Good nutrition is especially important for senior cats, those over 11 years of age. Cats, like people are living longer. Senior cat population is up by six percent. And good nutrition is especially important for senior cats, those over 11 years of age. And our friends at Hill’s® Science Diet®, take senior feline nutrition very seriously.
Many cats live well into their teens. In human years, that’s older than 70! Some live into their 20’s and that’s equivalent to a human being in their 90’s or more. That’s a lot of years to spend with your special feline. And as the bond intensifies over the years, so does our commitment to keeping our feline friends healthy, by good nutrition, regular visits to the veterinarian, and plenty of lots of loving care
Did you know that as young as age seven, a cat’s nutritional needs change from adult to mature adult? Cats from 7 to 11 are considered mature felines. This doesn’t mean they are is “old” it just means it’s time to adjust their food to one that meets the nutritional needs at this stage of life. It’s hard to believe that my Siamese, Linus, is already at this stage.
During this stage, it’s important for your cat to have controlled levels of phosphorus and other vital nutrients to help reduce kidney stress. Just as people need to reduce their intake of sodium later in life, so does your cat. What’s also important for cats over 7 is for the urine pH to support a healthy urinary tract. Hills‘ research and studies have guided them to make an array of foods for mature adult cats that will give your cat the nutrition she needs to help lengthen the quality time you have with your cat.
If you have a senior cats (Paws’ mom has two – Pink Collar and Clyde, and two that have passed on to the Rainbow Bridge – Smokey Blue and Victory) imagine what it would be like to see them more active and playful. Just imagine your senior cats playing and interacting with you and your other felines more. The right nutrition can actually fight the signs of aging.
Inactivity and chronic disease such as dental, heart disease and kidney disease, and weight gain and loss are all a part of aging. Hill can actually help maintain or even improve the quality of your felines life and help reduce the chances of contracting or slow down the effects of these dreaded diseases.
My Victory had kidney disease, and it was then that I first learned about Hills’ Science Diet, as she started a diet that help slow down the renal failure. She had many good years after her diagnosis, living to be about 20.
Like people, a balanced diet and exercise help keep your feline in optimal health. Hill’s® Science Diet® healthy aging formulas can help with the aging process by
- MAINTAINING health while aging with Science Diet® Active Longevity™ foods
- DEFYING the visible signs of aging with Science Diet® Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying
Cats like people exhibit both physical and behavioral changes with age. With the right balance of nutrition, the signs of aging can actually be slowed down.
With the right balance of nutrition, the signs of aging can actually be slowed down.
That’s why it’s very important for pet parents to feed their senior cats the appropriate food without too much of the nutrients that are not healthy for them. Science Diet® Age Defying™ cat food provides precisely balanced nutrition senior cats need as they age, allowing you to provide the best quality of life for your pet. Science Diet® Age Defying™ foods fight the signs of aging with visible results in just 30 days. Hills maintains that pet parents will see:
- Increased play and interaction
- Increased agility
- Fewer accidents in the house
- Less sleeping
In order to achieve this, Hills offers an array of food specifically tailored for your mature and/or senior cats.
- Hill’s® Science Diet® Mature Adult Active Longevity Original
- Hill’s® Science Diet® Mature Adult Hairball Control
- Hill’s® Science Diet® Mature Adult Indoor
- Hill’s® Science Diet® Senior 11+ Age Defying
- Hill’s® Science Diet® Senior 11+ Indoor Age Defying
Their research has led Hills to develop a nutritional balance that is right for your cat, whether they are more sedentary and are indoor-only, or if they are a tad more active and you’re looking to fend off the effects of aging.
There’s one thing for sure, us cat people want our felines to spend as many years with us as possible. We want them to be healthy, happy cats, who can spend many a year with us.
Weight is particularly problematic for older cats, whether it be obesity caused by less activity, or weight loss caused by some malady.
Regular vet visits in addition to a balanced diet will help your cat stay healthy longer, and spend many, many years as your special friend.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Science Diet for Cats, but bjbangs.net (Paws for Reflection) only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
Have you used Hill’s® Science Diet® for your mature or senior cats? If so, please share your stories here. In Paws’ next post, Paws will review the many effects of aging in cats. Please share your stories.
I stand by my decision to feed my cat Science Diet. My first cat ate only Hills C/D food for the rest of his life after being diagnosed with kidney problems and I have never regretted it. Back then it only came in 1 flavor and he didn’t seem to care (he was picky before). I’ve read that finicky cats are made not born. I feed my cat just 1 flavor now even though there are choices.
As far as wild cats being carnivores, consider this-what do the squirrels and chipmunks eat? Also cats have been domesticated for years and as such cannot be compared with wild or ancient relatives.
I agree with Robin and Sally. The time researching the needs of an obligate carnivore are not wasted! I think of it like this: Our astronauts may survive on their scientifically crafted food, but would they choose to eat that same food every meal for the rest of their lives? Science can only take us so far. We thrive on fresh food. So do our cats.
Of course, many need the convenience of commercial food for their kitties. It doesn’t take much time and research to determine that there are many superior choices, based on feeding the physiology of our cats. Yes, they can digest carbs. But at what cost? Humans and dogs have five different pathways to digest carbs. Cats have just one. They literally are not built to use carbs as a major source of energy: yet the Hill’s Senior 11+ Age Defying diet contains a staggering 37.8% carbs (on a dry matter basis). A Waltham study published in 2010 indicated that even our indoor pet kitties, when given the ability to do so, eat a diet that is 12% carbs. And their wild feral family eats a diet that is just 2.8% carbs (none of which is starch. This is based on a study published by Plantinga et al. 2011). Do we really have the hubris to believe that we know better than nature?
