An older cat is a cat that has celebrated its 8th birthday. When your pet reaches that age, it’s especially important to give them the right food — that is, high-quality food for older cats. In effect, these are foods that have been studied by veterinary nutritionists as being perfectly tailored to the specific needs of older cats. It’s in large part thanks to a proper diet that your older cat will age well and that their life expectancy and quality of life will increase.
The recommended foods
Kibble for tartar prevention
Cats — especially older cats — may have tartar problems due to the buildup of plaque on their teeth. The development of tartar and the associated bad breath can, however, be reduced thanks to specalized dental kibble, which has the advantage of reducing tartar deposits through the scrubbing effect on the teeth during chewing.
Wet food for cats with sensitive teeth or animals with fickle appetites
Wet food is one food solution to consider in many cases for older cats. With age, cats can become increasingly picky, and wet food is often the only way to get your cat to eat when this becomes difficult. If your cat has dental issues, such as tartar problems or gingivitis, they may be hesitant to eat kibble, so wet food will be the best way to help them eat properly. Indeed, canned cat food is often very appetizing and appreciated by our four-legged friends. Another case where wet food is recommended is when an older cat doesn’t drink much water and gets dehydrated easily. In addition to a treatment prescribed by a veterinarian, premium wet food given once a day can help your cat stay hydrated. Finally, because many older cats suffer from diseases that require giving them a lifelong treatment, using wet food once a day can greatly facilitate the administration of these treatments and make your life easier.
Dietary advice tailored to older cats
Adopt a regular feeding schedule
Cats are naturally big snackers, always begging for little nibbles here and there. They love eating several little meals a day and may therefore not be understood by their masters, who mainly only eat three times a day. While it’s ideal for them to have free access to their food, this shouldn’t be synonymous with letting them eat whenever they want due to the risks of obesity. You should observe your cat’s habits.
Some cats regulate their food intake themselves, but others just think about stuffing themselves, so it’s important to check how much your cat is eating each day and switch to rationing (at least 3 times a day in small amounts) if they’re eating too much.
Put them through a dietary transition
If you need to change your older cat’s diet for their health or for your well-being, try to put them through a gentle, 8-day dietary transition. A dietary transition involves gradually reducing the amount of the old food while increasing the amount of the new food to avoid sudden dietary changes. These tend to cause upset stomachs as well as diarrhea in some cats.
Have Regular Health Checkups Performed
To ensure the well-being of your senior cat, we recommend having regular health checkups performed, especially to be able to detect any diseases early. It’s often through a simple dietary change that we can stop a disease in its early stages.