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

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.

  • How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How To Take Care Of A Kitten

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    Bringing a kitten home is an experience full of joy and warmth. The internet is filled with kitten photos and videos, and you are soon going to find out why! However, these cute creatures are extremely delicate and need hands-on attention while growing up. If you bring home a kitten without a mother, you will have to be extra careful with it. Every cat parent should be well-informed about how to take care of newborn kittens or kittens in general.

    We have put together a few tips to get you started on your journey of raising a kitten. From vet visits and food selection to grooming and keeping it hydrated, this article will give you a basic understanding of how to take care of a kitten.

    Take your kitten for regular check-ups

    Routine check-ups are highly recommended for kittens. Once you get a kitten home, your responsibility as a caregiver is to take it to the vet for a basic health check-up. During this check-up, the veterinarian will check for any health concerns that need to be addressed immediately. They will also walk you through the vaccination and spaying/neutering process. If you are a first-time cat parent, do not hesitate from asking doubts and questions regarding your cat’s health and well-being.

    Keep your kitten hydrated

    Since a dehydrated kitten can be vulnerable to many diseases and infections, make sure that fresh water is easily accessible. In fact, place multiple water bowls around the house for it to drink from. Clean these bowls regularly and fill them up with fresh water. If the vet recommends, you can also give your kitten electrolyte water.

    Provide your kitten with balanced nutrition

    A newborn kitten should be fed by its mother for the first few weeks. However, kitties that find a new home generally get separated from their mother at an early age. If you have adopted a newborn pet, you probably do not know how to take care of a kitten without a mother. Start by visiting a vet to receive a comprehensive feeding guide. It will help you meet the kitty’s nutritional needs. You might also have to switch to a different type of food at different stages like teething.

    Cats are carnivores; hence, their food intake is majorly meat. Ensure that the dry food you give your cat is made with high-quality protein. Made with chicken as the main ingredient, IAMS Proactive Health Mother and Kitten is a protein-rich meal option for your kitten. This kitten food also contains Omega 3, Colostrum, and DHA to support healthy eye and brain development!

    Comfort and pamper your kitten

    Cats are independent creatures that enjoy their space. However, from time to time, they also like being cuddled and picked up. They will also show affection in their own unique ways. Give your kitten some time to settle in and gradually start introducing it to your touch. Gently hold it and pamper it. Bring a few fun toys for it to play with. Kittens generally love playing with bells, strings, or anything that they can chase.

    Help your kitten socialise with other family members

    Taking care of a kitten involves introducing it to its new family members – including other pets – from the day it is brought home. After all, your new kitten will be the newest addition to the clan! If you are worried about your dog and cat not getting along because of age-old assumptions, let us assure you, it is nothing but a myth. However, some dogs may not be able to differentiate a cat from a rabbit and their prey instincts could kick in. If this happens, you need to train your dog by familiarising it with your kitten’s scent. Most dog breeds are hostile in nature and can coexist with other pets easily. Socialising for your kitten will also include grooming days, check-up days, and more.

    Groom your kitten’s fur

    Cats love grooming themselves and are very particular about how they look. However, kittens may need some help, especially in cases where they dirty themselves. Your vet will educate you about ways in which you can give your delicate and tiny kitten a bath. Post that, brush your kitten’s fur coat. Now, brushing its coat does not only remove dirt and dead hair, but it also regulates blood circulation, giving your kitty a healthy glow!

    Litter train your kitten

    Litter training is one of the most important aspects of raising a kitten. Choose a litter box that is big enough for your kitten to do its business. Finding the right type of litter may take some experimenting, but you will soon get there! Fortunately, cats usually eliminate in sandy or granular places by nature. So, when you introduce it to a litter box, chances are that it will use it right away. If your feline friend doesn’t, give it some time to get comfortable. Keep cleaning the litter box periodically to ensure hygiene.

    Dedicate a comfortable sleeping space for your kitten

    As a cat parent, you must pay attention to your kitty’s sleeping space. Kittens and cats are heavy sleepers; kittens can even sleep for 20 hours a day! For the first few nights, make sure your kitten sleeps next to your bed. It is normal for these feline creatures to cry during the first few days as everything is new. However, your kitten will eventually start getting used to its new space and sleep for long hours. Once it starts doing that, you can set up a cosy corner for it to sleep in. If you are wondering how to take care of a newborn kitten, just make sure that you place it somewhere near your bed. This will help you hear any cries and come to their aid as soon as possible.