So you have a cat who is getting up there in age. You might be surprised to know that once your cat reaches 7 years of age, she or he is considered a senior. This is according to standards established by the American Veterinary Association. Meanwhile, the average life expectancy of an indoor cat is between 13 to 17 years, but they can live to be up to 20! 

In regards to the best senior cat food, there is no perfectly designated ‘seniors’ diet. This is because the essential needs don’t differ much from what an adult cat needs. And secondly, any specific needs vary by cat. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to confirm your senior cat’s nutrition needs with your vet. 

Otherwise, here are some essential considerations when deciding on the best cat food for older felines. Because let’s face it – there are an overwhelming number of options. We’re here to ease your decision-making process.

Top Cat Food for Older Cats

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken 5.5-oz cans (Pack of 24)
848 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken 5.5-oz cans (Pack of 24)
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: This grain free cat food contains more of the chicken cats love to provide the energy your adult cat needs to stay active
  • PATÉ STYLE CANNED CAT FOOD: This high protein cat food features a smooth texture your feline friend can’t resist
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: All BLUE canned cat foods are made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • MADE WITHOUT WHEAT: BLUE wet cat food contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, NO corn, wheat (a common thickening agent used by many other brands) or soy, and NO artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains twenty four (24) 5.5-oz cans of BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken
KMR® Powder for Kittens & Cats, 12oz
1,553 Reviews
KMR® Powder for Kittens & Cats, 12oz
  • Formulated to provide a caloric pattern similar to queen's milk in protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
  • Supplies necessary vitamins and minerals to ensure proper development and growth.
  • Ideal supplement for post-surgery and convalescence.
  • Easy to digest, highly palatable, easy to mix formula.
  • For kittens newborn to six weeks of age.

Top Features

Nutritional Adequacy Statement

This is a label that is guaranteed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This ensures the food provides complete and balanced nutrition, in addition to identifying the pet life-stage that the food is best for. In this case, it’s food that is best for all life stages. 

High Quality Protein

The main ingredient on your cat’s food label should be an animal source and it should be a meat source that you recognize. This includes things like turkey, tuna, or chicken. Stay away from generic terms like “meat” or “meat product”. We don’t know what that means, and it could be anything.

The National Research Council Committee on Animal Nutrition recommends ingesting 12.5 grams of protein per day for the average nine-pound cat. 

Vitamins and Minerals

A wide variety of nutrients are helpful for most cats, including vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Most of these can easily be found in the animal protein your cat’s food is based on. These include vitamins A, C, E, D, magnesium, taurine, and arginine. 

Antioxidants are also beneficial to keep up immunity in senior cats. Antioxidants commonly found in cat food include selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C & E. 

Easily Digestible Carbohydrates

Cats are carnivores, meaning they don’t require the macronutrients in carbohydrates to survive. In many cases, carbohydrates are just low-cost fillers. For a senior cat, however, they provide an essential source of fiber which improves digestion and excretion. This may be helpful for some health conditions, especially for cats with digestive issues. 

Nevertheless, your cat’s food should be low in carbohydrates, with carbs making up no more than 10% of the total food volume.

Providing for Common Conditions

These are common health issues that many senior cats may develop. After getting confirmation about any health conditions from your vet, you can look for cat food that is geared towards helping said condition. Here are some more specific dietary needs:

Digestive Issues To alleviate these issues look for food that contains added fiber. The ideal fiber content for senior cat food is right around 3%.
Heart Disease A diet low in sodium and high in taurine might be helpful. Look for food formulated specifically for heart problems.
Diabetes Look for food that’s high in fat, protein and fiber, and low in carbohydrates.
Kidney Problems It’s important to provide that hydration via their food. If your cat is dealing with kidney or bladder issues or urinary tract infections, offering canned food is a must.
Cancer Fish oil that comes from cold-water fish (i.e. salmon or trout) contains omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have been shown to reduce tumor growth and development in animal studies and to slow the spread of cancer. They also reduce inflammation.
Dental Problems Try canned food or kibble with water to make it softer and easier to eat. Your cat might also benefit from food formulated for dental issues, which often contains extra fiber to reduce plaque and tartar.
Eating Less Switch to wet food and cater to your cat’s taste and texture preferences.