Cat food for older cats review

Best Cat Food For Older Cats Your Senior Kitty Will Love

Many cat parents are already aware that as cats age, their nutritional requirements change and so should their diet. Cat food formulas vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but extra content of fiber for better digestion and reduced fat are the common thread.

Though caloric content and protein counts are important factors, they aren’t the only figures that define a good cat food for older cats. There is more to choosing a proper diet for a senior cat to meet all of his changing nutrition requirements and health needs. We tried to cover most of the major points in this article and chose Top 10 Food for Older Cats that can help your senior cat to age gracefully and stay healthy as he does so.

Our Top 10 list of best cat foods for senior pets features the best cat meals we think are on the market in 2020, and that provide your senior cat with the perfect combination of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins specifically formulated for older feline friends to keep them healthy as they age and become less active.

To help your cat in his senior years you might want to consider switching from dry to wet food to help him digest and chew food easier, and food that’s rich in protein, fortified with essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. 

Furthermore, as your cat ages you want to ensure that their protein consumption is increased as it will help them to maintain their muscle mass and help with tissue repair. However, the source of protein is even more important than the amount, as for cats, who are natural carnivores, meat protein is paramount compared to the plan based protein. Therefore, before choosing a product that shows a high protein count, read the ingredients, and ensure that it doesn’t come from non-meat sources. 

Senior Cat Food Must Support Kidney Health

Renal failure is one of the most prominent issues with senior cats, so you have to ensure that the food you are feeding your furry friends supports their kidney health. It does not mean you need to put senior cats on a prescription renal diet, but a controlled-phosphorus diet can be beneficial. Many, perhaps even most cat foods exceed the minimum phosphorus requirement by several times.  Even though it is believed to be generally harmless, some research indicates that excessive phosphorus in a cat’s diet can be damaging to their kidney health. What you should be looking for is keeping the phosphorus amount as close to the AAFCO’s minimum required amount of 0.5% on a dry matter basis. 

What Senior Cat Food Helps Control Inflammation

To help your older cat fight off inflammation such as arthritis and pancreatitis ensure he has a substantial amount of animal sourced omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon oil, menhaden oil, krill oil, and green-lipped mussels.

What food causes inflammation in older cats?

To maintain your senior’s cat health and help fight off inflammation in his body, ensure that your food doesn’t contain preservatives, carrageenan, artificial colors, or flavors.

What can stimulate appetite in senior cats?

Many senior cats end up losing interest in food as they become older therefore it is important to stimulate their desire to eat. Many cats end up preferring warm and moist foods with strong aromas, plus they are easier to chew, which sometimes can become a challenge as well. Sprinkling a few bonito flakes or splash some bone broth can help your cat’s appetite and encourage them to eat.

Top 10 List of the Best Food For Older Cats

The top 10 list of the best food for older cats we are presenting were all selected with senior cats in mind. They have a minimal amount of processed ingredients, are moist and soft, as well as rich in biologically-appropriate proteins.
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CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Meadow Senior Cat Food
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Meadow Senior Cat Food Review

The Canidae is a pet food company dedicated to producing only the highest quality products and features several distinct lines of products for all types of feline dietary needs and preferences. Sticking with the topic of senior cat nutrition, we have chosen the  Grain-Free PURE Meadow Senior Cat Food with limited ingredients. Being grain-free this reduces risks of food allergies and sensitivities and is easier on the digestive system and is great for cats with lower energy needs.

This particular formula features a chicken recipe and healthy carbohydrates such as chickpeas and lentils. Further, it is full of delicious flavor and essential fatty acid blend made from chicken fat and is packed with dietary fiber, and probiotic support. 

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Dry Senior Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Dry Senior Cat Food Review

Blue Buffalo is our go-to pet food company as they have a long history of creating high-grade quality foods that are also affordable.  We have featured their products in many of our Top 10 lists before. This time around, the product we want to highlight in particular is the Healthy Aging formula that features a deboned chicken at the top of the ingredient list (32.0% protein content and 15.0% fat content). To help your cat’s digestive tract the formula contains up to 5.0% of fiber. When you look at the ingredients they use and the reputation the company has, it is a no-brainer that it is on our list, yet again. 

