As your cat gets older, his needs will change and this includes what he needs to eat as well. Ditching the regular cat food in exchange for some of the best senior cat food brands is a smart decision for most pet owners.
As senior cat’s dietary needs change, he may have some issues with eating. This is because older cats don’t digest fat and protein a well as younger ones. In addition, an older cat may become underweight. This may be due to his reduced sense of smell and reduced ability to taste.
Senior cats may have decreased intestinal absorption or have bad teeth too. You senior cat could have a chronic disease which is common is older cats and not eating well could be a side effect.
In this article, we’ll discuss senior cat’s dietary needs, and the best senior cat food brands including these:
|Senior Cat Food Choices||Price||Value|
|Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+||$$$$||$2.5/lb|
|IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Senior Plus||$$$||$1.3/lb|
|Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging||$$$$||$0.41/oz|
|Purina Pro Plan Focus||$$$||$0.23/oz|
|NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Senior Farm||$$$$||$2.2/lb|
What Is the Best Senior Cat Food Brand?
Choosing the best senior cat food for your old cat can be a difficult choice. Below are some top brands that are often vet recommended and are adjusted appropriately.
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Food: Available at Amazon
The first one on the list of best senior cat food brands is a vet recommended choice from Hill’s Science. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food will defend your senior cat’s body and brain against unhealthy aging.
It has natural ingredients as well as vitamins, amino acids and minerals. There aren’t any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Hill’s Science senior cat food is clinically proven to have antioxidant benefits. Science Diet is available in cans in several textures and proteins for pet owners looking for the best cat food for senior cats in the wet/canned form rather than dry kibble.
IAMS Proactive Health Senior Adult Food: Available at Amazon
Second best senior cat food brand is from another well-known company of nutritious pet foods, IAMS. This Iams senior cat food is designed to help support the health of senior cats 11+ and older.
It also helps to maintain an ideal body condition and is enriched with twice the antioxidant of IAMS Healthy Adult Original.
Other pet owners have also mentioned how often this was recommended by their veterinarian as the best cat food for senior cats and that most old felines do well on it. It has 100% balanced and complete in nutrition with 0% fillers. IAMS is veterinarian approved.
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging: Available at Amazon
Third on the list of best senior cat food brands is a vet favorite from Royal Canin. This cat food contains high levels of essential fatty acids, EPA & DHA that help to support a senior cat’s healthy joint. Plus; the tender thin slices in gravy are gentler on teeth and gums which may become sensitive in older cats.
Royal Canin senior cat food has balanced nutrients reduced phosphorus levels help to support the kidney health in older senior cats, which makes it one of the best cat food for senior cats as this nutritional balance is most appropriate for older felines.
Purina Pro Plan Wet Focus: Available at Amazon
Fourth best senior cat food brand is from a multinational corporation Purina. In terms of cost, this may be one of the cheap senior cat wet food brands out there. Purina senior cat food is made with real chicken. This cat food also helps to maintain a healthy urinary tract in cats.
It reduces urinary pH and provides low dietary Magnesium optima protein, plus needed fat levels to help to promote your cats ideal body condition.
It has a great taste guarantee from the manufacturer, and many pet owners confirm the palatability and its ranking as one of the best cat food for senior cats out there.
NUTRO Indoor Cat Adult Food: Available at Amazon
Nutro company has long been manufacturing wholesome pet foods, and their dry variety is one of the best senior cat food brands out there. Chicken is the main ingredient in this natural cat food geared towards muscle mass and mobility.
It’s additionally formulated with the ideal calorie content to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
Whole brown rice in NUTRO Senior Cat Food helps and supports the digestive system in older cats. Plus, the omega fatty acids and taurine will help to support heart health in a senior cat. The natural oils in this food with help keep your cat’s fur soft and shiny.
Hill’s Science Diet Senior Gourmet Variety Pack:
Number six on the list of best senior cat food brands is another option from Hill’s Science, but this time wet senior cat food. This food is specially formulated for the needs and energy of cats that are 7 years or older.
The texture of the food is smooth, soft and minced for easy eating. It’s balanced precisely for kidney and other organs’ vital health.
The soft pate texture in the minced varieties are cooked in savory juices for a great taste. It’s completely balanced and promotes a shiny coat and healthy skin. This formula again is for adult cats that are 7 years and older.
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Food: Available at Amazon
This seventh best senior cat food brand from Merrick has 100% all natural ingredients. It includes high-quality proteins, vegetable and fresh fruits. This is an ideal combination for adult cats who are 7 years or older to keep them in great health. The protein level of the real chicken used in this cat food is 74%, and it’s made in the USA additionally.
It’s highly digestible and fortified with vitamins, probiotics and antioxidants; plus it’s rich in essential fatty acids. It’s grain free without artificial flavors, preservatives or colors. Deboned chicken is the number one ingredient, with sweet potatoes and peas for easily digested carbohydrates.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet:
Pet owners looking for a great wet cat food for senior cats alternatives will find Nature’s Variety to be a great option albeit a little pricey. This is the eight best senior cat food for felines who have sensitive digestive systems.
It’s made with one type of animal protein source without grain or gluten. There are Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for a shiny and soft coat.
This has optimal nutrition with the fewest, but most essential ingredients for comfort with digesting. Each ingredient which is used is chosen for its nutritional value and high digestibility. Sometimes what’s not put into your cat’s food is as important as what’s in it. Great for all cats including indoor cats as well. This food is made in USA facilities.
