Aging cats' nutritional needs change after age eleven
America's most popular pet, the cat, can spend more than half of their existence in the senior years. Despite the developments in veterinary care and far better nutritional foods, scientific studies reveal that mature pet cats always have a problem with weight because of reduced activity ranges along with a steady drop within sensory faculties, nutrient assimilation and also fat digestive function.
"One of the most important goals when feeding senior cats is maintaining an ideal weight and keeping that weight stable," mentioned Medical professional. Arnold Plotnick, which developed a senior wellbeing program to handle the particular specific needs associated with ageing pet cats at their veterinary clinic, NY Cat Specialists in New York.
Owners of senior cats can help their aging felines maintain an ideal body weight throughout the senior lifestage by feeding a diet that addresses their unique nutritional needs.
Purina Pro Plan, for instance, has reformulated its entire line of senior cat foods to address the changing nutritional needs of aging cats in two different phases of the senior lifestage: ages 7 to 11 (mature) and 11 and up (senior).
As cats age, there's a gradual decline in the body's ability to repair itself, maintain normal body functions and adapt to stresses in the environment. Disease and weight changes are common throughout the senior lifestage.
Cats are more likely to face weight gain during the mature years when activity level declines and metabolism slows. But around age 11, weight loss becomes a greater concern.
The 11-plus years are particularly problematic for cats because their sense of smell and taste often diminish at this time, which affects their interest in food. The ability to absorb key nutrients and digest fat declines, making eating itself less efficient.
The undesirable result is that more food passes through as waste and less is used for energy, causing a drop in lean muscle mass and body fat that leads to potentially harmful weight loss.
In addition to providing the proper diet, owners of senior cats should pay close attention to their cats' activity levels, weight, and eating, grooming and elimination habits and report anything new or different to their veterinarian.
Though many of these changes are a normal part of aging, others may signal a more serious problem. Scheduling veterinary visits at least twice a year is good practice during the senior years as many potentially serious conditions are treatable if caught early.