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Senior Canned Cat Food
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Senior Canned Cat Food Review

Purina is another very well-known pet food name that regularly makes Top 10 appearances on our lists. This particular formula is produced specifically for cats aged 11+ and the nutritional content confirms it, because it exceeds the minimum recommended amount of protein per serving. Considering the minimum AAFCO recommendation is 26.0%, Purina’s Pro Plan Focus is way north of that at 45.0% of dry-matter protein content.

 It’s of course also grain-free for easier digestion and reduced food sensitivities and allergies, having salmon and liver as number 1 ingredients. Out of all the best cat foods for senior cats, this product makes the Top 10 list effortlessly. 

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Mature Recipe Wet Food

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Mature Recipe Wet Food Review

Despite already featuring a Blue Buffalo product on our list, we could not emit their Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Mature Recipe Wet Food. Considering wet foods are preferable for many mature cats as they are easier to chew and to digest, as well as they might pack more flavour and tickle tastes buds of seniors cats better. This particular recipe is designed with a senior cat in mind and features nutritious and easy to digest animal protein, is fully grain-free, and packed with fiber for healthy digestion. 

Fresh chicken is the number one ingredient, which is always a good sign, but there is also a chicken broth for added moisture, mixed with chicken liver for even more protein and nutrients. For extra fiber and essential fatty acids, Blue Buffalo added flax seeds as well as fresh vegetables for key nutrients, and even more fiber. 

What we love about this recipe is that it is not only free from corn, wheat and soy, as well as artificial additives and fillers.Considering senior cat’s nutritional needs and digestive tract can be even more sensitive than in younger cats, ensuring the food they eat is even gentler and nutritional is of utmost importance and The Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free does just that. 

Wellness Complete Health Dry Cat Food For Senior Cats

Wellness Complete Health Dry Cat Food For Senior Cats Review

This Wellness Complete Health Senior Cat Food is formulated with a focus on older cats and checkmarks several necessary for older cats nutritional requirements. As the primary source of protein it contains a deboned chicken and concentrated chicken meal, combined with barley and rice as a source of carbohydrates. The Complete Health meal is enhanced with vitamins and minerals necessary for a strong immune system and contains added Wellness’ WellFlex for joint and hip aid. Lastly, to assist your elder feline friend with his digestion, there is an abundance of healthy fiber as well. 

As we have mentioned previously, there is a chance that your senior cat’s sense of taste is minimized and they require food with extra flavor to encourage their appetite. This Wellness Complete Health Senior Cat Food is loaded with natural flavor, but it does so without the use of artificial additives and byproducts. In order to assist the urinary tract Wellness has added cranberries and chelated minerals for maximum absorption of nutrients topped off with probiotics for healthy digestion.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Recipe

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Recipe Review

This next brand on our Top 10 list is a highly trusted and loved brand by numerous pet owners of senior cats. It offers many important nutrients for older cats to help with health issues they might have at the later stages of their life cycle. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food offers two unique recipes – white fish/brown rice and chicken/brown rice. They are both packed with high-grade animal protein as their number one ingredient and brown rice as a source of fiber and carbohydrates. They are both infused with taurine for a healthy heart and antioxidants to support the immune system. 

What we liked specifically about this blend is that it has Nutro’s Fiberblend Formula to inhibit the prevention of hairballs and chicken fat for a healthy coat and fish oils for omega fatty acids. In addition to that, the food is made from non-GMO ingredients from trusted farmers and suppliers. 

These two are excellent all-around recipes that provide so many essential nutritional needs specific for senior cats and full of flavor to ensure the older cats are enticed to eat it. This food for older cats is a definite winner and should absolutely be added to your shopping list.  

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Healthy Senior Recipe

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Healthy Senior Recipe Review

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Healthy Senior Recipe Dry Cat Food is an amazing alternative for older cats based on Merrick’s commitment to quality and sustainability. Our featured recipe is chicken and sweet-potato that’s packed with high-quality protein from deboned chicken and some turkey and chicken meals, mixed with wholesome ingredients like sweet potato, organic alfalfa, and peas. Packed with many antioxidants, omegas 3 & 6, vitamins, minerals, and taurine you will be giving your kitty support for his immune system, skin and coat, and everyday adventures. 