Purina Pro Plan Prime Plus Adult 7+:
Another best senior cat food brand from Purina with a different formulation. This cat food made with ocean whitefish and salmon and a natural grain free recipe. It has multiple sources of high quality protein so that it helps to promote ideal body conditions. Ocean whitefish is the main ingredient combined with the taste of salmon; the flavor will bring your cat back for more.
This cat food is made with expert care with a proprietary blend so that it will help to improve and extend the life of cats that are ages 7+ years and up. It will also provide your cat with vitamin E; plus antioxidants beta carotene and prebiotic fiber.
This combination helps to maintain and support a strong immune system and whole-body health. The micro-flora will help keep his digestive system balanced so that you can keep him strong in his senior years.
Natural Balance Original Ultra Reduced Calorie: Available at Amazon
Finally, the last option on the list of best senior cat food brands is a dry variety from Natural Balance. This cat food is formulated for less active and overweight senior cats. It contains quality premium meats with no artificial colors or flavors. It has the optimal balance of both premium proteins; plus the key nutrients which are needed by your cat.
Pet owners who have tried many other brands of best cat food for senior cats mentioned above found that some felines prefer the taste of Natural Balance dry variety much better than the top ranked options, while the nutrition is virtually the same. This is a low calorie senior cat food, a good choice for overweight cats or those that aren’t moving too much.
Choosing the Best Senior Cat Food Brand
Some elderly cats also have problems with constipation so an extra-bran fiber is sometimes helpful to feed your feline if he has that problem. If your cat has diabetes, the extra-bran fiber can be helpful too, but a senior formula cat food with this ingredient may be too high in carbohydrates. Your vet can give you advice on what to feed a diabetic cat here.
Another problem to know about is that some senior cat foods and their calorie count are not good for very old cats. Older cats can tend to be on the chubby side until they’re about 12 years old.
Then they may become too thin. An overweight cat may need a senior diet formula cat food that has less calories while a cat who’s too thin may need more calories then.
If your cat is on the chubby side, you can add water to his dry cat food, about 30-40%. This can additionally help his kidneys with filtering out waste. Some older cat’s kidneys aren’t efficient even taking into account natural decline of kidney function.
***Choosing the correct cat food for your senior cat is important for his health. He needs to have the right amount of food for his weight and age.
Why should I be concerned if my cat’s chubby?
Keeping your senior cat healthy just takes some extra care. It’s not unusual for a senior cat to be too cubby, but it isn’t healthy for him. Being overweight in a senior cat can cause problems such as diabetes and urinary tract issues.
Additionally, chubby cats are less concerned about keeping themselves groomed, and grooming is good for a cat’s health.
If your cat is chubby and it’s not a medical issue, you do have choices though. You can feed your cat a diet which is less fattening. You can feed your cat less of what food he’s eating now too, or you can increase his exercise.
Exercise is beneficial to your senior cat’s health. This could involve your cat chasing a laser pointer, or getting him a fun piece of interactive cat furniture to play with and other fun toys and activities that he can do. However, even with increased activity, it may not be enough to reduce his weight. So, you may still have to reduce his food.
So, to reduce your senior cat’s weight, you will need to feed him a less caloric diet. This is a diet which is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein. It will lead to gradual weight loss. Another option is that he may need less fat content in his food, but it can’t be reduced too much.
One way to reduce the calorie content is to add pureed, cooked or ground vegetables. Make these changes slowly so that your cat doesn’t get flatulence, diarrhea or bloating. Any change in a cat’s diet may cause him to have loose stools for a few days until his body adjusts also.
Your cat’s weight loss must be done gradually. Hepatic lipidosis is caused when a cat’s food intake is abruptly reduced. So, if you’re serious about your cat losing needed weight, some lower caloric changes gradually need to be implemented. Some of the low-cal high fiber diets may cause diarrhea or some cats just don’t like the taste, so make sure that he’s eating his food.
***If your cat is overweight, he might look cute, but it’s impairing his health. Helping him with weight loss is better for him.
If my cat is too thin
As your senior cat approaches 12, he may have more difficulty maintaining his weight. Senior cats who are thin have a greater risk of dying too. So, if you have noticed a weight loss in your elderly cat, take him to the vet for a checkup.
The vet will run some routine tests for common diseases in cats which are older. If the tests come back negative, then there are some other things which can be tried.
Additionally, if your cat has dental problems, a reduced sense of smell or vision problems, he may become fussy about what he’s eating. So be sure that what you’re feeding him is a meat based, diet high in calories whether it’s canned or fresh.
If it has a pungent odor it’s because that’s how it’s supposed to smell, he’ll love it! If the food is warmed to 102F, it will also be more appealing to him. Feed him more often and in smaller amounts in a shallow bowl here.
***If your cat is thinner than he should be, then increasing the amount of a high protein in his diet will help.
What about vitamins and supplements?
If the cat food you’re feeding is a major brand of dry or canned food, added minerals and vitamins aren’t needed. You can give Omerga-3, antioxidants or glucosamine/chondroitin supplements if you feel your cat needs them though.
But if your cat isn’t eating properly, or has a digestive problem, or is in decline; he may have a problem absorbing the vitamins and supplements. The best thing to do is to talk to your vet then.