The 5 Best Cat Foods For Senior Cats

Nutrition Reviews December 24, 2021

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The 5 Best Cat Foods For Senior Cats

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As your cat ages, his nutritional needs change. Once your cat reaches the age of nine, you may want to consider altering your cat’s eating habits and finding the best cat food for senior cats.

These days cats are living into the late teens and some even past twenty years old. Since cats are living longer, it is important to ensure that they enjoy their health throughout their senior years.

Why Should You Trust This Review?

  • I am a certified pet nutritionist
  • I’ve been a cat mom for 30 plus years
  • I have volunteered at cat shelters for over 15 years
  • I did 48 hours of research on these cat food brands

The Best Cat Food For Senior Cats Comparison Chart

IMAGEPRODUCT 
  • Soft for sensitive teeth
  • Supports joints
  • Low in phosphorus
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Nom Nom
  • High quality proteins
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No fillers, grains or artificial flavors
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  • Natural Ingredients
  • Great for sensitive stomachs
  • Helps reduce hairballs
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  • First ingredient is chicken
  • Helps cats put on weight
  • All natural ingredients
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  • Contains no by products
  • Helps with shiny healthy coats
  • Assists with weight gain
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Best Cat Food For Senior Cats Reviewed

#1 Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$0.5/ Oz
  • Food Type: Canned
  • Made In: USA
  • Protein: 9% Min
  • Fat: 2.5% Min

The Good

  • Soft for sensitive teeth
  • Supports joint health
  • Low in phosphorus

The Bad

  • On the pricey side
  • May not smell inviting enough for senior cats

Royal CaninFeline Health Nutrition Adult Cat Food  is formulated to provide your adult cat with an appealing formula they will enjoy as well as features a moderate energy level to help maintain your adult cat’s ideal weight.

Royal Canin is formulated to be instinctively preferred by adult cats. High levels of essential fatty acids, EPA & DHA helps support a senior cat’s healthy joint function. Reduced phosphorus levels help support kidney health in older cats. Also the tender thin slices in gravy are easier on the sensitive teeth and gums and other dental problems in older cats.

#2 Nom Nom Fresh Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2-3$/ Per Meal
  • Food Type: Fresh
  • Made In: USA
  • Protein: 18% Min
  • Fat: 3.5% Min

The Good

  • High quality proteins
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No fillers, grains or artificial flavors

The Bad

  • Price on the high side
  • Food needs to be refrigerated

Nom Nom is a subscription cat food delivery service that delivers customized cat food right to your door. They use high quality, human grade ingredients and each recipe contains no fillers, preservatives or artificial flavors and is grain-free.

Nom Nom recipes are prepared in a human-grade kitchen that is 100% designed and dedicated to making fresh pet food right here in the USA.

There are two single source recipes choices, one made with real chicken. You can opt for a subscription and have your cat’s food delivered monthly or make a one time sample pack purchase to make sure your cat loves this food.

#3 Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Indoor Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2.5/lb
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made In: USA
  • Protein: 29% Min
  • Fat: 16% Min

The Good

  • Natural Ingredients
  • Helps with heart, bladder, kidney, skin, coat, and digestive health
  • Small size kibble for sensitive mouths

The Bad

  • Price on the high side
  • Weak scent may not attract senior cats

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Cat Food is for cats 11+ but there are other options depending on your cats age. This dry cat food comes in a crunchy kibble that contains natural ingredients plus vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as well as fiber for easy digestion and easier litter box cleanup.

The natural fiber blend in this cat food for indoor cats helps reduce the formation of hairballs, and protein helps build and maintain lean muscle while keeping cats at an ideal weight.

