People who have pets often argue that it is more or less like having your baby. If you are one of these fur-parents, you know that caring for your fur-baby is not an easy task. Your pet gives you so much love and attention that you cannot help but try to give them the best of everything in return. From feeding them to bathing them, you probably have your hands full all the time. However, you know that it is worth the effort when you get to cuddle with your fluffy cat and fall asleep in front of the TV.
As you age, your cat ages too, and those years can begin to take their toll on your pet’s health and well-being. This is when you need to take care of your cat and look after its wellbeing. You need to start making changes to their diet. The bowl of milk or can of tuna that they were once used to, are not going to cut it anymore.
If you are looking after your family’s senior cat, read on below to find out why they now need specialised food.
Different Nutritional Needs
Just like humans, your cat’s nutritional needs will change with age. It is no longer about their growth, it is more about sustaining their health and keeping them in the best shape possible. As they age, cats commonly experience dehydration and a loss of vitamins and minerals. Providing your ageing cat with specialized foods will help to meet their body’s new needs and keep any related diseases at bay. Consult your vet first, however, if your cat is more susceptible to dehydration. You might want to go with a wet food option to make sure you are upping their water intake. Go for an option that has enough nutrients while supporting the health of their digestive system as well as their bones and joints.
Your senior cat has probably lost most of their teeth by now and it can be hard to chew her once- favourite dry treats. You have to start looking for soft food options with a paste-like texture that is specifically made for older felines who suffer from dental problems. If your cat is not a fan of the mushy consistency, you can still find some dry food options that they might find appealing. Look for small-sized grains that can give them the crunch they enjoy without exacerbating their dental problems.
One of the most common and early signs that your cat is growing old and tired is deteriorated eyesight. You will notice how they are constantly bumping into the furniture and walking clumsily. Unfortunately, at this point not much can be done to enhance their vision, so you might want to focus on vision preservation and protection. Special food formulas that are meant for ageing cats usually have high concentrates of Taurine, which is a type of amino acid that has antioxidant properties and can help preserve your cat’s eyesight.
It might be hard to spot any allergies in the first place, so you need to keep an eye out for changes in your cat’s behaviour or any other visible changes, like skin conditions and hair loss. Even if your cat has never suffered from allergic reactions before, with age, they can develop new ones that require a special diet. You would not want to risk giving them any foods other than specific ones that you know, for sure, are developed for their condition. Look for food options that are free from any allergenic ingredients, to protect your cat from allergic reactions that can sometimes be fatal.
It will be hard for your cat to run around and jump up and down like they were used to. Their joints are probably aching and their bones are too brittle to maintain their previous activity levels. Scraps from the kitchen do not necessarily contain enough levels of essential fatty acids that help support their fragile muscles or give them enough energy to carry themselves around throughout the day without needing your help. With quick online research, you can identify the best, specialized food for senior cats who have the same mobility issues as your beloved cat.
Multiple Health Issues
Your poor cat could be having it harder than others and suffering from several health issues all at once. Even if you have done your research and know the exact combination of nutrients they need, it can still fall flat. If you attempt to mix everything, the concoction might not be pleasant to eat. The last thing you want is to add to your cat’s ailments and steal away their joy of eating. Specialized cat foods are prepared to taste flavorful and come packed with all the nutrients that your cat needs for their age and special health condition.
Do not be overwhelmed by the amount of information you need to gather before you can find the right specialised food for your ageing family cat. Find a good vet whom you trust, and learn more about your own cat’s health problems. This way you can find out how to give them the best care you possibly can, so they can enjoy their golden years in peace. With the right care, your cat will be around for a long time.