This product makes our Top 10 because it also is fully free from grain, artificial flavors, and colors, as well as free of preservatives. It is highly recommended by the cat owners and has a loyal fan base who swear by this product. The taste seems to be well-received by most cats so if you have never tried this brand before, there is a high chance that your pet will love it and adopt it as his or her new meal of choice. 

This cat food is proudly manufactured in the USA from local and trusted sources. need for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well. You can combine it with a wet-canned food option to make it easier for your cat to chew it and aid with absorption and digesting while also providing extra hydration. 

Nutro Natural Choice Soft Loaf Senior Recipe

Nutro Natural Choice Soft Loaf Senior Recipe Review

This is the second product by Nutro on our list and the reason we included another one as it offers a different spin on their excellent recipes. It is also made with all-natural ingredients and supports senior cats’ nutritional needs, but the soft loaf meal makes it easier to chew as some older cats might find dry kibble too hard to eat. Despite its softer texture it is full of high-quality animal proteins, digestible carbohydrates, and healthy fats. 

When you look at the ingredients list on the back of the package you will find fresh chicken and chicken liver as the number one and number two ingredients, combined with chicken broth for added moisture and flavor. Similar to the dry kibble recipe from Nutro, there are fish oils providing omega fatty acids to keep the skin and coat healthy, and to ensure the nutritional balance the recipe also includes the chelated minerals. It is 100% gluten and grain-free, and it doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe Dry Cat Food

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe Dry Cat Food Review

When it comes to senior cats’ nutrition, providing only essential ingredients and eliminating cheap and unhealthy ones is of utmost importance. When it comes to Now Fresh this cat meal does just that. It is gluten free, grain-free, contains no corn, no wheat, no soy, no meat by-products, and is non-GMO. What it does have is high-quality animal proteins from various meat sources such as turkey, salmon and duck combined with omega 3 & 6 oils from coconuts and canola. 

On top of that, it contains berries, fruits and veggies such as peas, spinach, cranberries, pumpkin, blackberries, alfalfa sprouts, kelp, lentils and carrots. It is also enriched with prebiotics and probiotics to aid in digestion. This formula is particularly designed for cats 7+years of age with their weight management in mind, because as your cat’s activity level changes so should his diet in order to help him age gracefully and remain as healthy as possible.

 The one thing you should keep in mind is that with this low calorie recipe you will also get a lower protein count, therefore be mindful of your particular cat’s protein intake requirements. Furthermore, this formula isn’t particularly low on sodium and phosphorus so if your cat has kidney problems, you might want to try a different product from our list. 

Halo Grain-Free Senior Wet Food Chicken & Chickpea Recipe 

Halo Grain-Free Senior Wet Food Chicken & Chickpea Recipe Review

Halo is a holistic brand of pet food designed to nourish your cat’s body from the inside out with the healthiest ingredients available. This Halo Grain-Free Senior Wet Food Chicken & Chickpea Recipe is a great choice for older cats because it is rich in protein and nutrients but low in fat. High-quality protein comes from fresh chicken with chicken liver for added protein and essential nutrients. Chicken broth provides moisture and natural flavor to complement the flavors of sweet potato, chickpeas, cranberries, and blueberries.

This Halo Grain-Free Senior Wet Food Chicken & Chickpea Recipe is completely free from gluten, grains, and artificial additives. It contains chelated minerals for optimal absorption and plenty of fiber for healthy digestion. Green mussels provide a supplemental source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support and taurine is included for healthy heart and vision. As a wet food formula, this recipe is also easy for older cats to chew and digest, plus it helps to keep your cat hydrated.

Solid Gold Let’s Stay In Salmon, Lentil & Apple Recipe Adult Grain-Free Indoor Dry Food

Solid Gold Let's Stay In Salmon, Lentil & Apple Recipe Adult Grain-Free Indoor Dry Food Review

Solid Gold has been making holistic pet food beginning from 1974 in the USA and has quite a following of loyal fans. Let’s Stay in Salmon, Lentil & Apple Recipe Adult Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food is a solid choice for many senior cats. It is full of real, lean salmon as the very first ingredient and mixed with fiber-packed lentils, delicious apples, blueberries, pumpkins, salmon oil, and more. To top it all off, there is a good balance of omega fats and 90 million probiotics per pound. 