#4 Nutro Indoor Senior Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2.8/ lb
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made In: USA
  • Protein: 36% Min
  • Fat: 17% Min

The Good

  • First ingredient is chicken
  • Helps cats put on weight
  • All natural ingredients

The Bad

  • Large size kibble
  • Includes meal products
  • Price on the high side

Nutro Indoor Senior Farm-Raised Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Cat Food ingredients start with chicken and contains a unique blend of whole grains. This natural cat food provides natural fiber for healthy digestion and essential antioxidants, such as vitamin E, for a healthy immune system, plus vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

This recipe is also crafted with taurine to help support the heart of senior cats and is made with natural fiber to promote proper digestion. NUTRO Cat Food  is always made with Non-GMO ingredients and is made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

#5 Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$3/ lb
  • Food Type: Wet [Limited Ingredient Diet]
  • Made In: USA
  • Protein: 32% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min

The Good

  • Contains no by products
  • Helps with shiny healthy coats
  • Assists with weight gain

The Bad

  • Kibble is hard to chew
  • More expensive than other dry food
  • Some cats don’t like the taste

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Cat food provides essential amino acids and vital nutrients your cat needs every day. It is made with hearty whole grains like brown rice, barley and oats that will keep your cat supplied with the complex carbohydrates needed for energy.

Also formulated with whole carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley and cranberries that contain phyto-nutrients that help your cat stay healthy. This formula is highly digestible and can provide your mature cat with the complete and balanced nutrition she needs every day.

What To Look For In A Cat Food For Seniors?

Senior cats are generally less active than younger cats. Therefore, your senior cat’s calorie requirements are slightly less than it was when he was younger. Continuing to serve meals with the same caloric content, to your senior cat, can cause obesity.

To prevent obesity and maintain a healthy weight, you may consider a feeding schedule, rather than allowing food to sit out for extended periods of time. This gives you more control over the senior cat’s food intake. The best cat food for senior cats on the market are specifically designed just for older cats. These often have fewer calories and added essential vitamins, than other cat foods.

Here are some things to look for on your senior cats food label:

Protein – Animal-based protein sources are needed to obtain taurine, an amino acid that their bodies can’t produce naturally. A whole meat should be the first ingredient of any food you feed a senior cat .

Antioxidants – Vitamin E and beta-carotene help to slow the signs of aging by fighting free-radicals in the body that can cause tissue damage.

Dietary Fiber – Fiber is essential in maintaining gut health. Dietary fiber supports the transit of food through the gut.

Low Fat – Senior cats do not absorb fat as well as younger cats. Older cats may need to consume fat that is more digestible to get the same amount of energy. Monitoring your cats weight is best.

Problems In Senior Cats

Some problems associated with aging can be helped with special dietary needs for your senior cat. Older cats have an increased risk of certain health conditions, like urinary tract infections, and a specialized food or supplements can help with one or more of these issues.

Decreased Kidney or Liver Functions – Your veterinarian may suggest a special diet if your senior cat has one of these problems. Diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism often occur in senior cats. Hyperthyroidism can increase your senior cat’s appetite.

Arthritis – Though arthritis is common in people, arthritis in cats cannot be treated with the same medications. There are medications available to help a cat with arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been shown to help a senior cat’s arthritis.

Dental Disease – If your cat is showing signs of experiencing dental issues or is refusing to eat, he should be seen by a veterinarian. Refusing to eat could be a sign of other serious conditions. A veterinarian can rule out other physical problems and help you care for the dental disease.

Gastrointestinal Problems – The most common gastrointestinal problem for senior cats is constipation. The constipation can be worsened by the presence of hairballs. Your veterinarian may recommend cat food for senior cats or cat food to reduce the impact and occurrence of hairballs. Senior cats should be encouraged to drink plenty of water to help fight constipation. If constipation becomes a problem, a veterinarian should be consulted.

Weight Loss – Your veterinarian should examine your cat to determine the cause of the weight loss and the proper diet for your senior cat experiencing weight loss. Since weight loss can be a symptom of disease, a veterinarian needs to rule out any conditions that could be causing the weight loss such as those mentioned above.

Final Thoughts

You should always follow your veterinarian’s recommendations to help your senior cat’s diet be as healthy as possible. Senior cats may have specific diet needs related to medical conditions or concerns. Your cat may need high protein content, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins and supplements (like Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids) as well as other nutrients to maintain heart health, muscle mass and overall wellness.

Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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