Choosing the Right Food for Your Senior Cat

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Nutritional Needs of Senior Cats

Your cat’s nutritional needs will change as she grows older, and it can make feeding time a challenge for both of you. Like humans, cats undergo significant physical changes with age. Understanding some of these changes and altering your senior cat’s food can help maintain her weight and health.

Weight management

Obesity in cats occurs most commonly in middle age. If you notice that your cat is eating less but still gaining weight, it could be attributed to decreased metabolism or decreased activity levels. Because cats often lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle, their foods are often dense with calories that can result in overeating and weight gain. This can lead to chronic medical conditions, including heart, respiratory, skin, and joint problems, especially in older cats. Giving your cat smaller quantities of food or gradually switching her to a lower-calorie food may pare down the pounds.

Although weight loss is sometimes attributed to the aging process, it can also be the result of an underlying disease. If your senior cat has a healthy appetite but is still losing weight, consult your vet for symptoms of heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, or diabetes. A decreased appetite could be associated with periodontal disease (gum and tooth problems), gastrointestinal disease, kidney failure, or a reduction in taste sensation.

Maintaining your senior cat’s health

When determining how much to feed your cat, follow these guidelines for proper senior cat nutrition:

  • Slowly adjust her caloric intake to physical and environmental conditions (for instance, indoor vs. outdoor cats, spayed/neutered)
  • Give your cat a stimulating environment where she can be active
  • Switch to a food with a lower energy density (reduced fat or fiber)
  • Implement portion control and meal feeding
  • Introduce foraging devices (meal-dispensing feeders, food-filled toys)
  • Introduce barriers to food access (baby gates, elevated feeding stations)

We can help

Choosing the best cat food for your senior cat will provide her with a higher quality of life. Cats have shown health benefits from a food supplemented with antioxidants, fatty acids, and a prebiotic source. Thanks to an easy-to-digest formula, along with an exclusive blend of antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients, Science Diet® Adult 11+ Age Defying pet food, with its natural ingredients, can help:

  • Nutrition to support youthful vitality
  • Exclusive multivitamin blend to help keep older cats agile, more alert and interactive
  • Optimal levels of key nutrients to support eye, heart, kidney and joint health
  • Natural, high quality, easy-to-digest ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives for a flavorful, nutritious meal

Find out more about transitioning your cat to Science Diet® Adult 11+ Age Defying cat food.

If you have an older indoor cat, we also offer Science Diet Adult 11+ Indoor Age Defying dry cat food. It offers precisely balanced nutrition tailored to senior cats with an indoor lifestyle. This senior cat food contains balanced nutrients that help:

  • Nutrition to support youthful vitality
  • Optimal levels of key nutrients to support eye, heart, kidney and joint health
  • Healthy fiber supports digestive health and high-quality ingredients make litter box clean-up easy
  • Clinically proven antioxidant blend with vitamins C + E to help support a healthy immune system
  • Natural, high quality, easy-to-digest ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives for a flavorful, nutritious meal
    • Choosing the right kind of food for your senior cat can help her to lead a long, healthy life. For more information on what’s best for your senior cat’s food needs, consult your veterinarian. Read more about wellness visits for senior cats.

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