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Albuquerque VetCo

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Cat health eating

Feeding Your Older Cat

catFeeding Your Older Cat

Not all cats eat the same at any age. When your cat is 12 years old, they are the equivalent to 64 years old. This makes them a senior. It is important that you take care of them appropriately. The most important part of taking care of an older cat is their diet, but age might not be the only factor.

Older Cat Diet

Older cats have lower energy, much like us. Their diet should reflect that. Senior cat food is usually lower in protein and higher in fat. This is because older cats are lower energy and don’t require as much protein. However, this might be a fallacy. There is more to it than just age. You need to evaluate the individual needs of your cat:

  • Are they overweight?
  • Are they underweight?
  • Do they have arthritis?
  • Do they have stiff joints?
  • Do they have a medical condition?
  • Do they have skin issues?

Look at their entire health picture, and establish a diet based on those needs.

Fat Old Cat


Leaving food out all day might be simple, but is not the best idea for a cat with a weight problem.

Tips to keep your cat’s weight under control:

  • Work with your veterinarian to get the food with the best nutritional value for your cats needs.
  • Read the label of your pet food so you know what you are feeding them. If you are not sure the nutritional balance that is best for your cat, talk to your vet.
  • Feed your cat the right amount. Don’t just leave food out. Give your cat the food that is right for their weight and size.

My Cat Won’t Eat

It is not uncommon for older cats to go “off their food.” If this happens, keep an eye out for other health issues like vomiting, lethargy, incontinence. Sometimes it is indicative of other health issues that need to be addressed immediately.

If you want to coax your cat into eating more, you can use these tricks to encourage them:

  • Pour tuna juice on their food
  • Warming the food
  • Give your cat wet food.
  • Give you a calorie dense supplement paste you can feed your cat to help him gain weight.

If your veterinarian is concerned about your cat being underweight they may  prescribe an appetite-stimulating drug.



If you have an older cat, pay attention to their weight and overall health. If your cat starts losing weight, consider increasing their calorie intake through higher calorie foods. If your cat has creaky joints and is stiff, consider a food that promotes joint health.  As your cat ages, just make sure to pay attention to their overall health and talk to your vet about managing their golden years.