As cats age, their dietary and nutritional requirements change. Cat owners are generally becoming more and more aware of this, and as such we’ve seen that more owners are on the lookout for the best cat foods for older cats than ever before.
In case you’re already totally clued in on the ins and outs of the dietary considerations in senior cats when compared to junior cats, then we’ll get straight to the point. We found the best cat food for older cats to be the Royal Canin Feline Health Adult for it’s lower fat content and slightly higher fiber content.
Senior cat food formulas differ significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer, but a common trend is a slight increase in fiber to help aid digestion. You’re also likely to see a reduction in fat content, reflecting their less active lifestyle.
Because of the variation, we’re going to take a closer look at each of our choices and review them independently to help you make the correct decision for your senior cat. Here’s a table of our top cat foods for older cats, featuring the fat and protein counts of each.
- 1 Best Cat Food For Older Cats
- 2 Royal Canin Feline Health Adult
- 3 Hills Science Diet Senior Wet
- 4 Purina Pro Plan Senior
- 5 Hills Science Diet Senior Dry
- 6 What differences should there be in an older cats diet?
- 7 How much should I feed my senior cat?
- 8 Are there supplement to help older cats?
Best Cat Food For Older Cats
|Royal Canin Feline Health Adult||Wet||11.0%||1.4%|
|Hills Science Diet Senior Wet||Wet||8.5%||4.0%|
|Purina Pro Plan Senior||Wet||10.0%||6.0%|
|Hills Science Diet Senior Dry||Dry||29.0%||18.0%|
Though caloric content and protein counts are important, they aren’t the only figures that a define the best cat food for senior cats. There’s a little more to it and that, but we’ll talk in more depth as we walk through each product pick.
As always, we recommend you still “feed to the need”. Learn about the dietary requirements of cats and strive to provide a diet that suits their lifestyle and weight. With that said, lets take a look at the best 4 cat foods for older cats, with protein and fiber count considered.
Royal Canin Feline Health Adult
Another wonderful cat food from Royal Canin. Their adult health formula provides all the necessary nutrition with the smallest fat content possible.
As far as cat foods for senior cats go, this is undoubtedly the best around. No other cat food competes with it’s staggeringly low levels of fat and relatively high protein content for a wet cat food.
Royal Canin foods do tend to be expensive, but given that this is a day to day food and not a food geared at a specific medical condition, it’s actually quite reasonably priced.
Vitamins and nutrients help promote good coat and skin health, while boosting digestion.
This high quality senior cat food contains the perfect blend of real meat proteins, important vitamins for cats in old age, along with all the standard nutritional extras you see in other top cat foods.
It’s really hard for us to imagine another cat food brand ever coming close to producing the same quality of food that Royal Canin have proven themselves capable of. Cat foods for older cats is another corner of the market they thoroughly dominate.
Hills Science Diet Senior Wet
Hill’s Science are another well known brand and have gathered a reputation for creating good quality science-backed foods for cats.
Their take on a senior cat food incorporates much of what is required for senior cats to live a healthy life.
You get a higher fiber content which boosts digestion and reduces the forming of hairballs.
It’s a little heavier on the calories than the Royal Canin food, so you may need to compensate by reducing portions.
Older cats can often suffer from a lack of appetite, so it’s a good job this food has an aroma and texture that cats are guaranteed to be attracted to. We’re yet to hear of anyone with a different experience.
It’s aimed at cats 11 years or older, but they do have other variations suited for cats above 7 years old, so there’s something out there for everyone.
Purina Pro Plan Senior
Purina Pro Plan Senior is another great option for those who’s budget can’t stretch to the Royal Canin foods.
Pro Plan Senior provides a fully nutritious meal to cats aged eleven or older.
Their highly digestible formula is suitable for even the most sensitive of tummies, and the protein content is a respectable 10%.
It’s a little higher in fat than the other two wet cat foods for older cats, but remains a good balance of nutrition and calorie density.
