Cats have an average life expectancy of around 15 years. However, it isn’t unusual for them to live until they are in their early 20’s. It is important as they get older to make sure that they have a good, nutritious diet, with all of the vitamins and minerals they need. This will ensure that they have a good quality of life as they get older and are less likely to have serious health issues. Your cat might be getting older, but they can still have a spring in their step by integrating certain foods into their everyday diet.
Special senior cat foods
You may have wondered what the difference is between ordinary cat food and that aimed at the older feline. It isn’t just a marketing pretense; senior cat food generally contains a special vitamin E supplement to help strengthen your cat’s immune system. The food is lower in calories, too, taking into account that your cat is a little more sedentary. If your cat becomes overweight, they are likely to have issues with conditions like diabetes and arthritis. Additionally, senior cat food is generally processed into small pieces that are easier to chew and swallow.
A balanced diet
Cats are carnivores, meaning they need a meat-based diet to thrive. They should have around 52% protein every day, primarily from meat or fish. Around 35% of their meal should be fat, as cats can naturally process all the vitamins and minerals they need from this. The rest of their diet can be carbohydrates; however, this is not essential to their well-being. As your cat gets older, the protein content of their diet should go up to around 75%, which is much easier for them to digest. It is also a good idea to change proteins regularly to keep them interested in their food.
Senior cat appetite
Just like humans, a senior cat often has a decreased appetite, preferring to have smaller portions more often during the day. It is not natural for a cat to have two big portions of food; they will struggle to digest this. Cats also like the odd treat, too, such as a little piece of chicken or a piece of mild cheese. If you are buying cat treats from the supermarket, make sure that these have a low sodium content, as too much salt can affect their blood pressure.
As your cat gets older, you want to make sure that they are getting a healthy, balanced diet. This way, they can still enjoy being active and happy well into their senior years.