What does the senior nutritional stage cover for cats?

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Depending upon your cat’s health, a high quality adult food may be sufficient. If she has certain challenges, such as arthritis, a food specially formulated for seniors that contains extra nutrients and supplements, may be preferred.

The cat’s energy requirements stay the same throughout adulthood, unlike dogs whose energy requirements decrease as they become older, so there won’t be much change.

It’s also important to remember that the protein needs of cats are much higher—at all stages– than the protein needs of many other animals and inadequate amounts of protein in the diet can impair immune function. However, senior cats often find it hard to digest and absorb fats as well as younger cats and need to consume fat that is easier for their bodies to process in order to get the same amount of energy.

Various disease processes may require dietary changes to lessen the effects or progression of the disease. If your cat has one or more diagnosed medical conditions we recommend you discuss your choice of diet with your vet to ensure it is the correct one.
• Colitis, constipation, or other gastrointestinal issues often benefit from diets with increased dietary fiber.
• Cats with diabetes may benefit from a diet high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates.
• Cats with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis can benefit from diets that have highly digestible sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
• Heart disease may require a special diet with decreased amounts of sodium and increased amounts of the amino acid taurine.
• Chronic kidney failure should include diets of highly digestible protein so there are fewer breakdown products, which the kidneys are responsible for eliminating in the urine.
• Your senior cat may have dental and oral disease, which can cause pain while eating hard food, so you may need to switch to canned food.
• Arthritis—your vet may suggest adding chondroitin/glucosamine to the food.

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