What and how to feed your cat is one of the main things in the minds of the owners. Feeding your old cat is even trickier as like a growing cat, old cat also needs a balanced diet. Not much calculation is involved in thinking what should be served to a young cat, but an old cat’s diet has to be carefully planned.
Why is feeding your old cat a serious issue? The repair mechanism of a young cat’s body is still good but an older cat’s body loses the ability to repair themselves.
Why do we need to carefully plan an older cat’s diet? Let’s see a few differences between a young cat and an aged cat:
- An aged cat’s metabolism slows down and they tend gain weight.
- Older cats become lethargic due to overweight and also because of normal wear and tear of the body.
- Older cats lose their ability to adapt to new environment and quickly become stressed.
- Older cat’s metabolism slows down and thus they tend to gain weight. Due to low activity levels they are not able to maintain a balanced weight.
- The older cats have reduced immunity level and thus fall sick faster as compared to the younger ones.
- Most of the cats develop one or the other chronic health problem by the time they grow old. Arthritis, kidney problem, over fatty liver are some of the common old age diseases among cats.
Depending on all these factors an older cat’s nutritional requirements start changing. It is the duty of the owner to re-plan an older cat’s diet very wisely. The best strategy would be to consult the vet and gain good tips on what is best for your cat. Each cat is in a different physical state. Some are still thin when old, some gain too much weight, and every cat suffers different physical ailments. Only the vet can advise as to what is the best diet for your aging cat.
Here are some dos and don’ts on feeding your old cat:
- Older cat diet should include healthy amount of good protein. Proteins will make them stay healthy and strong. While including proteins the owners must keep in mind that the type of protein should be easily digestible. Cat food for older cats generally has optimal level of protein.
- High-calorie food is not recommended for older cats as they tend to gain weight quickly.
- High phosphorous food is thought to expedite renal diseases in cats. Thus aging cats should not be given food that is high in phosphorous.
- Sodium level in cats food should also be restricted especially if the cat is suffering from cardiac disease.
- Vitamins and mineral are a must for older cats to maintain the repair mechanism of the body. If you are serving homemade food to your cat then you can opt for vitamin and mineral supplements available in the market.
- Soluble and insoluble fiber is very good for old cats because generally their intestinal motility decreases during this age and they start suffering from constipation.
These are only general guidelines to feed your aging cat well. However, only the vet can advise the best strategy for feeding your old cat depending on its physical condition.