Senior cats who struggle to keep other foods down might benefit from a switch to Purina Pro Plan. It’s tasty formula is available in several different flavors to keep meal times fresh and exciting.
We recommend this food for fussy eaters and those who don’t think splashing out on the Royal Canin foods is worth the reduction in fat content.
Hills Science Diet Senior Dry
Last but not least, a dry cat food for older cats. Because we like to recommend a good variety.
For the most part, we’d probably err on the side of recommending a wet food over a dry food for senior cats.
The reason being that a wet food for senior cats ensures a good level of hydration, and avoids any discomfort that can arise from teeth issues.
Older cats with teeth troubles might shy away from crunching on kibble and prefer a soft food.
However, if a dry food is your choice and your cat is happy with it, then you can’t go far wrong with this dry equivalent of Hill’s Science senior cat food.
It contains all the same nutrients and ingredients geared at providing a healthier old age, but since there’s a lot less moisture it’s important you also monitor their water intake.
What differences should there be in an older cats diet?
Just as with us humans, old age brings many physical changes to cats and as such, their diets need to adjust. You should still always be sure your cat receives a nutritionally complete meal, but certain adjustments in nutrient levels can make their lives a little easier. The same changes are seen in dogs as we see in cats, too; lowered energy levels and a calmer lifestyle call for senior dog foods to replace adult formulas.
As cats age, they become prone to fatigue and dehydration. This is partially down to decreased energy levels, making them far less likely to actively seek out fresh water.
Dehydration can cause serious illness in cats, ranging from constipation to liver failure, so it’s vital your cat stays hydrated all year round.
If you leave water out for your cat but find that they rarely drink from it, you should consider investing in a cat water fountain, since cats are more inclined to drink from running water.
Soft wet foods
Opting for a wet cat food will not only aid in combating dehydration, it will also make eating easier for cats with teeth problems.
Senior cats often have tooth issues that can make eating kibble a painful experience, so a softer wet cat food is kinder on the teeth.
The extra aroma from wet food is also much more enticing to cats, and will improve their appetite if it’s something they’re struggling with.
Slightly more fiber
Fiber is very good for digestion. As cats get older their digestive systems can struggle to process certain proteins and as a result they may not get all the nutrients their food provides.
A cat food with increased fiber can also work best to ease the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease in cats, and help manage diabetes.
Fiber is most commonly found in high levels in dry cat food.
Lower fat content
As their digestive systems slow, so does their ability to digest fats. Coupled with a decrease in general activity and exercise, it can lead to obesity, something which is increasingly common.
How much should I feed my senior cat?
Portion sizes generally depend heavily on the current weight of your cat, and the food you’re feeding them.
Cat foods vary significantly in caloric density. Even as little as an eighth of a cup of dry cat food can be the difference between your cat gaining weight or losing it.
If you’re struggling to manage portions (something that’s very common with dry food), then you should look at options that manage portions automatically. They not only allow for scheduling, but also for portion control.
Should you have any concerns about your cats’ weight, whether too big or too small. You should always visit a veterinarian first to get advice on what to do.
A sudden change in a senior cat’s diet can be detrimental to their health.
If you do need them to shift a few pounds, there are weight loss cat foods that specialize in helping them do this healthily providing they’re portioned correctly.
Likewise with gaining weight, if your cat is suffering from a lack of appetite and has lost weight, you can encourage a shift towards a healthy weight with a high calorie cat food designed for weight gain.
Are there supplement to help older cats?
Yes, there are, but you should take extra caution given senior cats’ inferior digestive system.
If a supplement contains potent compounds that cats can’t break down, it’ll have a far more significant effect on their liver and other organs than it would on younger cats that have healthy digestive systems.
There are too many on the market for us to cover them all, so make sure you thoroughly research any vitamin or supplement you plan on using alongside your senior cat food to ensure they’re safe for older cats to consume.