As your cat gets older, you will want to do everything that you can to ensure that their health stays strong for as long as possible. And one of the best ways of doing so is by offering them a diet that has been specifically formulated for their age. With this in mind, we have put together a list of the best cat food for older cats, along with the key features and a buying guide at the end.
The Best Cat Food for Older Cat
Protein is essential from cats, and it should come largely from real meat sources. This indoor cat food has chicken at its core, but it also has the added vitamins and minerals that your older kitty required for a healthy lifestyle.
One of the essential nutrients included in the formulations is taurine, which is there to support the healthy heart of your ageing pet. All of the ingredients are non-GMO and from trusted farmers and suppliers.
Real chicken is primary ingredient
Antioxidants provide healthy immunity
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
Fully of flavor
- Weight14.4 pounds
Next, we have a dry cat food for older pets that comes from leading brand Blue Buffalo. As with all products from this brand, its signature is the LifeSource bits that it contains, which is a combination of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
High-quality protein from chicken is the primary ingredient, helping your cat to maintain stronger muscles as they move through their senior years. All of the fine natural ingredients have been carefully picked for your cat’s health.
Contains essentials proteins and carbs for older cats
LifeSource bits provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
No chicken by-products, corn, wheat, or soy
Meets your cat’s life stage requirements
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight7.1 pounds
Next on the list, we have this senior cat food from highly popular brand Iams. Chicken is the primary ingredient in this one as well, which helps to provide enough energy for your furry friend to live and play happily.
Immune system responses tend to decrease as cats get older, which is why this food contains vitamin E to restore it back to normal. As for the texture of the food, it is crunchy enough to reduce the buildup of plaque on your cat’s teeth.
Contains essential nutrients for nourishing
Real chicken is primary ingredient
Crunchy texture helps with dental hygiene
Vitamin E restores immune system response
- Weight16.3 pounds
A highly popular brand of cat food treats, these have been specifically formulated for those cats who are 10 years or older. Tuna and chicken flakes have been blended into a sauce that cats simply cannot resist.
At the same time, your cat’s health has been carefully considered. They contain both vitamins E and B to support your kitty’s wellbeing. So, if you are looking to supplement your senior cat’s diet with some delicious treats, these are an excellent option.
Specially suited for cats over 10 years old
Balanced with vitamins and minerals
Great as a food topper
- Weight1.4 pounds
If your cat is older and kept indoors, this is a brand of cat food that has been specifically made for them. Hill’s Science is another leading brand which uses testing to establish the right blend and formulas for their cat food.
The natural fibers contained within the cat food help to support your kitty’s digestion, which is particularly important as they get older. The nutrients have been formulated in a way to help with heart, kidney, and joint health.
Nutrients boost heart, kidney, eye, and joint health
Clinically proven antioxidants
Made in the USA
Suited to indoor cats
- BrandHill’s Science
- Weight7.2 pounds
As with the other options that we have discussed above, real meat is the primary ingredient in this dry cat food. It has been made with whole foods, which helps to promote regular and gentle digestion in your four-legged friend.
The food has been formed with limited ingredient philosophies, which tend to help cats who have more sensitive systems. There are just 8 key ingredients in the grain-free cat food.
Real meat is primary ingredient
Whole foods support gentle digestion
Made for senior, less active cats
8 key ingredients
- Weight2.6 pounds
Next up, we have another cat food blend from Hill’s Science, but these ones are canned wet food. The food has been nutritionally balanced in such a way that it helps to sustain the health of your cat’s kidneys and other vital organs.
Made with high-quality protein, this helps to keep your cat’s muscles lean, which, in turn, helps them to move easier as they advance into their golden years. Clinically proven antioxidants and vitamins C and E all help to boost immunity.
Precisely nutritionally balanced
High-quality protein helps to maintain lean muscle mass
Easily digestible ingredients
Supports your cat’s immunity
- BrandHill’s Science
- Weight5.4 pounds
Another elderly cat food from Iams, this time it is a wet food formulation, which come in easy to serve packaging. The wholesome recipe features chicken as the primary ingredient, giving your kitty the protein which they need.
Complete and balanced in the recipe formulation, vitamin E helps to support the healthy immune system of your four-legged friend. Everything is easy to chew, which is helpful for senior cats who struggle with their teeth and gums.
Complete and balanced recipe
Chicken is primary ingredient
Supports healthy immune system
- Weight5 pounds
Our penultimate choice is this one, which features a real chicken and sweet potato recipe. Omega fatty acids are rich for the healthy skin and coat of your four-legged friend. Added fiber helps to control your cat’s hairballs.
As this is a grain-free formulation, there is less of a chance that it is going to aggravate your cat’s digestive system if they suffer from any sensitivities. Made for cats over seven years old, there are also no artificial, flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Added fiber for healthy digestion
Contains omega fatty acids for the healthy skin and coat of your cat
Grain-free with no gluten ingredients
65% protein recipe
- Weight7.2 pounds
Closing the show, we have this grain-free formulation from leading brand Blue Buffalo, which features real chicken as the top ingredient to give your older cat the protein that they require in their diet.
Fruit and vegetables have been added to the recipe to give your cat some much-needed vitamins and minerals. But there is no wheat in the formula to speak of. Plus, you don’t have to worry about artificial flavors or preservatives.