Why we also like this food for senior cats is because it is grain and gluten-free so it’s easy on their stomachs and digestive systems, and suits those with food sensitivities and allergies. The added fiber is also good for digestion and helps with the prevention of hairballs. as dried fermentation products for probiotic support. Some of the pet owners do report that their cats do not like the taste, but with all foods, it is a personal preference and what’s not tasty for one is delicious for another.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Food For Senior Cats

Q: What Is The Best Cat Food For Older Cats?

A: We have provided the Top 10 best cat foods for older cats in the article above. 

Q: What To Feed An Elderly Cat?

A: If you are looking for food for an older cat, make sure that food contains the following:
-High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
-Healthy fats, preferably from animal sources
-Fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance
-Avoid products with soy, corn, wheat
-Beneficial supplements such as chelated minerals and probiotics
-Wholesome, digestible carbohydrates
-Avoid high-calorie foods

Q: What Is A Good Cat Food For Older Outside Cats?

A: Cat food for senior cats should differ in the amount of certain nutrients compared to the food for kittens or young adult cats. It should have fewer calories as older cats are less active, more protein, easily digestible, most likely wet/canned for easier time chewing it, and pack for the flavour to stimulate the appetite. 

Q: What Is The Best Dry Cat Food For Senior Cats?

A: There are many good choices. Are favorite are:

  • Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe
  • Solid Gold Let’s Stay In Salmon, Lentil & Apple Recipe Adult Grain-Free
  • Merrick Purrfect Bistro Healthy Senior Recipe
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food
  • Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Dry Senior Cat Food
  • Canidae Grain-Free PURE Meadow Senior Cat Food
  • Wellness Complete Health Dry Cat Food For Senior Cats

Q: What Wet Cat Food Is Best For Older Cats?

A: There are many good choices on the market but our favorites are:

  • Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Senior Canned Cat Food
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Mature Recipe Wet Food
  • Nutro Natural Choice Soft Loaf Senior Cat Food
  • Halo Grain-Free Senior Wet Food Chicken & Chickpea Recipe

Q: What Is The Best Canned Cat Food For Older Cats?

A: There are many good choices on the market but our favorites are:

  • Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Senior Canned Cat Food
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Mature Recipe Wet Food
  • Nutro Natural Choice Soft Loaf Senior Cat Food
  • Halo Grain-Free Senior Wet Food Chicken & Chickpea Recipe

Q: What Is High Protein Cat Food For Older Cats?

A: See the list of our Top 10 foods for senior cats. They are all excellent choices.  

Q: When Should You Change Your Cat Food For Older Cats?

A: If your cats are 7 years and up, you should change their diet to a senior cat diet, to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate level of nutrients for that older life stage.

Q: How To Puree Cat Food For Older Cats?

A: Mixing it with warm water and making it “soup-like” can help your senior cat ingest the food, and ensures he/she gets the necessary water nourishment. Sometimes you add meat-only, natural baby food, or home-made gravy/chicken stock, which also adds extra nutrients. 

Q: Why Does Cat Food For Older Cats Have More Fat?

A: They generally don’t as fats can be difficult to digest for older cats, especially those 11 years of age and up. However, they still need healthy fats and reduced-fat diets are not advisable.  

Final Verdict on the Best Cat Food for Older Cats

As cats mature and get up in age not only their lifestyle, energy, or activity levels begin to change, but so are their nutritional needs. To assist them with aging and maintaining health and healthy weight their diets have to adjust according to the new nutritional balance.

We have provided a Top 10 food for older cats that we believe do just that. We focused on foods that stimulate their taste buds more in order to encourage their appetite, as for some cats their sense of taste decreases with age. We made sure the foods on the list had a high content of good quality proteins in order to maintain muscle mass and were lower on calories to keep the weight off, due to likely decreased activity level. Our list also includes more wet canned foods for senior cats than previous Top 10 articles, as some older cats find it harder to chew dry kibble.

We tried to stay away from foods containing fillers and wheat/gluten in order to assist your cat’s digestive system and food sensitivities but focused on quality wholesome ingredients that will supply enough essential fats, vitamins, and minerals.

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