Should I automatically switch my cat to one of these foods now that he is elderly?
I would highly recommend moving any senior pet onto a diet formulated especially for older animals, they can make a real difference to their overall health and wellbeing.
Foods for geriatrics tend to be; lower in calories to reflect the fact they are more sedentary; enriched with omega oils to aid joint, heart and brain function and most will have added vitamins and minerals that support mental health. In addition, many of the premium brands are also good for their teeth and help to reduce or control tartar build-up.
The age at which a pet would benefit from being moved onto a senior diet will vary depending on the species and the breed. Cats are considered ‘Senior’ from 11 years old and ‘Geriatric’ from 15 years old. For dogs, the larger the breed the faster they age. So, a St Bernard would be considered elderly by 7 or 8 but a Jack Russell would not reach this life stage until they are at least 12 years old.
Any diet change should be made slowly and gradually over the period of about a week. This will not only help to prevent a tummy upset but also, especially for cats, it makes it more likely your pet will accept the new food. Suddenly presenting a brand new diet will often lead to them refusing to eat it, which can last, even if you then go back and try to slowly introduce it.
There are various brands on the market that make foods for older pets and the choice can be confusing. I would advise having a chat to the staff in your local vet clinic about which might suit your cat the best and remember, several of the premium brands have a money back guarantee if they won’t eat it! | 06.14.16 @ 08:47