Unique Characteristics of Senior Cat Food

A beneficial senior cat food will contain balanced nutrients including digestible carbohydrates, fiber, high quality protein, minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids and a healthy level of magnesium usually in the form of tasty, small, easy-to-chew kibble.

Meat-Based Protein

Being carnivores, cats must have meat-based protein. The healthiest cat food recipes list meat as their first ingredient, not meat by-products or meat meals. Wellness canned kitten food is one product that contains chicken and liver; raw feline food is another food source that actually mimics "prey". Amino acids, such as taurine and arginine, and fatty acids, such as arachidonic and linoleic acid, should also be included. Vitamins should also be listed as ingredients; however, vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) is only available from foods of animal origin.

Avoid Fillers

Many cats suffer from obesity, urinary and digestive illnesses because their cat food does not provide them with the necessary nutrients. Usually low cost brands contain fillers and low quality proteins that do not get absorbed because they are difficult to digest. Usually these foods list grain as the first ingredient, followed by corn, soy and wheat. These ingredients keep the cost low but possibility of allergies and obesity high.

Some senior cat foods have fewer calories, therefore more easily digested and helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. Senior cats, approximately 7 to 8 years of age, have a slower metabolism and therefore need fewer calories. Cats with certain diseases may need vitamin supplements and a special diet, prescribed by the veterinarian.