As your cat goes through life stages it is always good to be aware of their changing dietary needs to give them the best care and keep them healthy. Which is why high quality cat food is so important for your furry pal.
Senior cats are those who are between 11 to 14 years old. Geriatric cats are 15 years old and older. Sometimes the two are used interchangeably and it can be confusing to figure out what life stage your cat is in.
What to Look for in High Quality Cat Food
First and foremost, high quality ingredients are more digestible. You want to be sure that they are excellent quality proteins. Although there are some that say senior cats need less protein, this in fact is not true. Your older cat doesn’t need fewer proteins. High protein not only maintains good organ and immune function but also healthy muscle mass.
While all cats need high moisture, high protein, low-carbohydrate diet, it becomes more important with older cats. As their ability to digest declines with age.
Moisture is the best for your senior cat, be sure to always have fresh water in a bowl, and possibly minimize dry food and feed more wet food. Wet food has a moisture content of around 75% or more, versus dry food, which has about 6% to 10%.
Senior cats need more taurine in their diet. Taurine is an essential amino acid that is vital for normal heart muscle function and vision. This is found in cat proteins such as fish, poultry, or beef.
Check the ingredients on the cat food labels as it may say senior cat food; however, it may not fit all of your cat’s dietary needs. High quality cat foods will have the nutrient values needed.
What to Avoid in Cat Food
By-product meal and rendered products are to be avoided when looking at cat food. Meat meal and bone meal are not considered okay for humans and yet it can be found in lower grade cat food. When reading the label, make sure that the contents are animal products, tuna, mackerel, salmon, chicken, etc.
Plant proteins like corn gluten meal, rice protein concentrate are cheap imitations of real meat. They are deficient in amino acids found in meats. When these ingredients are on the label, it is not high quality cat food.
Eating poor quality difficult to digest food can have a negative impact on your cats’ organs. It will make it hard for your cat to age gracefully and illness free.
Senior cats tend to slow down, which means that they need fewer calories and less fat in their food. If your cat is putting on weight, then weight management food is a good fit. This will help to give the correct nutrients and a more balanced meal. Your cat will still want to enjoy mealtimes without compromising.
Starting your cat off right with a high quality cat food when they are kittens is best. However, if you didn’t that is all right, it is something that you can start with right away and help your cat live their best life with you.