitine as a metabolism booster
- High protein content
The first two ingredients of Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Deboned Chicken Grain-Free Senior Dry Cat Food are deboned chicken and chicken meal. Both of these maintain a rather high protein level of 39 percent.
This lean protein can help your senior cat stay full and strong, even if their appetite isn’t what it used to be.
Herring meal is also listed at the top of the ingredient list. It contains omega fatty acids, which are beneficial to your cat’s coat and mental health. These extra fatty acids may be beneficial for geriatric cats that have skin or coat concerns.
To help your cat’s joint health, glucosamine and chondroitin are included. Fiber and L-carnitine are included to help with metabolism. Added vitamins and minerals can help your cat’s immune system and keep them healthy for many years.
- For joint support, take glucosamine and chondroitin.
- High fiber content
- Vitamins and minerals have been added.
- Peas are included.
Blue Buffalo produces high-quality products. Most senior cats will benefit from the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. It is one of the best dry feeds for elderly cats, in our opinion.
It contains a lot of meat, with deboned chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. These ingredients combine to provide lots of lean protein to the meal.
There are no grains, gluten, or by-products in this mix. It does, however, contain a significant amount of pea protein. Because it is vegetable-based, this protein is of poorer quality and may not be as quickly absorbed by cats.
It does, however, contribute to the overall protein level of the dish, so bear that in mind when looking at it. Peas appear again later in the ingredient list.
This dish is high in fiber, which helps to maintain a balanced appetite and prevent weight gain. Probiotics are also incorporated to aid in digestion. It is strong in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as are other senior foods.
- Added nutrients in abundance
- There are no grains or gluten.
- The first component is deboned chicken.
- Peas are abundant.
- Not all protein is derived from meat.
Recipe for Purina Beyond Simply Indoor Wild-Caught Salmon, Egg, and Sweet Potato Dry Grain-Free Cat food may not be specifically designed for senior cats.
However, it contains many of the additional nutrients that older cats require. It has only natural components. The first ingredient is salmon.
This meat is extremely high in omega fatty acids, which improves the health of the cat’s brain and coat. To control hairballs, plenty of natural fiber is added, and this dish is surprisingly high in antioxidants.
This formula contains less fat than other formulations. If your cat is sensitive to fat or overweight, you might want to try this recipe.
However, this formula contains a significant amount of peas, including pea protein. Because these peas account for a large portion of the protein content, this diet is of poorer quality than other formulas available.
Other less-than-stellar components include canola meal. We would have preferred to see more meat, especially given the price.
- Hairball control fiber
- Omega-3 fatty acid content is high.
- It is low in fat.
- Peas in plenty
- A little pricey
Buyer's Guide: Selecting The Best Senior Cat Food
Buying pet food can appear to be a difficult task. Ingredient lists, price, brand, and macronutrient content must all be considered.
It becomes even more challenging when purchasing food for a senior cat. All of these other aspects, as well as your feline’s individual health requirements, must be considered.
For example, if your cat is gaining weight in old age, you might want to try feeding them a meal that is high in fiber and low in fat.
Cats with kidney difficulties typically require low phosphorus levels, but those with dental issues may be unable to consume dry meals.
This section will assist you in determining whether your feline requires senior food and what the ideal food for them may be.
Is Senior Cat Food Necessary for My Cat?
There is no certain age at which your cat requires senior food. Some cats might never require it.
Senior cats have no special nutritional requirements that adult cats do not. As a result, many seniors benefit from adult cat meals. There is no reason to modify your cat’s usual adult food if they are doing well on it.
Cats, on the other hand, are prone to a variety of health issues as they age. For example, if their exercise levels decrease, they may begin to acquire weight.
Skin and coat issues are rather prevalent. Many elders suffer from kidney problems and diminishing brain function. Senior cat food is frequently formulated to address these issues. Nutrition can play an important role in prevention.
Omega fatty acids, for example, can aid with joint problems. Switching to a senior cat diet may benefit cats with these issues.
