Tips for Feeding Your Senior Cat
Tips for Feeding Your Senior Cat

Comprehensive Guide to Feeding Senior Cats

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Cats are known for their graceful demeanor and independent attitude. Their average lifespan is approximately 12 to 18 years. Cats over 3 years of age are deemed adults, and from the age of 11 years, they become senior cats.

Like most animals, cats’ eating habits also change with age - - kittens often need more food as they require more energy, and adult cats require a moderate amount of food to have sufficient energy. Senior cats often have a smaller appetite compared to their younger counterparts. Therefore, pet parents should keep track of their cat’s changing food requirements. Read the following if you too have queries related to feeding cats or how to feed older cats.

Why pay special attention to senior cats’ diets?

Your senior cat’s health and well-being are directly linked to their eating habits. Cat caregivers need to be more vigilant while feeding senior cats to ensure that their feline friend is provided with the right amount of nutrition and nourishment. 

As a pet parent, you need to be mindful when feeding your cat. It has different nutritional requirements at various stages of its life. Kittens need to be fed with uttermost care to ensure appropriate growth and development, adult cats need well-monitored feeding portions to avoid overeating, and senior cats need a regularized diet to maintain their health. Hence, senior cat food contains high-quality protein and added vitamin E for more bone and joint strength.

As cats grow older, their sense of taste and smell begin to fade. Senior cats also experience deteriorating teeth which affect their ability to chew. Hence, older cats’ caregivers need to take the following measures while feeding them:

  • Feed small bite-sized pieces of food instead of larger chunks
  • Include softer food so that it is easier for your senior cats to properly chew the food

  • Add food with higher meat content to enhance the food’s smell and flavor

Tips for feeding cats

An old kitty or senior cat may need a small quantity of food with higher nutrients. Cat feeding tips help pet parents to provide the right nutrition and nourishment to their senior kitty. Here are a few essential tips that caregivers should consider when feeding their senior cats:

  1. Smaller meals:

     As the cats grow older, their appetite decreases. However, they still need high amounts of protein and vitamins to meet their daily nutritional quota. Therefore, if your senior cat has digestive issues, feed it at least 10 to 12 times a day, whereas healthy older cats should be fed three to four times a day.
  2. Room temperature food: 

    Instead of serving food too hot or too cold, pet parents should serve it in normal room temperature. As older cats find it difficult to smell, room-temperature food helps them taste and smell the food better.
  3. High-quality:

     Feed only high-quality easy-to-digest food to adult and senior kitties. Good quality cat food contains vital nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and moisture to suffice your senior kitty’s nourishment needs.

    Even though the food requirements of cats depend on the kitty’s age, you should also take their health condition, weight, appetite, and lifestyle into consideration. Pet parents are also recommended to consult a veterinary doctor to understand their kitty’s health requirements, nutritional deficiencies, and underlying diseases before selecting a diet plan or senior cat food brand.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How much food should I feed my senior cat?
  2. Average-weight senior cats need approximately 280 to 360 calories a day. Pet parents are often advised to feed their geriatric cats high-quality cat food depending on their weight, health condition, and nutritional deficiencies.

  3. How often should you feed a senior cat?
  4. Ideally, your senior cat should be fed a small portion of high-quality cat food at least three to four times a day. However, if your kitty has digestive issues, then you should feed it smaller portions 10 to 12 times a day.

  5. Is it important to feed geriatric cats senior cat food?
  6. Yes, you should feed senior cat food to your older kitty as this type of food is specifically formulated for meeting their nutritional requirements.

  7. What are the benefits of senior cat food?
  8. The benefits of senior cat food are as mentioned below:

    • Higher antioxidants for better immunity.
    • High fiber content for better digestive health.
    • Added vitamins for improved joint and bone health.

  9. At what age is a cat considered a senior cat?
  10. Cats older than 11 years are considered senior cats.

  • All About Kitten Fleas
    All About Kitten Fleas
    All About Kitten Fleas

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    When you snuggle up to your new feline friend and notice them scratching a tad too often, it might be a sign of kitten fleas. Along with causing itching and discomfort, this dreaded parasite can also transmit diseases. In fact, during extreme cases, fleas can even cause anemia, especially in little ones like kittens. However, don't worry, we have the purrfect guide for you to handle these pesky invaders.


    Kitten flea remedy

    • Assessing your kitten's flea situation

    Before jumping to any kitten flea remedy, you must evaluate the situation. Depending on your kitten's age and weight, your approach will vary.

    Points to remember:

    1. Kittens under 12 weeks should not be introduced to chemical flea prevention products.

    2. Always check product guidelines to ensure they are suitable for your kitten’s age and weight.

    3. Only use products designed for cats, as our feline friends process chemicals differently than dogs.

    • Effective steps to tackle fleas on kittens

    1. Comb your kitten: A fine comb can effectively remove visible fleas.

    2. Bathe your kitten: If your kitten is of suitable age, use a flea and tick shampoo made for sensitive skin. For younger kittens, you might want to try non-medicated, tear-free soaps like a baby shampoo.

    3. Clean the environment: Your battle against fleas isn't just on your kitten. Wash all bedding in hot soapy water and vacuum carpeted areas thoroughly. Empty vacuum bags or canisters outside. Sprays can help eradicate fleas and their eggs indoors.

    4. Protect the Yard: Even if your kitten is an indoor kitty, fleas might sneak in from outside. Using sprays can be an effective way to safeguard your yard.

    • Safe flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks

    When it comes to flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks, options can be limited. Young kittens are particularly sensitive, and many treatments suited for adult cats can be harmful to them. Here's how to proceed:

    1. For kittens under 8 weeks old, your safest bet is to use a flea comb. This tool, when dipped in hot, soapy water between brushes, can help you physically remove and kill off adult fleas.

    2. Another effective method for very young kittens is bathing. A gentle bath with warm water and a fragrance-free dish liquid or natural baby shampoo can be effective in reducing the flea population. However, be sure to make this a quick affair to prevent your kitten from getting overly cold or scared.

    • Essential oils: Not always a kitten's best friend

    Natural sounds great, doesn't it? But here's a cat-sized caution: Avoid essential oils as a kitten flea remedy. Many essential oils are toxic to cats, even in minimal doses. Some flea treatments boasting 'natural' ingredients might contain these oils, which could pose risks for your kitten. Always read labels and, when in doubt, consult with your vet.

    • Safeguarding kittens from fleas: Age-appropriate treatments

    For kittens older than 8-10 weeks and weighing more than 1.5-2 pounds, topical treatments become an option. A golden rule here is always to ensure the chosen product matches your kitten's age and weight.

    • Picking the best kitten flea treatment

    It's essential to strike a balance between effectiveness and safety. Prescription treatments from your veterinarian typically offer the most robust protection against fleas. However, there are over-the-counter options available, which might be more accessible for some pet owners. No matter your choice, the key is to read labels carefully and avoid harmful ingredients, such as permethrin and certain essential oils.

    Fleas might be pesky, but with knowledge, patience, and the right tools, you can keep your kitten flea-free and happy. Always keep your veterinarian in the loop and ensure any treatment or remedy you use is age and weight appropriate. Remember, a flea-free kitten is a happy kitten!