Senior cats have special dietary needs and functions versus adults and kittens. Their bodies require different things and sometimes you need to supplement for maximum nutrition. Studies have revealed that senior cats may very well not be digesting food like other cats. Their energy needs stay the say but their ability to absorb fat changes. This may mean that they will need to consume fat that is more palatable and digestible than in other foods.
Cats are considered “senior” when they reach the latter third of their lives and should be considered for dietary changes. Smaller kibble, perhaps with more vitamins and antioxidants, will be an option. Your veterinarian will be able to evaluate your cat to see what it needs. He will need more protein than others, as a decrease in protein levels in the body will target his immune system. This is another reason to see your veterinarian when your cat gets older so he can check for protein restrictions and see what type of diet he needs.
When cats age they become more susceptible to disease. They may need to increase their Omega-3 fatty acid intake due to cancer, a soft gentle food due to oral disease, or perhaps may need decreased salt diets due to heart disease. A thorough checkup is therefore necessary to establish the proper dietary plan to usher your companion healthy through his senior days. The checkup your cat received as a kitten and as an adult will not be the same as the one he has as a senior. Bodies change, chemical structure changes, it is just like a human. Your health as a baby is certainly not your health at 80.
Many elderly cats have difficulty eating and may go days without. After ruling out disease, you may find that your cat has become even more finicky to what his food tastes and feels like. To keep this problem at bay you can try warming food in the microwave (stir to decrease hot spots), Adding juice or gravy to the food, talking to him during feedings, or perhaps just smaller meals throughout the day. Feeding a nutritious meal that has all the things he requires will help. Worse case scenario, they do make animal appetite stimulators that you can get from your vet. These should be used as a last resort however.
Through careful care and love, your senior cat can live a prosperous life without worry. The small dietary changes do not impact your life or your cat’s except in the way that it will make life easier on him with just a few observation moments on your part. Watch your cat; see where he is moving slower, where he eats and how. Monitoring him and relaying that info to your vet can get his diet where it needs to be in his later years.