Cats are known for their graceful demeanor and independent attitude. Their average lifespan is approximately 12 to 18 years. Cats over 3 years of age are deemed adults, and from the age of 11 years, they become senior cats.
Like most animals, cats’ eating habits also change with age – kittens often need more food as they require more energy, and adult cats require a moderate amount of food to have sufficient energy. Senior cats often have a smaller appetite compared to their younger counterparts. Therefore, pet parents should keep track of their cat’s changing food requirements. Read the following if you too have queries related to feeding cats or how to feed older cats.
Your senior cat’s health and well-being are directly linked to their eating habits. Cat caregivers need to be more vigilant while feeding senior cats to ensure that their feline friend is provided with the right amount of nutrition and nourishment.
As a pet parent, you need to be mindful when feeding your cat. It has different nutritional requirements at various stages of its life. Kittens need to be fed with uttermost care to ensure appropriate growth and development, adult cats need well-monitored feeding portions to avoid overeating, and senior cats need a regularised diet to maintain their health. Hence, senior cat food contains high-quality protein and added vitamin E for more bone and joint strength.
As cats grow older, their sense of taste and smell begin to fade. Senior cats also experience deteriorating teeth which affect their ability to chew. Hence, older cats’ caregivers need to take the following measures while feeding them:
- Feed small bite-sized pieces of food instead of larger chunks
Include softer food so that it is easier for your senior cats to properly chew the food
Add food with higher meat content to enhance the food’s smell and flavor
An old kitty or senior cat may need a small quantity of food with higher nutrients. Cat feeding tips help pet parents to provide the right nutrition and nourishment to their senior kitty. Here are a few essential tips that caregivers should consider when feeding their senior cats:
Smaller meals:As the cats grow older, their appetite decreases. However, they still need high amounts of protein and vitamins to meet their daily nutritional quota. Therefore, if your senior cat has digestive issues, feed it at least 10 to 12 times a day, whereas healthy older cats should be fed three to four times a day.
Room temperature food:Instead of serving food too hot or too cold, pet parents should serve it in normal room temperature. As older cats find it difficult to smell, room-temperature food helps them taste and smell the food better.
High-quality:Feed only high-quality easy-to-digest food to adult and senior kitties. Good quality cat food contains vital nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and moisture to suffice your senior kitty’s nourishment needs.
Even though the food requirements of cats depend on the kitty’s age, you should also take their health condition, weight, appetite, and lifestyle into consideration. Pet parents are also recommended to consult a veterinary doctor to understand their kitty’s health requirements, nutritional deficiencies, and underlying diseases before selecting a diet plan or senior cat food brand.
Frequently asked questions
- How much food should I feed my senior cat?
- How often should you feed a senior cat?
- Is it important to feed geriatric cats senior cat food?
- What are the benefits of senior cat food?
- Higher antioxidants for better immunity.
High fiber content for better digestive health.
Added vitamins for improved joint and bone health.
- At what age is a cat considered a senior cat?
Average-weight senior cats need approximately 280 to 360 calories a day. Pet parents are often advised to feed their geriatric cats high-quality cat food depending on their weight, health condition, and nutritional deficiencies.
Ideally, your senior cat should be fed a small portion of high-quality cat food at least three to four times a day. However, if your kitty has digestive issues, then you should feed it smaller portions 10 to 12 times a day.
Yes, you should feed senior cat food to your older kitty as this type of food is specifically formulated for meeting their nutritional requirements.
The benefits of senior cat food are as mentioned below:
Cats older than 11 years are considered senior cats.