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How to Feed Senior Citizen Cats

Jun 4, 2008
Providing proper nutrition for an aging feline companion is a matter of finding out the vigor of your cat. It can be hard to know without a vet checkup. Always keep an eye on your older cat's desire for food, food intake, eating behavior, weight, and body condition. This info will be valuable when you and your veterinarian find out your cat's specific nutritional requirements. Unless your cat has problems digesting regular cat food, is becoming overweight or is on prescription food, complete formulation cat food accompanied by clear water is acceptable.

It is recommended to move older cats onto a specifically formulated senior cat food. Store bought cat foods made especially for senior cats provide superior-quality protein and lower levels of phosphorous to cut down stress on the kidneys. The senior citizen cat formulas also add Vitamin E to strengthen the older cat's authentic defenses.

Cats Getting Older

Cats go through quite a lot of physical and behavioral changes as they age. As your cat's metabolism slows down, the cat's senses start to weaken. Senior cats have more problems with taste, sight, smell, and hearing. Sadly, these physical problems are a reality of life, and the cat owner must adjust. Generally, elderly cats between the ages of 8 and 12 tend to grow fatter and after age 12 are liable to become thinner and metabolically old.

Keeping A Cat Healthy Through Proper Nutrition

There are several diseases and afflictions that felines develop in old age. Cats with cancer have extra nutritional needs. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene in the elder cat's diet will aid felines with cancer. Bowel movements may get worse as the cat ages, creating problems such as reduced ability to absorb food nutrients. This can lead to weight loss. Preservatives in cat food have been fingerpointed for everything from allergies to cat cancer. This point is still being researched and debated.

Preparing The Cat's Meal

If you are feeding canned food, warming up an opened can may take up to two hours from being taken out of the fridge. Alternatively, you might consider microwaving canned foods for a short time, but be careful of hot spots. If you a mental picture to go by, just think of Goldilocks. She wanted her porridge just right, not too warm, not too cold. Cats are the same way.

Other Things to Ponder in An Aging Cat

You should give your cat fresh water each time you feed it. Older cats tend to get dehydrated easier. Keeping the senior cat properly hydrated is critical. Mature cats are often poor drinkers even when water is available, so giving the cat pure, fresh water makes it better. I suggest numerous bowls of fresh water in several parts in your home.

Final Older Cat Suggestions

Like humans, all cats are not made the same. So you can't give an older cat a cookie cutter diet and expect the right results everytime. Be sure to go along with all the guidelines of your animal doctor, even if your cat fights it at first. It is necessary to make sure your cat lives a long healthy life.
About the Author
Read more about senior cat's diet here. Also read on dog care.
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