Senior Cat Food

What has gone through your mind when your fur child gets older? Especially for a cat, who may be 7+ years old. While experienced pet parents out there think about potential health issues as our babies grow older, we might think about their diet too. And honestly, I think the only reason one would think about senior cat food is because the pet food manufacturers out there have seen fit to provide one.

There doesn’t appear to be much concrete evidence that switching to a senior cat food diet is something you should do. This article, the dilemma about what to feed old cats even states how widely the important nutrients provided in these foods varies largely.

LociLu who is Baby Patches’ sister is now 11 years old and I haven’t switched out her food at all. For one thing, she is a very picky cat when it comes to both food and treats. So I was concerned with her just hopping over to her sisters bowl for her regular food. So it really got me thinking about whether it was really necessary.

LociLu pictured below, is our sweet baby girl snowshoe who does suffer from poor teeth because of her breed but other than that has very normal behavior. Since having previously ill cats and knowing dozens of other cat moms I’m familiar with watching for changes. Even tiny ones are something to watch out for because our cat fur kids are great at hiding medical issues.

LociLu 11 Year Old Snowshoe Cat

Her mom and dad love her very much, so making sure she is a healthy cat is important. Since there seems to be consensus among vets and just logically thinking (including previous experience) diet adjustments for cats should be made when it is needed. There are all kinds of different foods for cats with individual needs and for me that seems to be the best way to go about it. At least until there are significant studies done to show results for us loving pet parents.

What do you think? What has been your experience with this? Did you ask your vet about senior cat food? Can’t wait to chat with other cat parents or cats about this!

Thanks for reading!

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9 Responses to Senior Cat Food

  • Great post!

    When Nikita got older I switched him to different senior foods and he had no issues.

    If he had been picky and preferred the other food I would have stayed.

    In his last year or so I had to have him on prescription dry and he had no issues there, either.

    Using best judgement combined with the tastes of the cat and vet advice, makes sense to me.

    • I agree with you Kiril. I don’t think the change is necessary until it is needed or if the vet advises more of a particular supplement for your cat. Every cat is different just like every mom and dad is. Thanks for commenting! BP sends Purrrrrrs

  • Summer says:

    As senior cats age, sometimes it’s hard for them to keep their weight on and retain muscle mass… kind of like older humans! Binga has this issue, so she gets to have a “lunch” of high protein moist cat food, and it helps her keep her weight on… and for a 15-1/2 year old cat, she sure is strong – and I should know ’cause I get whapped by her sometimes!

    • LOL Thanks for your experience Summer. That is a common thing to have happen for older cats, I’m thinking LociLu could use some more high protein food to keep her weight up.

  • Flynn says:

    Flynn will be 16 in 2 days time. Several years ago I tried to gradually change him to senior food but he is very picky and would have none of it. He gets fed normal wet food, not as good a quality as I would like as the better the food, the more likely he is to walk away from it. He gets a reasonable quality food though and when he developed hyperthyroidism, I reintroduced a good quality grain free kibble to try and get him to eat. It is very difficult though because he is intolerant to almost all medication so cannot be treated in the normal way for his hyperthyroidism and can only take a low dose of prednisalone to keep his T4 from rocketing. I am just grateful for the days he eats well, and overall at the moment he is not doing too badly with on average 2 bad days a week.

    • Much love to the sweet handsome Flynn!! I know it must be difficult in this kind of situation, when a senior cat is ill it can be very hard to find the balance you need and food that they will eat regularly too. Thank you for letting us know your experience with your baby Flynn. HUGS

  • JaneA says:

    I personally think “senior formula” foods are more of a marketing ploy than anything that a cat needs in order to stay healthy. As I understand, senior formula foods are lower in protein than “regular” cat foods, and that’s really the only difference. That said, I have a 15-year-old cat who eats a high-protein, low-carb, grain-free raw food diet — the same diet that my other two cats eat — and my vet says he’s in fantastic health and his blood work looks as good as a cat half his age. My Siouxsie ate raw food for the last 10 years of her life, and she lived to be 19. I saw an article recently whose main point was that if anything, senior cats need HIGHER-protein diets to prevent the muscle wasting that’s fairly common in very old cats.

    Long story short: I don’t think “senior formula” foods are necessary and are not necessarily even the best choice for senior cats!

    • Great comment JaneA! They’re definitely a marketing ploy and I really didn’t realize this until recently. You would think they are doing the proper research and stuff but in reality it is just a tactic. I love that I feed Baby Patches a lot of high protein food and treats because that is what cats are meant to eat.

  • Cathy Keisha says:

    I’m 11 and don’t eat senior foods and neither did any of TW’s other cats. We need more protein as seniors and those foods have less.

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