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Nutritional needs for senior cats: what you should know

Photo of an older cat getting petted

The nutritional needs of your cat change as they age and become more at risk of health complications. Here are some of the common health risks associated with senior cats and the best dietary solutions to ensure they’re happy and healthy for years to come.


At what age is a cat considered senior?

A cat is considered senior when it’s over 8 years of age. They are considered advanced later on depending on size and breed. If your cat is at or is approaching senior status, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian for a thorough physical and metabolic evaluation. Many diseases and chronic conditions found in older cats can be detected early and your veterinarian can prescribe dietary solutions or supplements to meet your cat’s specific needs before requiring medical intervention.


Common health risks for senior cats

Aging isn’t the only cause of increased health risk in cats, lifestyle habits also play a role. Some of the most common health risks in senior cats include:


Kidney disease. The most common health problem associated with senior cats is kidney disease. As cats age, their kidneys become less efficient at removing waste and metabolizing protein from their carnivorous diets.


Arthritis. Regular activities such as climbing and jumping can put significant pressure on your cat’s joints. This can become exacerbated as cats get old, which can lead to arthritis. 


Obesity and diabetes. As cats get older and become less physically active, their food intake often remains the same. This can cause them to become overweight and susceptible to developing diabetes. Indoor cats are especially vulnerable to weight gain and diabetes due to their sedentary lifestyles.


Weight loss. Conversely, some cats lose weight as they age due to an increased difficulty in digesting carbs, fat and protein. Weight loss in older cat can also be indicative of hyperthyroidism.


Dental disease. Gingivitis, cavities, bone infections and other conditions often arise in cats due to age-related tooth decay.


The importance of nutrition for senior cats

Feeding your pet the appropriate food is an essential preventative measure against age-related health risks. During a pet nutrition consultation, your veterinarian can provide nutritional products and supplements, as well as portion recommendations, that match your cat’s specific needs. Proper protein diets ensure your cat retains their strength as they age and can extend their life expectancy and improve their quality of life.


Cat supplies and pet foods in Scarborough

If you have a senior cat, Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital can provide you with the comprehensive veterinary care they need to live a longer, fuller life. Our cat clinic provides checkups, routine surgical and dental procedures, vaccinations and more. We also carry various cat supplies and pet foods in our online store, which are available for delivery. We are in Scarborough and serve the entire GTA. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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