Many seniors’ energy requirements drop around the age of 11. Cats of this age have difficulties digesting fats and proteins, therefore they frequently require extra in their diet. Because of this, most senior cat meals are strong in protein.
Nutrition for Elderly Cats
Much of what a cat requires remains constant as they age. Depending on whether they begin to gain or lose weight in their senior age, they may require a different caloric intake.
Furthermore, some cats may acquire health issues as they age. These health complications will cause any nutritional variations. Many problems that affect an elderly cat can be controlled to some extent by food.
Arthritis is a typical issue in senior cats. Their joints, like those of humans, have seen a lifetime of wear and tear and aren’t always in perfect condition.
However, arthritis is not a typical component of aging. It’s not something that every senior cat has to deal with. However, because they’ve had more time for things to go wrong, older cats appear to be more prone to this issue.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to increase feline mobility and joint health. This component is commonly seen in senior cat diets.
Obesity can aggravate arthritis. As their general nutrition activity declines, many older cats may begin to acquire weight. If you want to maintain your cat’s joints healthy, you must keep them healthy.
It stands to reason that if the joints have to support more weight, they will wear out faster.
A cat’s teeth may be failing after years of use when they reach their senior years. Of course, proper dental care when the cat is young can help prevent this.
However, once your cat reaches a certain age, there is little you can do to turn back the clock. Professional cleanings are one of the most effective ways to care for your cat’s teeth.
However, even with the finest cleanings and care, some cats may develop dental problems as they age. You may need to move them to wet cat food, which they will find simpler to eat.
Urinary Tract Issues
Urinary tract problems are frequent in cats of all ages, owing to the fact that cats lack the same “thirst” sense that humans do.
They were built to receive most of their moisture needs from their prey in the wild. Cats fed dry food in confinement receive very little moisture. As a result, many people become dehydrated, which contributes to the majority of urinary tract problems.
Senior cats’ incapacity to feel thirst often worsens. These cats are predisposed to dehydration and the associated complications.
As a result, you may wish to switch your cat to wet food, which will give them with much of the moisture they require. Of course, your cat should have constant access to water.
Consider having many bowls of varying sizes around the house, as cats might be fussy about where they get their water.
Changes in Appetite
A key issue that many geriatric cats have is a loss of appetite.
You should take your cat to the vet if it stops eating. Many cats are excellent at concealing their diseases. As a result, you may not receive many cues that they are ill. Fatigue and loss of appetite are frequently the only symptoms.
However, as they age, many senior cats cease eating as much. On the plus side, this keeps them from becoming obese, which is a common concern in senior cats. However, it can also prevent your cat from getting what they require.
Changing to tastier foods may be beneficial. Wet foods are more appealing to many cats than dry feeds because they smell better.
Many recipes are especially developed to be more flavorful. These frequently feature higher levels of fat, which may be exactly what your slim cat requires.
Adding nourishing gravies made specifically for cats may also be beneficial. Many offer additional nutrition and calories in addition to encouraging your pet to eat.
Although not all elderly cats require special cat food, many do. If your cat is experiencing any of the usual health issues associated with old age, you may want to move them to food that is specifically developed for their needs.
Senior cat meals are not sold in one-size-fits-all packages. Instead, you must examine your cat’s individual requirements and select an appropriate meal.
For most elderly cats, we recommend Smalls Fresh Smooth Bird Recipe. This recipe addresses many of the typical health issues that affect older cats. It is prepared from high-quality components and includes a variety of other nutrients.
If you’re looking for a low-cost solution, Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Senior 7+ Dry Cat Food is a good choice.
This senior cat chow is significantly less expensive than most, while still providing many of the vitamins and minerals that your senior cat requires.
However, it contains lower-quality components, which is one of the reasons it is so inexpensive. Finally, the greatest diet for your senior cat is one that meets their nutritional requirements.
BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) assessments highlight the ten best senior cat foods that may be suitable for your kitty. Hopefully, one of them will look after your cat as they get older.
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