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Tips for Feeding Your Senior Cat
Tips for Feeding Your Senior Cat

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Comprehensive Guide to Feeding Senior Cats

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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.
 

Why pay special attention to senior cats’ diets?

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

Tips for feeding cats

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:
 

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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

  1. How much food should I feed my senior cat?
  2. 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.

  3. How often should you feed a senior cat?
  4. 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.

  5. Is it important to feed geriatric cats senior cat food?
  6. Yes, you should feed senior cat food to your older kitty as this type of food is specifically formulated for meeting their nutritional requirements.

  7. What are the benefits of senior cat food?
  8. The benefits of senior cat food are as mentioned below:

    • Higher antioxidants for better immunity.
    • High fiber content for better digestive health.

    • Added vitamins for improved joint and bone health.

  9. At what age is a cat considered a senior cat?
  10. Cats older than 11 years are considered senior cats.

  • Anti rabbies Vaccine
    Anti rabbies Vaccine
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    Anti rabbies Vaccine

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    Rabies is a dangerous virus that affects the warm-blooded animal kingdom. It spreads through the bite or starch of an infected animal, making the infection easily transmissible amongst animals and humans alike. Since there is no effective rabies treatment yet, the only solution to combat this fatal virus is through vaccination. Veterinarians recommend anti-rabies vaccine for pets to protect them and their humans from this deadly virus.
     

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccines for cats, in addition to the 4-in-1 cat vaccine. It helps prevent the cases of rabies in cats and kittens, contributing to the overall health of your feline friend. However, before getting your cat vaccinated with rabies injections, it is essential to know a few details about this disease and how to prevent it. So, let’s dive right into it.
     

    How does rabies spread?

    The rabies virus depends on the host body for survival. As the virus cannot survive outside of the host body, it spreads through open wounds and mucous membranes in the eye, mouth, and nose. The virus transmits through the saliva of the infected animal. If a rabies carrier bites or starches your pet, then it too becomes infected with the virus. Typically, the incubation for rabies in cats ranges from a few days to a few years.
     

    Since rabies is a deadly infection, it is imperative that you, as a cat parent, watch out for its symptoms. So, let’s take a look at a few signs of rabies in cats:

    1. Fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Difficulty breathing

    5. Hypersalivation

    6. Difficulty swallowing

    7. Abnormal behaviour

    Curing rabies is not an option post-incubation as there is no proper medication available in the market yet. Hence, keeping this fatal infection at bay is of paramount importance. And how can you do that? By ensuring that your cat is vaccinated with an anti-rabies injection.
     

    Do indoor cats need rabies vaccination?

    Anti-rabies vaccine for cats is a must. Veterinarians monitor rabies shots for both indoor and outdoor cats. While there is a misconception that rabies vastly affects dogs, it can find its way to cats and other warm-blooded animals as well. Cat’s rabies vaccination prepares your indoor kitty to fight the deadly virus. Hence, do not skip on annual booster shots for both indoor and outdoor cats.
     

    While you may think, your indoor cat is safe from the fatal disease, it is best to ensure complete healthcare for its overall well-being. Cats often socialise with outside cats by licking, sniffing, or starching each other. Indoor cats can get the rabies virus if they socialise in this manner with an infected outdoor or stray cat. Anti-rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid any remote possibility of your kitty getting infected. It builds antigens in the cat’s body, so your fur baby can tackle the rabies virus.
     

    How often should cats receive rabies vaccination?

    Various brands offer anti-rabies vaccines for cats in the market. Hence, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s advice regarding  vaccination. They will take multiple factors, such as your kitty’s age, breed, and lifestyle, into consideration before recommending a brand. Similarly, when it comes to the frequency of taking the anti-rabies vaccination, it all depends on the type of vaccine recommended for your pet. If your vet recommends an adjuvant vaccine, your cat might have to be inoculated once every year. On the other hand, if they suggest a non-adjuvant vaccine, you must note that these vaccines are generally administered once in three years. 
     

    When to schedule feline anti-rabies vaccination

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccinations for cats. It prepares your cat to fight the virus by boosting immunity. The first dose of the anti-rabies vaccine is administered once the kitty turns 12 weeks old. After the initial dose, depending on the type of vaccine, you will need to get your feline friend vaccinated either annually or once in three years.
     

    Side effects of the anti-rabies vaccine

    As a cat parent, you must know the potential side effects of this vaccine. So, let’s take a look at them:

    1. Low-grade fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Swelling and redness at the injected site

    Cat parents should monitor not only the anti-rabies vaccine but also other core vaccines like 4 in 1 cat vaccine, FeVac 5, and 3-in-1 cat vaccine. Regular vaccination and annual health check-ups ensure your kitty leads a healthy life. So, ascertain that you provide your fur baby with all the care it requires.