Real chicken provides protein
Smooth texture for easy consumption and digestion
Made with no wheat
Created with fine natural ingredients
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight9.5 pounds
Best Cat Food for Older Cat Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Choosing a Cat Food for Older Cats
- Age Related Guidelines
What constitutes a senior cat? Well, there is some debate on this subject. As you can see from the cat food above, some of it is made for felines over 7, 10, 11 and various other different ages, so match your cat’s age to the specific formula.
- Quality Protein
Cats are what are known as obligate carnivores, which means that they have to eat a protein-rich diet from animal sources.
- Higher Fiber Content
Older cats are more likely to suffer from digestive issues, so you should look at the food with a higher fiber content. Look specifically for dietary fiber, which supports the movements of the food through your cat’s system to help prevent indigestion, as well as alleviating issues like furballs.
- No Artificial Flavors, Colors, or Preservatives
These kinds of artificial products have no nutritional value to your older feline, and they may even be harmful to your pet if they are consumed in great quantities in the long run.
- Increased Moisture
While this doesn’t apply to dry food diets, you should look for food that has a higher moisture content. This is down to the fact that older cats are more likely to suffer from dehydration than their younger counterparts.
The Health Issues of Senior Cats
Older cats tend to eat and drink less, so dehydration is more prevalent. This is why it is so important that you choose a food with a higher moisture content and leave plenty of fresh water down on a regular basis.
- Age-Related Conditions
Just like humans, cats can suffer from a host of issues related to their age. One of the most common is arthritis, but there are also issues such as kidney disease and liver issues. The food that you offer to your cat should contain the kind of vitamins and nutrients that are going to stave off any problems for the longest possible time, helping your cat to continue living the kind of lifestyle where they enjoy maximum freedom.
- Teeth and Gum Issues
Teeth and gum problems are more likely to arise as your cat gets older. This is partly down to the simple fact of the ageing process and partly due to owners not taking good care of their cat’s teeth. This is why some owners opt for a wet food diet. You can also make the food more appealing by putting it in the microwave and warming it up a bit.
Special Dietary Requirements for Older Cats
- Lower Calorie Requirements
As older cats start to live a more sedentary life, it is less likely that they need huge amounts of calories. Indeed, if they eat too much, it is more likely that they are going to put on the weight that leads to obesity, and this can result in a myriad of health issues directly affecting them. So, make a special effort to control the portion sizes of your furry friend and keep an eye on their waistline to ensure that it doesn’t expand too greatly.
- Higher Vitamin Requirements
As older cats tend to eat less in general, this also means that they tend to take fewer vitamins on board their body. Therefore, it is important that whatever food you offer to them picks up the slack and offers them the minerals that they would be otherwise missing. Also, there are often specific nutrients that support your cat’s healthy ageing. For example, taurine is often included as this specifically boosts heart health. There are often added omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids as these help to improve the health and shine of coats which can start to become dull in old age.
- Higher Antioxidant Levels
Another important aspect of old cat food is the high antioxidant levels, which provide a boost to your cat’s immune system as it naturally starts to weaken due to old age. These can also help your cat to recover from illnesses quicker.
How to Introduce New Food to Your Senior Feline
Just like humans, older cats have a tendency to get stuck in their ways, so when you make any changes to their diet, you should do so slowly and gradually. You don’t want to inadvertently lead to any upset stomachs or digestive issues. Many owners choose to take an approach that involves them mixing the old food with the new food in higher and higher quantities as time goes on until the switch is eventually made completely. Watch your cat to see how well they are responding any speak to your vet if you have any concerns.
Best Cat Food for Older Cat FAQ:
Q: Is senior cat food necessary?
A: Cat food for older cats is different from regular adult cat food in the way that it gives your cat what they may have been missing from the food to support their aging bodies. A good diet is one of the best ways that your cat will enjoy a healthier lifestyle as they move towards old age.
Q: What is different about cat food for older cats?
A: Food for older cats has been made with their needs in mind. For example, it may contain higher fiber to support digestion. Added minerals may be included to make up for your cat’s reduced appetite. They could be formulated in a way that makes them easier to eat to make up for your cat’s poor teeth and gums.
Q: At what age should I feed my cat senior food?
A: There are different age guidelines based on the various brands of food for older cats. Some of them start as young as seven years old, but 10 or 11 is more common. Check the packaging and speak to your vet for further advice on this issue.
Q: How much should I feed my senior cat?
A: This depends on the size of your cat, as well as individual issues such as their activity level and metabolism. For an 8-pound cat, a good rule of thumb is to offer them around 240 calories per day, but this can gradually start to decrease as your kitty gets older and older. You can usually tell if your cat is losing or gaining weight with a simple visual inspection and by feeling them. If either issue is the case, you can make adjustments accordingly.
Our Top Pick
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Dry Cat Food
Returning back to our number one choice on the list, it is this senior dry cat food for older kitties with digestive sensitivities. Essential nutrients like taurine support the heart health of your ageing cat, while all of the ingredients are non-GMO from trusted sources. There is no corn, wheat, or soy in the recipe, and also no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. All of these reasons add up to us choosing it as the top rated senior cat food.