Thanks for sharing. There’s no doubt that nutrition for cats, as well as humans, is a subject for much debate. The physiology, fitness, and tastes differ for each individual cat. While many tend to become lethargic, exercise less, and gain weight, others go the opposite, and eat less and lose weight – just like their humans. And as for the ferals, they don’t have much choice what they eat, and unlike, pampered indoor cats, they have a very short, and very difficult life.
Well actually, the average life span of an African Wild Cat, to which our domestic pets and ferals are essentially genetically identical, is 15 years. Feral cats in the U.S. face greater perils than their diet.
Given that 90% of of our pet cats are overweight or obese; incidence of diabetes have DOUBLED in the past five years (and can be directly linked to high carb diets); 85% of cats over the age of 3 years have dental disease; and kidney disease is 7x more common in cats than dogs (Banfield State of Pet Health Report 2013), it seems our commercial diets leave a lot to be desired.
The thing I can’t get my mind around is cats in the wild don’t need “staged” foods to survive. As long as they can access species appropriate nutrition, like mice or chipmunks, etc, they do well. Adding carbs, grains, chemicals to an animal that is aging doesn’t make sense to me at all. I would want my cats to have a clean, simple diet of protein, good quality protein, that they can digest without a lot of fillers they can’t, that only make them use their litter pan more and more. Cats can’t process all these additives and in the end, it doesn’t give them a better quality of life, it just keeps them alive. I respectfully suggest you consider doing some research about what is truly appropriate for cats instead of taking a payment for spreading someone’s marketing agenda to get more sales.
I should point out that I have been feeding my cats Hills Science Diet for almost eight years. And they have all thrived on it. I wouldn’t stand behind a product that I would not
use on my cats, nor one that I didn’t believe in. Cats are too important in my life to compromise their well-being. I also knew that when I agreed to write these posts for Hills, that pet nutrition is very controversial, even being a lightening rod. I do appreciate your sharing and your input.
BJ, I fed Hill’s prescription diet for urinary health (x/d that was discontinued then c/d) for about 7 years. I thought my cats were “thriving” too. Now that I no longer feed them dry food, and provide them fresh animal-only based food, the difference in their behavior, demeanor, health, energy, vitality, stool “quality,” volume of urine, lean muscle mass and coat quality can only be described as “stark.” The vets se the difference, and now support raw feeding for other clients.
It is a “lightening rod” topic because when you begin to incorporate fresh food, even if it is not the sole diet, it is very difficult not to be passionate about the benefits. You know you’re doing something right when your vet cautioned you about the risks, then a year later calls all the other vets in the practice in to admire “the raw fed cat.”
Likewise. After I took my three raw-fed cats (ages 4, 10 and 14) for their check-ups and bloodwork and discussed their diet with my vet, he later called me to asked me for advice for a kitty with IBD. After I picked my jaw off the ground, I pulled together all resources and bombarded him! 😉
I appreciate your sharing this. I will definitely take a look into this, and please share what you are giving them for fresh food.
Honestly, BJ, I was surprised. I resisted feeding raw to my cats for about a year, but when several had ongoing medical issues that just couldn’t be resolved, I started the transition. And their first night on 100% raw was the first night I slept until the alarm rang in the morning. They were satisfied. Hubby and I rescue, and we have a lot of cats in a small space. They became nicer to each other. I know it sounds nuts, but I’m not the only one that’s experienced this. Maybe they feel better? It’s the only explanation I can come up with.
I feed them an exclusively homemade raw diet: I feed “prey model raw” and they get an egg yolk and a sardine (which is canned in water, no salt) or two each week. (The egg yolk is for choline, vitamin D, and healthy fats for a cat; the sardine is for omega 3s and vitamin D). My cats eat chicken, rabbit, beef, pork, turkey and venison. But many people want to feed ground. A time-tested recipe was created by Dr. Lisa Pierson, who explains everything in detail. http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood
A good resource for feeding prey model raw is http://www.CatCentric.org
But it’s easy to just add a little bit of fresh food to your cat’s menu! If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, just slice off a little bit of whatever you’re making for dinner before it is seasoned and cooked, and offer it to your kitties, like a treat. It’s safe for cats to eat up to 10% of their diet without it being nutritionally balanced (most treats aren’t balanced!). If they enjoy this, it’s easy. If they don’t… then a switch to fresh foods requires more of a commitment.
Personally, I think of it like this. Would I enjoy eating dry cereal and canned stew forever? Probably not. I like fresh fruits, veggies and salads. It’s just that for our cats, the equivalent of those fresh foods is a piece of meat!
Have you looked at the ingredients of these food, especially the dry? I.E. witht he mature indoor formula, chicken may be the first ingredient, but it’s followed by wheat, corn and rice products, all carbs. The other foods are similar.
They are not what an obligate carnivore needs for optimum health.
Thanks for sharing Sally, and I appreciate your feedback. There are many opinions about cat nutrition, and what works best. I’ve been happy with Hills. My cats have been on it for eight years. With ages 16, 13, 8, 5 and 1, my senior kitties are doing quite well on it. I would not promote a product that I would not endorse or use for my cats.
Like you I can’t believe my little Scooter will be a mature cat on his next birthday. Thank you for pointing out why he should be switched to mature food, I learned something new today.
We’ve come a long way in cat care. Growing up we always had cats that spent most of their time outdoor. Now I wouldn’t dream of it.
They grow up too fast, don’t they. Good to take care of them as best we can.