Cats are known for their finicky preferences, and sometimes their dietary needs are particular too. A cat’s regular diet has specific needs, such as taurine and protein, and as they age, it may only become more specific. One of the best ways to keep your cat healthy when he’s old is to start when he’s young. Good nutrition and regular exercise can keep him at a healthy weight, making it easier for him as he ages.
Senior Cat Losing Weight
Unlike dogs, a cat’s energy needs stay relatively the same throughout adulthood, so there’s no need to change his calorie intake unless his health requires it. However, as cats age they do not digest or absorb fat as well; therefore, older cats may need to consume more fat or highly digestible fat in order to fulfill energy needs. In this situation, you may need to adjust his diet to keep him at a healthy weight.
Even if his calorie needs stay the same, a variety of factors can affect your cat’s individual health needs. Unique health problems may need unique diet specifications.
Feline Arthritis and Joint Care
Those stiff, aching joints can cause a lot of pain and slow your cat down if not treated regularly. Joint care supplements for older cats with glucosamine and chondroitin can help regenerate lost cartilage and restore some of your cat’s mobility. Do NOT give your cat anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, unless directed by a veterinarian. Cats are very sensitive to these drugs, and they can cause a lot of problems, including death, if not given as directed.
Old Cat Fur and Skin
Just like humans, a cat’s hair coat can become thinner, duller and possibly gray. A fatty acid supplement for cats can restore some of that luster and shine, and extra grooming procedures can distribute natural oils throughout the coat.
Gastrointestinal Issues in Cats
Constipation is common in older cats, and this may be affected by hairballs. Your cat’s diet should be high in quality dietary fiber with extra water. Regular hairball treatment and grooming can help reduce constipation due to hairballs.
Kidney Function in Cats
If your cat has kidney problems, his diet and medications will probably need to change. Choose a diet with less phosphorus, salt and protein, encouraging as much water consumption as possible. Medications such as Azodyl or Epakitin can also help relieve symptoms.
Cat Dental Problems
Very common in older cats, feline dental problems probably won’t affect the nutrients they eat, but the type of food they eat. Pain and discomfort in their teeth may affect their ability to eat properly, so canned food may be necessary.
As your cat ages, regular veterinary care also becomes more and more important. Your veterinarian can help you monitor any weight gain or loss, as well as give you nutrition recommendations according to your cat’s individual needs. With proper prevention and care, you can ensure your cat lives to a healthy, old age.
Health Problems in Older Cats: Senior Cat Conditions
What health problems do aging cats have? Senior cats can suffer from a variety of conditions, including feline kidney disease, constipation, bladder infections and loss of appetite. Learn how to care for elderly cats.
My Cat is Getting Old…What Should I Expect?
What is the best way to take care of an elderly cat? As cats age, their bodies go through a variety of changes. Learn about caring for senior cats, what changes to expect, and how to make your aging cat comfortable.
Common Cat Dental Problems
What are the symptoms of dental problems in cats? From cat gum infections to feline dental issues learn about cat mouth problems such as cat gingivitis, stomatitis in cats and feline restorative lesions.
Osteoarthritis in Cats
How can you tell if your cat has arthritis? Cats often try and hide their pain and discomfort, so feline arthritis can be easily overlooked. Learn the symptoms, management, and prevention of arthritis in cats.