In recent decades, pet parents are spending more on veterinary care, ensuring their animal friends are able to lead longer and more fulfilling lives. As a result, we’re seeing cats living long beyond their nine lives. As they achieve senior status, many cats rely on canned food for extra hydration. Keep the Golden Girls happy by working a few of these varieties into your wet food offerings, which provide softer textures with easy-to-digest proteins.
PRICE SCALE: $ .05 to .15 per oz | $$ .16 to .30 per oz | $$$ .31 to 50 per oz | $$$$ .51+ per oz
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats become mature between 7 and 10 years and “senior” from 11 to 14. Like people, as cats age, their appetite and digestion slows down, hampering their ability to absorb all the nutrients from their foods. For elderly cats, maximizing nutrition means serving high-calorie, high-protein foods without grain fillers.
Wilderness for Mature Cats
Key features: High-protein, low-carb, in chicken flavor. No poultry by-product meal, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy.
Sales tip: An alternative to a raw diet because of its high concentration of chicken.
bluebuffalo.com, (800) 919-2833
Nutro Soft Loaf Pate
Key features: Smooth texture designed to go down easy, for cats with sore teeth and gums. Comes in chicken or cod flavors.
Sales tip: Grain-free helps with digestion for older cats with sensitive stomachs.
nutro.com, (800) 833-5330
Key features: Technically not a senior formula, but contains many of the characteristics of one: grain-free, with high-quality protein in a palatable, easy-to-digest gravy. Six varieties.
Sales tip: Made with free-range beef, chicken and turkey and wild-caught fish.
nulo.com, (512) 476-6856
According to one estimate, the population of senior cats has doubled in recent years. With this rise comes increased attention on the special dietary needs of older felines. Even healthy kitties can develop joint problems like arthritis or dental pain that makes eating hard food difficult. These formulas provide extra fortification to help with the aches and pains of aging.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Healthy Cuisine
Key features: Seared tuna and tender carrots in a formula full of nutrients to support eye, heart, kidney and joint health.
Sales tip: Flavor combination stands apart from the usual chicken and poultry.
hillspet.com, (800) 445-5777
Aging 12+ Joint Health
Key features: Thin loaf slices in gravy, designed to go down easy, formulated with nutrients to support joint health.
Sales tip: Finally, a cat food for elderly cats that’s tailored to cats ages 12 and older.
Weight & Mature Formula
Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food
Key features: With Omega 6, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, zinc and selenium.
Sales tip: Slow cooked to lock in flavor.
chickensouppets.com, (800) 658-0624
When it comes to protein, quality counts. Cats with inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, and kidney problems all need highly digestible protein sources. These foods put the meat front and center and also include the vitamins and minerals kitty needs to stays healthy.
Precise Naturals Senior Formula
Precise Pet Products
Key features: Chicken-based formula chock-full of vitamins and minerals for aging kitties.
Sales tip: Packaged in a BPA-free can for added health benefits.
precisepet.com, (888) 477-3247
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+
Key features: Available in two flavors: chicken & beef and salmon & tuna
Sales tip: Affordable option from big brand.
proplan.com, (800) 776-7526
Tiki Cat Grill & Luau
Key features: Whole meats and mercury-tested seafood in 22 flavors from ahi tuna with crab to seabass, topped with prawn, crab surimi, calamari and lobster.
Sales tip: Technically not just for senior cats, the emphasis on gourmet-quality protein will appeal to pet parents.
tikipets.com, (866) 821-8562
This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of PETS+.